Borrego Springs, CA

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Red Rock Lakes NWR, revisited

Emma and I headed out this morning (make that Sunday morning…wifi breakdown for three days  :( ) to visit Red Rock Lakes National Wildlife Refuge for the second time.  My sister,Pam, and I had driven there about a month ago, and really had a challenge driving the road.  Since then, the roads have been graded and all the 18 wheelers with cattle have finished their deliveries.  The cattle are on the grazing grounds, and the huge ruts from the trucks have been evened out.
IMG_2507 As we headed out, the sprinklers were in action around Henry’s Lake.
IMG_2528After crossing the Continental Divide, and arriving in Montana, a misty morning greeted us as we entered the refuge.
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The Pronghorns were out and about this morning.
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As well as hundreds of ground squirrels, and plenty of mountain bluebirds.
_MG_2591As I approached lower Red Rock Lake, a flock of Canada geese took flight.

I had seen a Bald Eagle, an Osprey, and a Northern Harrier as I circled the lakes, but I also noticed a different raptor hunting on the flats surrounding the wetlands.
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A pair of short-eared owls were looking for breakfast.  They hunted for quite a while and then found perches to take a nap on.  This fellow had a big bumblebee interrupt  his snooze.
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The silhouette of the birds is what caught my eye.  Notice what a blocky head this bird has.  That’s a definite give away that you are seeing an owl and not a hawk.  What a hoot this was!  (pun intended :))  Short-eared owls are one of the few owls that will hunt in daylight.

By this time, my stomach was beginning to rumble, so we headed back to the Upper Red Rock Lake campground for lunch.
_MG_2715This was today’s view for our picnic lunch.  I had doused myself thoroughly with bug spray, so it was an enjoyable experience.  The mosquitoes have arrived in full force!  The abundant ground squirrels kept Emma entertained.  :)
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Nearby, the dance of the Western Black Swallowtails was transpiring as I dined on my egg salad sandwich.  :)  Aleman left!

When we got back to the rig, a heck of an afternoon thunderstorm moved through with plenty of thunder, lightening, rain, and some hail.  After about two hours, things cleared up and I enjoyed some snacks and socializing at the site of new neighbors across from me.  They are from Arizona and both are avid fly fisherpeople.  I’m going to pick their brains about fly fishing in the next few days.  :)

Thanks for stopping by….talk to you later,  Judy


  1. Well, I sure envy you out there doing what your doing & seeing what you are seeing. Photos are great again. Keep up the good work:))

  2. That looks like a really awesome refuge! The Mountain Bluebirds look so different from our Eastern Bluebirds. The color is so soft. I like them both for different reasons.
    Great pics of the Owls!! It is as though they were posing for you.
    That is such a beautiful part of the country you have Mike and I thinking about spending some extended time in that area...perhaps next year.

    Take care!
    Mike & Gerri (happytrails)

  3. You have gotten some really good wildlife pictures and catching the geese and owls in flight is great. Looks like you have gotten the hang of your new camera.

  4. Robyn said:

    "I love the owls and your pictures. I don't know how anyone living your life could be stressed out. It seems so relaxing just looking at the pictures. Every time I look at them I try to excape my office world and imagine the serenity of the lakes and call of the wild. Thanks for giving us the opportunity to ride on your wings. :o) Love ya Mom!"