Shorebirds At Kaibab Lake

I’ve enjoyed Kaibab Lake, outside Williams, Arizona, for several visits now.  It quickly became my go-to for little birding excursions.  In addition to the Osprey, I found the lake also offers wonderful summer shorebirds to watch and photograph.

I almost didn’t catch the flight of this Great Blue Heron as he soared high over my shoulder and down to the shoreline.

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Great Blue Heron in flight

He is a regular, but prefers the far side of the lake.  Far enough away to make it hard in getting any sharp detail due to heavy cropping.  But he is still a beauty and nice to see here at the lake.

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Great Blue Heron, Kaibab Lake

 A Cormorant is also a regular and keeps his distance from everyone as well.  He was along the shoreline I was walking and was quick to take flight to the other side to join the Great Blue Heron.

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Cormorant, Kaibab Lake

It was on another visit that I got closer to that driftwood above.  I really liked it and thought how neat it would look in a garden or on a porch.  I took several photos at different angles and caught the sight of a heart in the center.  Cool!  (Hey BeckyP, I found a heart!)

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There are two sets of Momma ducks with her ducklings.  I did not capture a good enough photo to post of the Momma with five ducklings, but here’s the other Momma with her three.  They also stay on the far side of the lake.

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Maybe a Mallard Duck and her three ducklings, too hard for me to ID

Not necessarily a shorebird, but soaring all over the lake and around me were swallows.  They are a fun challenge to try and catch in flight, and I trashed a ton of photos just to get these two decent ones.  The coloring had me thinking it was a new “lifer” for me so I spent a good 15-20 minutes working on them.  🙂

And it is a new “lifer” for me!  A Violet-green Swallow found only in the American West.

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Female Violet-green Swallow

I think they had just as much fun as I as they did their aerial acrobats catching insects and smiling at me as they went by!

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Female Violet-green Swallow


This next fella was super-fun to watch and such a trooper to allow me the challenge of getting some nice shots.  It was a Spotted Sandpiper, and he was on my side of the lake.  It was exciting that he allowed me to get somewhat close enough to plop my fanny on a rock and just fire away as he fooled around and posed several places along that little stretch of shoreline.

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Male Spotted Sandpiper


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He did get nervous once and took flight further down the shoreline.  But before I got up to continue my walk, he came back.  And so another photo-session continued.  I couldn’t have been happier at that moment!

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Male Spotted Sandpiper


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“Howdee there!”

I was super-thankful with these captures and so many more, as I only seen him at one visit…..and these are the best photos I’ve gotten of this bird!

As many of you know, I am a big fan of the shoreline birds around the Chesapeake Bay.  So it’s been another cool surprise for me to get my ‘shoreline bird’ fix right here in the Southwest so close to the desert.  🙂




35 thoughts on “Shorebirds At Kaibab Lake

  1. I love watching birds soar. We may have to check out Lake Kaibab as we meander back to Phoenix this fall. We ended our work camp gig and are now meandering around eastern Idaho. There are some wildlife refuges I may be visiting. Your photos remind me I need to get my camera clicking again.

    • Oh no, sorry to hear the work camp gig is over so soon, but I bet you’re happy to be rolling your wheels again! Kaibab Lake is a dry camp, but the sites are large and paved! Drinking water is available as well as ice. If you’ve never been to Williams AZ, you might like to drive the couple miles to the touristy town with Rt 66 nostalgia. I’ll be doing a post soon to give you an idea about it. I tried to talk hubby into going there our last two nights before hitting road again, but we’re already paid up on our site now. I really really liked Kaibab Lake, there are trails and more wildlife in another post to come also! 🙂 I am way behind on posts, lol.

      • This old computer that my son gave me when mine crashed is beyond frustrating. Thus, my absence from the blogosphere. I’ll get back to posting eventually, but even then, I’m always way behind which is ok. We’re suppose to be out and about having fun. The work camping was a great experiment. No regrets, but we love our freedom. End of August/begin of Sept we’ll meander around southern Utah and northern AZ so thanks for the info on Kaibab Lake. It’s now on our radar. I’m looking forward to your posts 🙂

  2. Swallows are such a challenge to shoot. They just move so fast!! The sandpiper series is really sweet. I got a huge kick out of the last one with the perfect caption. I’m glad you’re getting your shorebird fix. We’re not entirely devoid of shorebirds. Anyplace there’s a body of water, there’s a shore! 😉

    • Thanks Gunta! You gotta remember this is a sea-level east coast gal that figured going to the desert in the summer meant not too many birds! LOL Also, it doesn’t take much to get me excited! 🙂

    • Thanks, Steve! It’s been a blast, but we’re getting antsy to start rolling again. Probably heading north, still figuring out destinations, there are so many we wish we could visit!

    • Thanks so much, Laura, and I’m glad you’re enjoying the ‘ride’. I am thrilled with the sandpiper shots, he was a joy to watch from my rock perch, as he meandered around while watching me. We both had a great time, I think! 🙂

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