Fish Springs National Wildlife Refuge

A desert surprise

After 5 hours of driving through the desert we came to a small stand of reeds. If this was the refuge it was underwhelming. We kept following the road/directions and drove up a hill that overlooked a huge hidden wetland of ponds, reeds, and many birds. I definitely want to come back here next spring (as long as the roads aren’t a muddy mess)

Cinnamon teals, & a mallard

Common nighthawk, I’ve always wanted to see one of them in this resting position. I was super excited to find one here.

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Western kingbird

Mourning doves

Okay this was the most surprising of photos. We had spotted a coyote earlier but it was moving away and unwilling to pose. In this photo I was looking through my 400m lens at the sandhill cranes. I did not see the coyote until I pulled it up on my computer. A terrific photobomber!
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Coyote, sandhill cranes & american avocet
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American coots with a scattering of fluttering black necked stilts

Another surprise, American bitterns. Usually these stealthy birds are impossible to spot. Today they were out posing. We saw four.
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Eared grebes
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American bittern

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Black necked stilt
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Black necked stilt on nest
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American avocet on nest
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  1. American avocets
  2. American bitterns
  3. Red winged blackbirds
  4. Brewer’s blackbirds
  5. Yellow headed blackbirds
  6. American coots
  7. Brown headed cowbirds
  8. Sandhill cranes
  9. Long billed curlews
  10. Ruddy ducks
  11. Snowy egrets
  12. Prairie falcon
  13. Gadwalls
  14. Common grackles (on the way back to I15
  15. Pied billed grebes
  16. Western grebes
  17. Eared grebes
  18. Black crowned night herons
  19. Great blue herons
  20. White faced ibises
  21. Killdeer
  22. Mallards
  23. Northern mockingbird
  24. Common nighthawk
  25. American white pelicans
  26. Say’s phoebe
  27. Redheads
  28. Northern shovelers
  29. House sparrows (also on the way back to I15
  30. Black necked stilts
  31. Barn swallows
  32. Cliff swallows
  33. Cinnamon teals
  34. Blue winged teals
  35. Common terns
  36. Fortster’s terns
  37. Willets
  38. Marsh wrens


  • Coyote

One thought on “Fish Springs National Wildlife Refuge

  1. This was such an amazing birding trip! The Pony Express Trail, crazy roads, and at the end a fabulous bird refuge. Four visible American Bitterns!

    Liked by 1 person

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