Photo of the Week – May 12, 2011

Last weekend, I had a little time to get out to a couple nearby Rainwater Basin wetlands.  These shallow wetlands rely on precipitation to fill them, and are often dry by early to mid summer.  I went out to see how they were doing this spring, which has been cool and dry.  It was a beautiful calm evening, and there were still a few areas of water.  (It was also just a little early in the season for mosquitoes.)

Springer Basin wetland west of Aurora, Nebraska.

It’s migration time for shorebirds, and the two wetlands were packed with sandpipers, phalaropes, dowitchers, and a few ducks.  I even spooked up an American bittern as the sun was going down.

A foraging sandpiper's image reflected in calm water.


Blue-winged teal were the only ducks at the wetland.


Shorebird tracks leading into the wetland at sundown.


About Chris Helzer

Chris Helzer is the Director of Science for The Nature Conservancy in Nebraska. His main role is to evaluate and capture lessons from the Conservancy’s land management and restoration work and then share those lessons with other landowners – both private and public. In addition, Chris works to raise awareness about the importance of prairies and their conservation through his writing, photography, and presentations to various groups. Chris is also the author of "The Ecology and Management of Prairies in the Central United States", published by the University of Iowa Press. He lives in Aurora, Nebraska with his wife Kim and their children.
This entry was posted in General, Prairie Natural History, Prairie Photography and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Photo of the Week – May 12, 2011

  1. Suzanne Tuttle says:

    What a great set of photos! Thanks, Chris.

  2. Ernest ochsner says:

    Nice work Chris. I’m headed out there today to see the aftereffects of the rains this week. The basins should all be really full, ready for some good shots.


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