On the Road and In Your Backyard

Good Morning All,

On The Road and In Your Backyard is a weekday feature spotlighting reader submissions. From the exotic to the familiar, please share your part of the world, whether you’re traveling or just in your locality. Share some photos and a narrative, let us see through your pictures and words. We’re so lucky each and every day to see and appreciate the world around us!

Submissions from commenters are welcome at tools.balloon-juice.com


Enjoy today’s wonders and have a great weekend, see y’all Monday.


Today, pictures from valued commenter Albatrossity.

On a recent trip across the western US and back, I spent a day at Bear River Refuge, a stunning migratory bird viewing site on the north end of the Great Salt Lake. I had been there before in the spring, and was excited to get back there again in the early fall. The region had been having a drought, so water levels were lower than usual, and much lower than when I was there before in the monsoon year of 2005! But it was still good to be there, and there were lots of birds, including lots of youngsters hatched out in the previous summer. So here are some bird shots from that day at Bear River.

I also thought I should mention that I have published a 2019 calendar of bird images, Birds of the Flint Hills, available at http://www.lulu.com/shop/david-rintoul/birds-of-the-flint-hills-2019/calendar/product-23851004.html. If you need a calendar, or a Christmas gift, and if you like my bird pics, check it out. As noted here previously, some of the proceeds will be used for donations to ActBlue for the candidates that Balloon Juice gurus decide that we should support. It’s not a calendar of pet pictures, but it’s the next best thing!

Taken on 2018-09-13 00:00:00

Bear River Refuge, Utah

These guys are found across North America in the summer, and are quite entertaining as they bob their tails and prance up and down stream banks and other bodies of water

Taken on 2018-09-13 00:00:00

Bear River Refuge, Utah

Parent and youngster still hanging out together

Taken on 2018-09-13 00:00:00

Bear River Refuge, Utah

This bird was catching fish and calling to a small flock of youngsters to come and get it, but they were on the other side of the dike and seemingly couldn’t figure out how to swim under a bridge crossing to get there. So he just ate the fish, and caught another, and went through the same ritual again.

Taken on 2018-09-13 00:00:00

Bear River Refuge, Utah

American Avocets were abundant at the refuge that day, and one of them was just being ornery.

Taken on 2018-09-13 00:00:00

Bear River Refuge, Utah

Named after one of the leaders of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, this handsome bird is quite similar to the Western Grebe above, but the pattern of white and black on the head is distinctive, and so is the bird.


Thank you so much Albatrossity, do send us more when you can.


Travel safely everybody, and do share some stories in the comments, even if you’re joining the conversation late. Many folks confide that they go back and read old threads, one reason these are available on the Quick Links menu.


One again, to submit pictures: Use the Form or Send an Email

12 replies
  1. 1
    Mary G says:

    Love these. So much personality.

  2. 2
    satby says:

    Always enjoy your photos Albatrossity!

  3. 3
    arrieve says:

    What a wonderful treat to wake up to — thank you, Albatrossity!

  4. 4
    JPL says:

    There’s an Avocet that I’d like to visit trump in the White House, although it wouldn’t be fair to the avocet.

  5. 5
    Albatrossity says:

    Thanks, all. I’m glad you enjoy the pictures; I certainly enjoy taking them and sharing them!

    I see that once again the online form has deleted the titles for each pic, which actually identified the birds. So here are those
    1 – Spotted Sandpiper
    2 – Pied-billed Grebe
    3 – Western Grebe
    4 – American Avocet
    5 – Clark’s Grebe

    And for some reason on my browser the calendar link is not clickable. So here is another try at that!


  6. 6
    Neldob says:


  7. 7
    rikyrah says:

    Those are great pictures. Thanks!

  8. 8
    Jharp says:

    Thanks for sharing.

  9. 9
    WaterGirl says:

    @satby: I get to wake up to that treat every morning. I fell in love with a RoadRunner that Albatrossity posted a few months ago and asked him if his photos were available for sale.

    So now I get to see my handsome roadrunner on the wall every time I walk into my sunroom! He also had some other amazing wildlife photos so I now have a set of three of those over my couch – the most amazing leopard sprawled on a rock, a gorgeous coyote enjoying the evening breeze, and a charming cheetah pup.

    All are printed on metal (!) and they are just stunning.

  10. 10
    eclare says:

    As always, your photos are stunning.

  11. 11
    Kattails says:

    Lovely pics, we loves da birdeez. I’ll bookmark your link, and look forward to more posts! What better way to spend time than outside at a wildlife refuge? I have been fortunate enough to live near two on the east coast.
    My cat is happily watching bird TV right now (feeders finally up, hoping the bears have gone into hibernation).

  12. 12
    Albatrossity says:

    @WaterGirl: I’m glad you enjoy the pictures!

Comments are closed.