Birdnet Hotline Highlights
February 2004

Review Species Reported This Month:
Lesser Black-backed Gull  Davis Co.
    Ruff  Davis Co.
    Eurasian Collared Dove  Emery Co.  Salt Lake Co.
    Anna's Hummingbird  Washington Co.
    Rusty Blackbird  Weber Co.


Kristin Purdy (9 Feb 2004) - UT 83 (west of I-15 Exit 368) is a productive place for raptors...I turned west on a side road to investigate what the trees around houses in the distance might harbor...Let me sum up the results on this side road--14400N. At the first house one mile west of UT 83 I saw a Prairie Falcon and a Great Horned Owl. At the second house 1.4 miles west of UT 83 I saw two Sharp-tailed Grouse foraging on buds 40 feet up in a row of trees. At the third house 1.5 miles west of UT 83 I saw a Long-eared Owl....


Joel and Kathy Beyer (22 Feb 2004) - We visited Farmington Bay WMA this afternoon. We found a 2nd-winter Glaucous Gull west of the second bridge on the dike road. While looking at this bird, several gulls landed just below the bridge -- three Herring Gulls and a (the?) 2nd-winter Lesser Black-backed Gull. The bird was identical to the description of the LBBG seen late in January at the Bountiful Landfill (which we failed to find on 4 attempts). We scoped it for 30 minutes before an eagle watcher getting closer to the action sent the birds flying.

Nicky Davis (17 Feb 2004) - We went on to AI and saw two Snow Buntings on a concrete "something" on the
south side of the Causeway. We turned around to see if we could get a photo and they flew. They were not with any Larks. Also saw the Northern Shrike just before the Spring area on the road to Garr Ranch.

Joel and Kathy Beyer (15 Feb 2004) - We observed the supposed Ruff at Farmington Bay for over an hour and came to the conclusion that it is indeed a Ruff. Although not identical to the depictions in any of our books, it's plumage, posture, size and overall appearance eliminated all other possibilities. The deciding factor was the tail markings. It flew about ten feet, enabling us to see the white oblongs on both sides of the tail, forming a U pattern. According to the books, this pattern is unique to the Ruff.

Bryan Shirley (14 Feb 2004) - Today on our UT county birders trip... we went to Farmington Bay. At the end of the road in the outflow there were about 10 Gr. Yellowlegs, 1 Lesser Yellowlegs, 3 Least, and 1 other shorebird. All of our group but L. Giddings & I had to leave, but we stayed and watched this bird for about 3 hours and came to the conclusion that it is a Ruff, but it doesn't really look like any in the books. I called Eric & KC and they came down and we all agreed that it is probably a Ruff...Honestly part of deciding on a Ruff was that I have no idea what else it could be - I think that we eliminated every possibility...

Jack Holley (12 Feb 2004) - I drove to Farmington Bay to see the Bald Eagles, I haven't seen any this year along the river, I saw large numbers of them...I also saw Herring Gulls and American Trees Sparrows.

Jack Binch (8 Feb 2004) - ...I went up to Antelope Island. At Garr Ranch I found a LE Owl in the big Russian Olive where the stream runs under the fence. It is by the red shed. Also there were the Virginia Rails, and the Hermit Thrush. Not much else. The Northern Shrike is in the trees a couple miles north of the ranch. The Prairie Falcon Kris reported is still around mile 4.

Bill Fenimore (7 Feb 2004) - I led a bird walk to Farmington Bay today and counted 212 Bald Eagles during our field trip. Justin dolling, DWR Manager for Farmington Bay said that they had a count of 250 Bald Eagles on Saturday. We also saw a Merlin, Northern Shrike, Barn owl, Short Eared Owl, Tundra Swan and all of the waterfowl you would expect now, as well as Pied Billed Grebe, American Water Pipit, Song Sparrow, Herring Gull, Ring-billed Gull, Great Blue Heron and Night Crowned Heron.

Julie (6 Feb 2004) - We went back to the [Bountiful] landfill at about 1:45 pm and finally got the gull [Lesser Black-backed Gull] at about  3 pm. It was a first winter bird with all black bill, legs sort of between pink and yellow, and a funny-looking charcoal, slaty-gray back, quite obvious in flight and perched--no need to strain your eyes trying to see if it's a darker shade of gray than the other gulls---it's bold! Pomera and I both saw it flying at about the same time, and it graced us with its presence by landing close-by and not behind a slope or garbage--just right out in the open. We watched it for about 20 minutes. Hoorah!!!

Kristin Purdy (5 Feb 2004) - I spent today looking for winter specialties along the Antelope Island Causeway. ...I saw one Snow Bunting near mm 2 on the south side of the causeway in a flock of many busy and ever-flushing Horned Larks... I also saw:...Long-tailed Ducks (2 young males, south of the bridge between mm 0 and 1), Barrow's Goldeneye (1 female, north of the bridge)...


