- Franklin's Gull
- Peregrine Falcon
- Red Necked Phalarope
- Say's Phoebe
- Loggerhead Shrike
- Great Horned Owl
- Lark Sparrow
In addition to these new lifers, we saw dozens of other species: burrowing owl, western tanager, sandhill crane, white faced ibis, black necked stilts, eared grebes, killdeer, California quail, willets and more. Antelope Island is truly a birder's paradise, not only for the wide variety of species, but for the wonderful behaviors you can observe. We saw the phalaropes herding brine shrimp on the shallow waters of the Great Salt Lake and Franklin's gulls bobbing their heads to feed on brine flies in the morning breeze, as well as a peregrine falcon calmly observing the world after breakfast and western meadowlarks singing their greeting to the day. What a treat to live so close to this wonderful location; I cannot wait to go again.
Outside of Utah, my travels have introduced me to another lifer: the elegant tern. I was able to watch these agile fliers dive into the waters off Long Beach, California while they fished, often getting mobbed by Heerman's gulls who wanted a taste.
Back home again, my backyard and its new landscaping is continuing to draw in birds. Not only have my mourning doves, house finches, western scrub jays and lesser goldfinches been enjoying the full feeders all summer, but a female black headed grosbeak discovered the black oil sunflower seed and the black chinned hummingbirds have been monopolizing their nectar feeders quite frequently. Just this week the first of the migrating rufous hummingbirds appeared, and I can add a barn swallow to my backyard list after watching them perch and preen on our defunct television antenna.
Birding is truly amazing, whether at home or abroad, and summer is a special time to find new birds, nestlings, fledglings, and many other friends at your feeders. I hope your summer has been as avian rich as mine!