Zion for the Weekend

January 30, 2021

Bill and I heard there would be snow in Zion National Park so we headed down to southern Utah for the weekend.  The weather was warmer than expected so we got rain.  The park was still beautiful low hanging clouds and snow on the peaks.

Morning at Zion National Park

We enjoyed wandering the park for the morning.  One of my favorite reasons to go this time of year is being able to drive up to the top of the canyon.  Bill spent time taking landscape pictures but I got distracted after a while by a ruby crowned kinglet with his bright red crown.  One of these days I will get a shot with the red crown up but this was not that day.

Ruby crowned kinglet watching me curiously

Drive to Bryce

After wandering the park for the morning, we decided to drive up to Bryce Canyon National Park, where we were guaranteed to see snow.  We stopped along the way when we found a pod of meadow larks eating carrion along the side of the road.   Turns out that in the winter when food is scarce, meadow larks will eat carrion.  

Meadow lark waiting for his turn at the carcass

Windmill where we stopped to watch meadowlarks

Bryce National Park

Bryce was cold but the snow was deep and the scenery was beautiful.  We walked the ridge and snapped a few shots, including one of us.  Then headed back home.  We watched the sun go down on the way back to camp and stopped along the way to get a shot of a foggy creek at twilight.  It was completely dark by the time we got back to Zion NP and the stars were bright, so we braved the cold again and grabbed a few more shot before heading in for the night.  

Tonaquint Park

Before we came home the next morning, we stopped by Tonaquint Park in St. George.  Bill found the park on iBird, so we decided to check it out.  There were mute swans hanging with the duck and I was able to snap a shot of one hurrying across the pond to be fed.  We found a woodpecker we had never seen before, a ladder-back woodpecker.  We saw the female and followed it around for a while.  It was interesting listening to her; she would make a call and then in the distance you could hear an identical call repeated back.  It was like her and her mate were keeping in touch as they hunted.  We also saw a black phoebe.  I haven’t been birding for long, but I have decided, flycatchers are my favorite. They always perch in low places, easy to photograph.

This entry was posted in Bryce National Park, Star photos, Utah Mountains, Winter, Zion National Park and tagged , , , , .

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