GREAT SALT LAKE - UTAH
One of the neatest places we visited on this trip was the Great Salt Lake in Utah. The local Audubon society has a great website with birding info and we used this to choose Antelope Island as a site to visit as we had only a few hours. This proved to be an excellent choice. The causeway provides is almost six miles long and takes you to Antelope Island - the largest island in the Great Salt Lake.
There were lots of mud flats on the east side of the lake as we entered the causeway. In addition to hundreds of Willets and Avocets there were thousands of Wilson's Phalaropes (mostly females) flying around in large flocks. At peak in July this lake holds over half a million of this species!
In the fall and winter this site is well known for attracting huge numbers of shorebirds and waterfowl. Although it was mid summer, there were still some interesting water birds including this Clark's Grebe, a species I have only seen a few times before.
On the island itself we had a nice selection of birds including Burrowing Owls, Rock Wrens, Sage Thrashers, Lark Sparrrows and a single Chukar. This game bird is an introduced species, like the Ring-necked Pheasant and Gray Partridge, but it is a truly striking bird.