Most people will tell you they have to observe a rare duck like that through a scope while it sits out on a lake hundreds of yards away. It was way too easy to photograph such a rare duck.
On my way off the jetty and back past the marina I noticed the Grebe was closer to the shore. I decided to exit the truck and get better photos this time. Once again, it was way too easy to photograph an uncommon and rather skittish bird.
Since I was already in the area, I exited Utah Lake State Park and made an immediate right turn onto the Provo Airport Dike Road to make the four mile drive around the airport. It's a very popular birding location because Utah Lake is on one side of the dike and a mote is on the other side as it makes a loop around Provo Airport. Its sort of a migrant and rare bird trap because of the habitat and location.
I found three separate Great Horned Owls during that drive--all three within about fifteen minutes. None of the owls flushed from their roosts during my observations of them. Great Horned Owls aren't exactly rare, but watching one cast a pellet (aka hack a fur ball) is a unique birding moment. How many of you have seen something like that happen? This image was captured right before the pellet fell from the owl's mouth and down into a thick stand of phragmite. I like this image because it shows the not-so-great, tiny tongue of the Great Horned Owl. If I had to guess I'd say its a female due to the extent of the tawny coloring around the eyes. The best way to tell is by seeing a pair together. The females are noticeably larger than their male counterparts.
Here's an image of the third and final Great Horned Owl from that day. I like how the plumage of the owl blends in with its chosen perch and how the blue sky in the background drops down and transitions to a soft brown from the phragmites surrounding the marsh behind the owl. It ties in with the brown leaves remaining on the tree in that corner of the image.