Monday, February 07, 2011

sunday : for the birds

The making of birds and airplanes and other made-up flying things was the beginning of Madeleine's day.

Daddy read to her from National Geographic Kids Almanac while the papers flew. (Reading about the White House and the dinosaur age, mostly.)
And then she read to her daddy.

The Princess Bride. Trev and I have passed the halfway point, and got to read today about The Man In Black falling down the mountain, and then lying there at the bottom half dead, only to whisper ""... :) Love that. Trev was thrilled.

Talks of evolution.

Trevy and Annabelle ventured out into the big wide world. All by themselves.
While everyone else got ready for a few hours of Out. (Twas family day!)

While bird migrations haven't started yet through our area, we do have a number of birds out in the wetlands that are near the Great Salt Lake.
Marsh hawks, sparrow hawks, seagulls (of course--they're everywhere), ducks, canada geese-- as well as a great many Bald Eagles out there - they spend their winters in our area.
Soon we'll be spotting herons and swans, but today, we were after the Bald Eagles.

It was a spectacular day in the winter wetlands!

We went up to one particular spot, and Eric shouted out, "Babe!! I swear I just saw a bobcat! By that tree."

Of course we had to go investigate, to see if we could find him.

We found scat by the tree, that was most definitely from a carnivore (we are convinced it belonged to our cat),

and then I started looking around, and saw fur.

"Is this from an owl?" I was wondering out loud. I thought they were owl pellets.

I started looking and touching, and Eric said "This is a fresh kill. The bobcat has just killed something, and was eating it..."
We looked further around, and I found this.
(Warning: Don't look at this next picture if you're not thrilled with finding remains... I couldn't have been happier to find such a thing! :) )


We found mice (which may have been voles, which is what the bobcat was eating, we're thinking).

We found carp, some being eaten by seagulls, and also that's what we think the bald eagles were eating out in the water.

Many, many beautiful, close-up, amazing swoopings of marsh hawks. (Impossible for me to properly photograph...)

Blackbirds - black, and redwings.

Nesting boxes.

Ice and frozen marshes and fishing and life and quiet and wild and beauty.

Spectacular winter beauty.

An amazing day.


  1. Wow! Seeing them catching and eating as well - brilliant. And the bobcat leavings!

    Fantastic photography. Love the bird resting on the rest area sign ;-)

  2. WOW!!! (a zillion times over!!!)

    absolutely FANTASTIC!!

    oh..i'm collapsing in a swoon over these beautiful photos....and HOW about those remains?!?! (glad we're not the only people that go into fits of delight and wonder at such

    what a perfect day!! how blessed you are to share your neighbourhood with such incredible creatures!!


  3. you KNOW i am loving this post!!!!! yes, i would have been THRILLED with the bobcat kill. wow. i love this place that you have so near to you, and the photo of the kestrel (?) on the "waterfowl resting area" much beauty in your day - i'm envious, but thank you for sharing!

  4. Slim - Sparrowhawk. (Which is a falcon.) :)

  5. What a fantastic day and such great finds. My daughter;s Girl Scout troop just had a visit from a local wildlife rescue. We talked about bald eagles a bit, and they brought four birds - a kestrel, red tailed hawk, turkey vulture and great horned owl. I would have guessed the picture was a kestrel too!

  6. a little quick research shows that a kestrel can be called a sparrowhawk. Learning as we go is the whole point, eh

  7. ahhhhhhh... i have to admit that such a post leaves me wishing for something less wintery than midCanada. I love my country, and my home. I also love the not snow that you have right now. The geese in February (give me back my geese :)). And the eagles. And the wonder (although we have plenty of that here too.)

  8. I was wondering about that... I was going to ask Eric. :)
    Thanks for the info!!

  9. CG - we've had a couple of days above freezing, so the snow's mostly melted. Works for me!

    And you can have a few. We keep many of them here year round. :)

  10. Looks like you got to see lots of activity, how wonderful!

    Great shots! Whenever I visit places like this I so long for a huge telephoto lens, but then that's the only time I would need one:)

  11. You know that was my kind of a day. So very very cool. Wonder where we could go around here to see so many cool birds of prey. Hmm....?
    (Did you keep your find?)

  12. That is incredible! Amazing amount of birding you did, looks like so much fun. Love the kill remains even.

  13. OH MY much am I loving this post?!?! Amazing. You guys are so, so lucky to make such a discovery (the kill)!

    And of course, the birds of prey are gorgeous, too!

  14. Ok, don't be mad at my potty mouth.
    But that was fucking fantastic!
    How I would love that day...
    Man, you lucky ducks!

  15. Kim has such a potty mouth. You must be so mad ;-)

  16. what the hell's going on around here?
    crazy-ass people.

  17. Wow! Those are amazing pictures. What an experience.

  18. I couldn't stop staring at "the kill." That was incredible. And all the birds and the scenery and the family time. Love it all. The bird on the rest sign was awesome. xo

  19. You live in an amazing area. So beautiful. Amazing photos.

  20. WHOA! Hell of an awesome day there, Steph!


Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts!