Friday, May 22, 2015

Greys Lake National Wildlife Refuge

The large brownish birds definitely were not ducks. However I couldn’t really see them clearly as the camera’s viewfinder doesn’t show a good view of what you are imaging. Renita however had her binoculars on the pair and called out, “White faced ibis!” We have only seen one other in south Texas and so here was a special treat.
They flew across the small waterway and I was able to catch a shot of them. I didn’t have the sports setting so it was again mostly luck to capture them in flight and then to image the brilliant sheen of sunlit green breeding plumage.
We had passed Grey’s Lake Wildlife Refuge last year, during a day’s discovery jaunt and we planned on returning for a day of birding. The past weeks rain finally broke and we woke to sunny blue skies. Renita packed our lunch and it was a short drive through the Caribou Mountains to the refuge.
Our first stop was at the refuge headquarters and driving to the lookout point we were warmly greeted by a cloud of mosquitos. You could barely see the water here as the place is actually the largest hardstem bulrush marsh in the world.
Known primarily for its sandhill cranes it also hosts a small flock of breeding trumpeter swans, although we didn’t spot them. Good, but muddy, gravel roads, (for Idaho anyway), allow one to drive around the marsh, and bird from the comfort of your vehicle.
At every stop Western Meadowlarks entertained us with their song. At another spot Renita got a picture of a Barrows Goldeneye, and further on she took images of pairs of American Widgeons and Pintail ducks.
As we drove along a Coopers Hawk posed on top of a telephone pole, followed by a fence perching northern harrier. Spotting a soaring red tailed hawk, we stopped to watch but didn’t see it swoop down on prey as its spirals grew wider and higher.
At one point there were just too many rocks along the road and Renita was able to capture another image of a strange bird, a Wyoming rock hound. A high ridge allowed us to see the extent of the marsh and some open water. Wilsons phalaropes, curlews, franklin gulls, killdeer, all entertained us as we drove the circuit.

A day of birding was a nice break from the usual daily tasks and while we saw lots of sandhill cranes the beauty of the white faced ibis stole the day! If you are ever here don’t be surprised if we try to drag you to a day of birding at Greys Lake Refuge. Clear skies


  1. Nice post, great pictures. Looks like you have mastered the new camera.

  2. Love your pictures including the new species of Wyoming rock hound- Connie