After Zoe’s Sunday soccer game, we hustled out of the park because we wanted to try to get to Ogden early enough to eat dinner at our favorite Utah restaurant. We did manage to get there early enough for dinner only to find that our favorite restaurant wasn’t open on Sundays; in fact, most restaurants didn’t seem to be open on Sunday in Ogden or Brigham City. That was disappointing, but I was still glad we had decided to stay in Brigham City because it meant that we could visit Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge early the next morning before heading out on the longest leg of our journey home.
After our discovery of the refuge several years ago, I seldom drive past without stopping, though we had to skip it on our trip to Colorado so that we could see Sydney’s afternoon soccer game. I don’t think I’ve ever been to the refuge so early in the morning, at the “golden hour” right after sunrise. I am generally not fond of nature shots that unnaturally pump up colors, but I was impressed enough with this view of a White Pelican that I pulled over and took a shot before we even got to the preserve.
Quite a contrast with this shot taken two hours later as we were heading for home.
The dramatic lighting even made me stop to get a shot of this Barn Swallow at the entrance of the tour, though I usually wouldn’t bother taking another shot of a Barn Swallow when I’m birding Theler Wetlands.
Sometimes the orange light almost served as a spotlight, as in this shot of a Yellowlegs.
The previous pictures were taken with the sun shining over my shoulder, but even the shots taken at an angle to the sun seemed more dramatic than usual, perhaps because the orange highlights called attention to the main subject.
I doubt that I am going to make it a habit to get out birding quite this early, but if you have to be on the road early it’s a nice bonus.