Sunday, July 5, 2020

In the Wasatch Mountains - I. A Curious Ground Squirrel

There were a few squirrels running between the rocks and then they disappeared.  My first thought was not to climb toward the rocks, I was sure the squirrels were gone. But what had I to lose? I started to climb and suddenly one curious squirrel came out and stayed nicely on the rock.

Friday, July 3, 2020

Fearless Cattle Egrets

Seeing these birds and watching them running and feeding on insects between the legs of cows was a true adventure.  I was impressed how fearless Cattle Egrets were.

Mostly Egrets were around cows but sometimes some would suddenly walk away, then stopped for a short while and then return back to cows.  

This Egret never left a cow, he walked with it, sometimes in front of it, sometimes behind.

Something stopped this Egret to follow a cow. I wonder what?

Looking for insects or a big fat grasshopper.

Cattle Egrets are not native to our country, they somehow found their way to US from Africa many years ago. 

Thursday, July 2, 2020

Western Grebe is Swimming with Her Young Ones on Her Back

It happened and I almost missed it. Today I came again to see what is going on in the nest but to my surprise it was abandoned. There were no eggs in the nest and no female Western Grebe around.  Later I spotted the female Grebe swimming with her young ones on her back. 

I am not sure is this the same female Grebe I was watching for three weeks or another one but I was so happy to see the whole family, mother, father and babies.

Sometimes the female Grebe was covering her babies with her feathers and they became invisible.

So cozy, so warm and secure to be on the mother's back.

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Western Grebe During Nesting - II.

It's not always peaceful during nesting.  While swimming around her nest the Grebe was chased by the gang of two Grebes. Here she is escaping and almost running on the water.

Checking on eggs and rearranging the nest.

A future father. My feelings about him are mixed. He lately is never around his mate. Who knows where he spends his time.  But... he helped to make the nest more dense, more secure adding a lot of short and long sticks to it. 

During my last visit I saw three eggs in the nest.  Will be it forth soon or not?  Usually, Western Grebes lay three to four eggs. I hope to see one more egg soon.

To photograph the nesting Grebe is getting more difficult. It looks that her floating nest is more hidden in the grass. When the Grebe sits on it she is almost invisible. My guess is that the nest was moved more into the marsh.