Merrill Webb (7 Feb 2004) - Best bird in that general area was a Eurasian Collared Dove in almost the middle of downtown Huntington. Makes about seven Utah counties that bird has been observed in now, I think.


Ed (23 Feb 2004) - Today when taking my dogs for a hike up Mill Creek Canyon (SLC) around 430pm I found Northern Pygmy Owl perched on a tree by the road. Light and the bird were not very cooperative for pictures.

Jack Holley - Yesterday, Feb. 20, I saw the Ross's Goose with a flock of Canada Geese on Decker Lake. It would fly with the Canada Geese from one area of the lake to another. When I saw it last it was grazing with them on the northeast corner of the lake. It was an adult.

John Morgan (18 Feb 2004) - I took 3 photos today of a Eurasian Collared Dove who's been showing up nearly every day for the past few days at my feeders. He hangs out with all the Mourning Doves that sit around in the trees and on a neighbor's garden trellis thing.  I'm right through the fence from Mountain View Golf Course's hole #13 (three houses north of 90th S at 2240 W in West Jordan.

Jack Holley (12 Feb 2004) - This morning I was walking along the Jordan River around 9 am behind the farms on the west side of the river between the Decker Canal and 2320 South Docking Park. When several large flocks of Canada Geese flew overhead coming from the south (Around Parley's Creek Outlet Area). ... I found a single Snow and Ross's Goose in among them. They were flying close together so I could compare the two. Also along the trail by the canal to the west of the river I saw two Hermit Thrush in the Russian Olive trees.

Joel Beyer (9 Feb 2004) - Kathy and I looked for the Winter Wren in City Creek Canyon late this afternoon. We didn't find the one previously reported at picnic area 6.  However, at picnic area 3, thanks to a couple of noisy Golden-crowned Kinglets, who enticed me to wade through twenty feet of deep snow over to the stream, we got great looks at a Winter Wren along the stream bank.


Glenn Barlow (21 Feb 2004) - Alton and I rediscovered the Winter Wren on the left (south) side of the trail, almost to the 4th power pole. I was certainly skulking around! It finally came out to be seen.

KC Childs (21 Feb 2004) - I went around the airport dike this afternoon and to the Utah Lake State Park. There were both Loggerhead and Northern Shrikes on the dike. The Northern Shrike was a 1st winter....At the state park there were 4 American White Pelicans and 9 Bald Eagles. 8 of them were on the ice. ...the possible Mew Gull... got my attention by it's small size flying around the Provo River outlet. It soon landed on a log with a California and Ring-billed Gull. It was very much smaller then both birds. Smaller then the ring-billed. It had a smaller bill that was yellow but did have some black on it, but nothing like the ring-billed. It had a darker iris, not clear like the ring-billed on the log. ...If anyone has any insight that would be great. There were also several Herring Gulls.

Reed Stone (19 Feb 2004) - This morning Alton and Reed got great looks at the Winter Wren. To locate where we saw it go up Provo Canyon to Canyon Glenn. Cross Provo River, watch up and down the river for the Dipper, continue on to the trail and go west, down stream, to the THIRD POWER POLE. there is a chain link gate on right side and the third power pole is on the left.  We found it on the north side and it flew to the south side where we got great looks at it. Check both sides of the trail at the pole.

KC Childs (13 Feb 2004) - Today at Powell Slough I saw a Common Moorhen. It was located at the access area from University Parkway in Orem, Utah County. It was in the open water below the pond. It was on the south side of the pond. Also there were 18 Canvasbacks on the pond behind the Orem Waste Water Treatment Plant...

KC Childs (10 Feb 2004) - There was a Northern Shrike today along the Skipper Bay Parkway near Utah Lake State Park... Also the Cinnamon Teal was still at the Timpanogos Wastewater Treatment plant that was found by Dennis Shirley in January.


Ed (28 Feb 2004) - Jack Binch and I met down in Hurricane Friday for a two days of birding. The weather was awful and very few birds to be had. The highlight was a brief look at a Crissal Thrasher at the Santa Clara Virgin River Confluence. There were 2 Pacific Loons at Quail Creek Res.  The migration has began Says Phoebes and Pelicans have emerged in number.

Sharon Andrus (25 Feb 2004) - We saw 9 avocets at Stratton Pond last evening. Also the Inca Doves (about 10) are at Brentwood. Look by the swimming pool and satellite dish.

Rick Fridell - This evening (2/23 ~5:30 p) there were two Pacific Loons at Quail Creek State Park. They were swimming together very close to the south dike overlook. Also the flock of Greater Scaup are remaining at Stratton Pond. Yesterday, (2/22) Kristen and I saw a Lewis's Woodpecker in the Hurricane Fields, along with a several raptor species (including a dark morph Ferruginous Hawk).

