Sunday, September 5, 2010

Idaho Hotspot: Cascade Reservoir

Cascade Reservoir was literally a hotspot during our most recent visit.  The west mountains above the Tamarack resort where aflame.  This is also critical Great Gray Owl country.
At least three helicopters were hauling large buckets of water to douse the flames.  A couple planes with fire retardant were hard at work too.
I add this picture just because you can see the water falling from the bucket of one of the helicopters.
The firefighter camp in a meadow at the south end of the reservoir.

Cascade Reservoir and the surrounding area is a fantastic Idaho birding location and for all kinds of other recreation year round.  It is so good for birding in fact that the Idaho Birding Trail dedicated a section for both the east and west sides of the lake.  Waterfowl and song bird rarities are often seen in this area.  It is also a great place for owls and woodpeckers.

Young Ring-billed Gull  Correction: California Gull (Thanks Charles) - Who can tell me in which molt cycle?  Come on you bird nerds!  I know you can figure it out.
A hunting Great Blue Heron - the setting was awesome, but my photography skills were not a match.  How would you avoid over exposing in this scenario?
Our girls running along the shore

Claire playing with the muddy sand...Heaven!


  1. The heron sure found a great eating hole! Great setting. Hope they get the fire out - remember, fires are healthy for forests, right?

  2. Hi Bob. Nice shot of Ring-billed and for what it's worth I think it's a first summer in post juvenile moult. With the heron I would just point and shoot and use Adobe photoshop and there's not a lot wrong with your picture. I wish we had strong light like that most times.

  3. Sorry to see the forest fire, of course. Unfortunately I couldn't tell which molt your gull's in, either (long has it been since I lived anywhere that had gulls.) Lovely shots, though.

  4. Hope all went well and the fire got put out :/

    Those bird shots are awesome!
    I can only dream of nice lighting like that most days (hazy, dusty).

    No idea with the gull though.

  5. Robert -

    We drove through the area yesterday and it looks like the fire is out (although I hope it created some good woodpecker habitat!).

    This gull is a first cycle gull but despite its bill markings it is a California Gull not a Ring-billed Gull. (I can go into detail but a look at Sibley should confirm this.)

    I'm also getting into dSLR photography and proper exposure can be tricky. A couple things to try if you're not sure your meter will give you the right exposure would be to "bracket" the photo or use "exposure compensation" to alter the aperture w/o altering the shutter speed.