We arrived back from Salt Lake City last night after a great five days there. The weather was perfect and the scenery was spectacular. It was the first time I'd been birding in Utah outside of the winter and I was surprised to find that birds were comparatively scarce and hard to spot. However, my trip list is over 60 species and I even managed a couple of life birds. So it wasn't too disappointing.
I'll start posting my trip reports tomorrow. In the meantime, here are a few photos from the Salt Lake City area.
You can't go far in Salt Lake City without seeing Black-billed Magpies.
The Red Butte Botanical Gardens are at the foot of one of the many canyons that surround the city.
The gardens had several species of interesting birds, such as this Lazuli Bunting.
Big Cottonwood Canyon still had plenty of snow above 8,000 feet.
The white of the aspens contrasted sharply with the blue of the mountain sky.
Lower down the canyon, wetland areas by the roadside provided very different habitat.
Antelope Island, in the Great Salt Lake, was much quieter for birds than in winter.
But I managed to see the antelopes there for the first time.
And the island's Garr Ranch provided some good birds, including a pair of Great Horned Owls.