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New Photos: San Juan Foxes + Pacific Northwest Parks & Reserves

My latest collection of photos covers recent adventures in the Pacific Northwest, and has been split into two galleries in the photo archive: San Juan Island Foxes and PNW Parks & Reserves. These photos were created during a May visit to San Juan Island and my Memorial Day Weekend getaway to some of eastern Idaho’s wildlife reserves (detailed in my most recent Yellowstone trip reports).

The visit to San Juan Island has become an almost-annual tradition (excepting COVID years!), and I’ve even led tours there. Because of my busy spring schedule, I didn’t have plans to head out again this year, but something changed that: the appearance of a “cinnamon” fox kit. One of the big attractions of these foxes is the variety of fur colors they sport, from the traditional “red” (orange) to “silver” (black) and “pearl” (gray). But I’d never seen a brown fox before… only in pictures sent by a friend many years ago. So it was a pilgrimage of sorts to come out and photograph my first ever cinnamon kit. Fortunately, the outing was successful in that regard, as you’ll see below and in the archive.

My eastern Idaho excursion wasn’t so much a pilgrimage—visiting what used to be a traditional haunt for me in spring—as much as an escape. Since I was in Yellowstone over Memorial Day Weekend, I came face to face with the burgeoning crowds and needed to get away. It had been a couple years since I’d visited Camas National Wildlife Refuge and Market Lake Wildlife Management Area, so I was armed with more than one good excuse to drive out there.

These reserves are primarily known for housing good birdlife. Lots of waterfowl and other wetland species call the area home, but there can also be good owl sightings (not nearly as good as five or six years ago, however). And the occasional mammal may appear. It’s the best place to find porcupines, for example, even if they don’t really pose for photos.

You can jump straight to the photo archive to check out the new galleries. Or check out some of the preview images below first.

Western Meadowlark

A male Western Meadowlark sings at sunrise.

Cinnamon Teal

I was fortunate to see a number of waterfowl species during this year’s visit to Market Lake, including one of my favorite ducks, the Cinnamon Teal.

Blue-winged Teal

At Market Lake one can’t quite get down to eye level with these birds, but it is a nice chance to see species like the Blue-winged Teal at close range.

Red-winged Blackbird

Once again, I had nice chances to photograph territorial male Red-winged Blackbirds at Camas National Wildlife Refuge.

Great Horned Owl

A Great Horned Owl is harassed by Black-billed Magpies after killing one at Camas National Wildlife Refuge. Probably the highlight of my time in eastern Idaho this year.

Brown Fox Kit

The main reason I had to get back to see the San Juan foxes this year was the presence of a “cinnamon” phase red fox kit.

Brown Fox Kit

When I was first told of the foxes here, I was sent a picture of a brown fox… but I’d never seen one until this trip.

Red Foxes

A silver phase vixen hangs out with her similarly-colored offspring.

Red Foxes

There were actually a couple different families. This silver vixen had a brood of silver and red kits.

Red Fox Kits

The foxes in this area come in a variety of colors. This spring, there was a den with black, brown and orange kits.

Red Fox Kits

The grass was quite long in places, so it was challenging getting clear views at times. But patience paid off…

Red Fox

I hoped for better light, but we only got a brief showing of golden evening light at the end of one day.

Red Fox Kits

It really was a treat seeing them again, especially the little brown one!

 

Check out the full San Juan Island Foxes 2021 gallery (68 photos)

Check out the PNW Parks & Reserves 2021 gallery (32 photos)


Interested in joining me on a San Juan fox workshop? I’ll probably be leading one again 2022! Learn more on the fox tour page.

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