I’ve been encouraging Leslie to take her own pictures at wildlife refuges for several years now, hoping that she might enjoy the experience as much as I do. Besides, you can never tell which side of the car will provide the best shots. This trip we had very similar equipment, minus a 1.4 extender, which, as it turns out, can make more difference than I would have imagined.
To me, her shots are a reminder that the most important factor in birding is being at the right place at the right time. The Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge is one the best places I know to be in Spring. It’s hard not to get good shots if you’re there early in the morning and you’re paying attention.
Leslie got this shot of a small flock of Pelicans sleeping and preening at the beginning of the auto tour.
She got this shot of Canada Goose goslings before I’d sighted anything worth shooting on my side.
I actually sighted this Western Grebe with chicks and Leslie had to shoot it through the open window, but it’s still one of those magical sights that’s hard not to love, especially since it’s not nearly as common as seeing goslings.
Leslie didn’t seem as fond as I was of this shot of White-Faced Ibis flying,
probably because some of the birds are slightly blurry. I suspect I like it more than she does because I realize better than she does just how hard it is to get birds in flight while driving around a refuge.
Leslie made me back up to get this shot. At first, she thought these were two different kinds of birds, but they’re both White-Faced Ibis.
I love the shot because it’s the perfect illustration of how important the angle of the light can be while photographing wildlife.
This is probably my favorite of Leslie’s shots.
Leslie probably didn’t enjoy the refuge as much as I did, but she seemed to enjoy taking pictures while she was there and that’s definitely the most important aspect of the experience.