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.

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

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Shorebird tracks leading into the wetland at sundown.