Joel and Kathy Beyer (22 Feb 2004) - Other birding highlights for the week.....Wedn. 2/18: Swamp Sparrow, at Confluence Park location (St. George)...Horned Grebe (winter plumage), on Quail Creek Reservoir...White-throated Sparrow (first winter), near host site at Red Cliffs State Rec.Area... Anna's Hummingbird (male), in Leeds... Fri. 2/20: Golden-crowned Sparrow (first winter), at Confluence Park trail location (upstream from the Virgin River footbridge)

Julie (13 Feb 2004) - The Brown Thrasher was still at Lytle Ranch Preserve on Friday and Saturday near the monument. Pomera and I saw it on Friday, and Dana saw it on Saturday. What a great bird! It was skulky, but be patient. We actually saw it fly into the brush just as we walked up--how lucky!  ...We also saw Black-tailed Gnatcatcher along the Welcome Springs Rd. and Black-throated and Sage Sparrows, and Cactus Wren between the Lytle Road and the AZ border on the Welcome Springs Rd.

Lu Giddings (7 Feb 2004) - Dennis Shirley and I left Thursday morning on a return trip to Washington county. ...Friday morning... It [Brown Thrasher] was exactly where Merrill had told Dennis to look, in the brush east of the monument. ... For 10 minutes it behaved with a nonchalance that belied it's reputation as a skittish skulker. It ran from bush to bush across the hillside like a miniature road-runner at times, and scratched at leaves like an ordinary robin at others....We stopped at Red Cliffs Recreation Site before we began the journey home. The sun was shining and the sky was blue. A White-throated Sparrow was spotted mingling with a flock of white crowned sparrows near the stream, immediately south of the Host site...


Kristin Purdy (18 Feb 2004) - Coincidental to Bruce's report below, yesterday a colleague of mine who lives in West Weber (west of Ogden and 6 miles north of Hooper) told me a Yellow-shafted Northern Flicker visited her over the weekend. She described a male with black malar stripes, red nape crescent, and flashing yellow underwings.

Bruce Robinson (17 Feb 2004) - My son Wayne just called to tell me that he has 3 Yellow-Shafted Flicker's in his yard. (Yep, birding is both genetic and contagious!!!)... Wayne lives in Hooper, Weber Co.

Joel and Kathy Beyer - Other birding highlights for the week....Mon. 2/16: Varied Thrush, at Beus Park in Ogden...

Joel and Kathy Beyer (15 Feb 2004) - We saw...the female Rusty Blackbird...this morning. The Blackbird was still at the third bridge on the Riverdale Parkway. It was fascinating watching this bird use it's bill to pick leaves out of the mud and water and flip them back and forth looking for a meal.

Bryan Shirley (14 Feb 2004) - Today on our UT county birders trip we were successful in locating both the [Rusty] Blackbird & the Varied Thrush. The Thrush was about 100 yards up the road from Beus Pond in Logan. It was with a bunch of robins in the trees along the road, but they all flew across the road and down into the oak below the road.

Bill Fenimore (12 Feb 2004) - Bryan and Dennis Shirley, Milt Moody, Glenn Barlow, Merrill Webb and Bill Fenimore observed a female Rusty Blackbird along the Riverdale Parkway this morning. It was a first Utah sighting for all. Milt Moody was able to photograph the bird. Mort and Carolyn Somer spotted the bird first on Monday. Keith Evans, Jack Rensel and Mort Somer relocated it yesterday in the same area. They were unable to get a 100% ID but thought that it was either a Rusty Blackbird or a Great-tailed Grackle. Today's views enabled the observers to clinch the ID, as a Rusty Blackbird. To reach this area, take I-15 to Exit 342 Riverdale Road. Take Riverdale Road east to 700 West. Turn left (north) onto 700 West and go to 4400 South (approximately 2 blocks) and turn right. Follow this road until it dead ends (approximately 1/4 mile). The Riverdale Parkway runs alongside of the Weber River (on your right). Walk downstream (North) until the end of the walkway. You will cross two wooden foot bridges. When approaching the third and last wooden foot bridge watch for the bird on the East side of the walkway in the Russian Olives and near the water just east of the footbridge. It was with a flock of Robins.

Bill Fenimore (12 Feb 2004) - Bryan and Dennis Shirley, Milt Moody, Glenn Barlow, Merrill Webb and Bill Fenimore were able to relocate the male Varied Thrush that Bill Fenimore first observed Jan 17th at Beus Pond. It has been seen several times since and Mort Somer has photographed it. It is a beautifully plumaged, striking male. It was on the side of the hill just above the parking area, alongside of the entrance road to Beus Pond. To get to Beus Pond take Harrison Blvd., in Ogden to 42nd Street and go East on 42nd Street. The road winds itself around the Weber State University Campus. The entrance to Beus Pond is on the East side of the road (approximately 3/4 mile after turning East onto 42 Street).