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Fitness and Photography for Fun - A blog on staying fit by hiking and doing photography by David Mendosa

Bear River

November 8th, 2013 · 2 Comments

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While I would have loved to stay with Martha and Tom in Redmond, Washington, as long as I had stayed with Marveen and Wayne in Nikiski, Alaska, I had to return quickly to Boulder. Before I planned my Alaska trip, I had signed up for a meditation retreat in Colorado that started just after I returned home, and I had made my reservation too late for me to return on the Alaska ferry on any earlier sailing.

Because Redmond and Boulder are about 1,400 miles apart, I couldn’t comfortably make the drive in fewer than three days on the road. So I stopped about one-third of the way in Ontario, Oregon, and planned to stop two-thirds of the way in Evanston, Wyoming, although both were long drives.

But when I entered Utah from Idaho, I stopped at the state visitor center, because I wanted to make a cup of tea and pick up a new Utah state map. Looking through the many brochures that these visitor centers have, I found one on birding in Utah. I happened to notice that this brochure said that the Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge “is considered a top-ten in the world by many birding enthusiasts.” I don’t remember ever hearing of it before, but that statement certainly grabbed my attention. Even better, it was only two exits down the Interstate.

Pasteur famously said that chance favors the prepared mind. I say that spontaneously taking a chance can be better than sticking with a plan. I knew that this opportunity was too good to pass up no matter how late I would have to drive that night. The ranger at the refuge’s visitor center told me that my 5 p.m. arrival was perfect timing at the right season, and that I should plan on making the auto tour loop in two hours. In the event, I saw so much that I was there for almost four hours, leaving after dark with a two-hour drive to Evanston ahead of me.

It was absolutely worth it. This nearly flat land has marshes and canals that attract many species of birds as well as birders like me who are able to drive close to the birds, using our vehicles as blinds. The area reminds me of one of my favorite places, Ruby Lake National Wildlife Refuge in northern Nevada, but the Bear Lake refuge is even more beautiful, particularly at sunset with the golden light on the marshes and the mountains to the east and west.

While I had seen most of the bird species in refuge before, I got better photos of some of them.

A Black-necked Stilt and its Reflection

A Black-necked Stilt and its Reflection

Click on the picture above to enlarge

A Glossy Ibis Takes Off

A Glossy Ibis Takes Off

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A Duet of Western or Clark’s Grebes

A Duet of Western Grebes

Click on the picture above to enlarge
A Great Blue Heron Rests as the Sun Sets

A Great Blue Heron Rests as the Sun Sets

Click on the picture above to enlarge

While I didn’t see any bears at the Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge, I was blessed to see many migratory water birds. The next day I returned to Boulder, and my fantastic nine-week trip to Alaska came to a glorious end.


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Posted in: Photography

2 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Sandra Selby // Dec 5, 2013 at 5:23 am

    Thank you for the great photo’s I love taking pics myself, but yours are truly beautiful. I am a very serious diabetic and trying to get help. You usually send my mail to [email protected] but I use this name more…thank you again Sandra

  • 2 David Mendosa // Dec 5, 2013 at 11:49 am

    Dear Sandry,

    Thank you! If you would like to change the address that I send my Diabetes Update newsletter to — which is probably what you are referring to — here is what I usually send:

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