Birdnet Hotline Highlights
December 2005

Review Species Reported This Month:
    Cackling Goose  Salt Lake Co.  Washington Co.
    Black Scoter  Davis Co.
   Lesser Black-backed Gull  Davis Co.
    Glaucous-winged Gull  Davis Co.


Bridget Olson (5 Dec 2005) - Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge Waterbird Count...Total duck numbers drastically reduced to about 58,000 as all the units are about 90% frozen. Still well above the long-term average of 7,000 ducks for this week in December. Notable birds: late snowy egret, white-faced ibis, western grebe, black-crowned night heron, Avocet, and Pelican. Also, short-eared owl...BW Teal 1...Cinnamon Teal 1...Great Egret 2...


Tim Avery (19 Dec 2005) - I spent the morning at the Bountiful Landfill, and found one juvenile Glaucous Gull amongst the 1,000's of California, Ring-billed and Herring. The Lesser Black-backed Gull was still on the pond to the north of the dump as well...

Jack Binch (16 Dec 2005) - Bob Huntington and I went out this morning...We started out at AIC, and found three of the Long-tailed Ducks at the bridge by the marina. We also saw a Glaucous Gull and two Herring Gulls on the south side of the bridge. ...We had talked about going to the Bountiful Landfill for a couple of weeks,  and Colby's report this morning made sure we went this time. We found a Glaucous Gull right off as well as a Thayers. Lots of Herring Gulls...On the west side hill was an adult Glaucous-winged Gull. It gave us both good looks over several minutes, and we both were on it when it flew and got a good look at its wing tips. Not only a new year bird, but also a Utah life bird for me...

Colby Neuman (15 Dec 2005) - I met up with Tim Avery at the Bountiful Landfill this afternoon. Because the owner wanted us to stay out of the way, we watched the gulls from the road that runs along the fenceline. Notable gulls included an adult 'white-winged' gull (probably a Glaucous Gull even though it didn't seem that large) that I only saw for a couple of seconds before it flew behind a hill, and a 4th year Lesser Black-backed Gull resting with the thousands of gulls on the pond to the north. Notably lacking were Thayer's Gulls...

Tim Avery - (15 Dec 2005) - I spent the morning at Antelope Island...There were 5 Long-tailed Ducks, 2 of which were males. ...Along the road to Garr Ranch I saw a Northern Shrike, near the road to the Frary Peak Trailhead...

Tim Avery - (11 Dec 2005) - I headed out to AIC this morning to see what was stirring. ICE... Lots and lots of ice, and also 6 Long-tailed Ducks! I know I have seen as many as 3 but I think this is may be a single day high # for Utah? Any thoughts? There was 1 male bird, that lacked tail plumes, as well as at least 2 winter plumaged females, another female that was fairly dark in coloration, and 2 juvenile birds. All birds could be seen within 150 feet of the last bridge. At one point there were 4 together in the small pond that has been created by the ice on the southside of the bridge, as well as one directly beneath the bridge. Also swimming nearby was a female Black Scoter. There were also quite a few female Barrow's Goldeneye, as well as at least 3 males. Paul Higgins told me he saw a Burrowing Owl as well as a Northern Shrike near the beginning of the road out to the Ranch...I stopped by Kaysville Ponds at first light, but all but a 75' x 75' patch of water was frozen over. On that was a Cinnamon Teal, Barrow's Goldeneye, 2 Ring-necked Duck, and about 600 Mallards and other waterfowl.  Just off the freeway from exit 331 in Kaysville, just to the northwest of the intersection of 200 North and 400 west, several hundred Canada Geese were converging on a field to chow down, and mixed in to my surprise were 2 Ross's Geese...

Tim Avery - (9 Dec 2005) - I received an email from a friend telling me there are now 3 Long-tailed Ducks along the causeway, 2 females and 1 first year male! Just thought I would pass the word along.

Tim Avery - (4 Dec 2005) - A White-throated Sparrow was seen Sunday around 11:30 am at Garr Ranch, in the brush pile in the middle of the open field. Paul Higgins and I both saw the bird as it jumped out of the brush then flew into a Russian Olive. Paul also found and photographed a RED Fox Sparrow the day before, we were unable to find this bird, but there were several other Fox Sparrow around.


Kris Purdy (28 Dec 2005) - Paul Higgins photographed a flock of about 100 Bohemian Waxwings today in Porterville, the small community between the town of Morgan and East Canyon in Morgan County.

Kris Purdy (23 Dec 2005) - I just got a call from Arnold Smith, who's participating in today's Morgan Christmas Count and is counting birds in his own backyard. One of the birds he just counted is a Northern Pygmy-Owl...It's unlikely this is the same bird as the one seen recently in East Canyon. As the pygmy-owl flies, the two locations are approximately 8 miles apart.

Kris Purdy (23 Dec 2005) - I got a call from Arnold Smith tonight, reporting he saw a Northern Pygmy-Owl in East Canyon in Morgan County. The bird was originally seen twice by Paul Higgins last week or the week before. Paul described the spot (and Arnold saw the bird there also) as 2.2 miles below the East Canyon Dam on SR-66...Arnold also reported seeing a Lewis's Woodpecker from the road around the curve and below the owl's location. In other words, in the direction of Porterville. There's open water still in East Canyon Reservoir, where he saw a Long-tailed Duck and Barrow's Goldeneye...

Kathy and Joel Beyer (18 Dec 2005) - A mixed flock of 100 waxwings, about 60 Bohemian Waxwings and 40 Cedar, were seen Saturday afternoon off Highway 66, just south of the town of Morgan (Morgan County). The location was near a house numbered 4073, where the highway crosses a stream flanked by many large trees...

Kristin Purdy (11 Dec 2005) - One adult male Long-tailed Duck was at East Canyon Reservoir in Morgan County today. Like Tim's adult male at the causeway, this one also appeared not to have the long tail feathers. The bird still had an all-white head except for a dark oval on the side of the neck and the pale gray elongated scapulars. The duck was swimming adjacent to mile 16.5 on SR-65. This spot is just south of the Taylor's Hollow area...  A handful of Barrow's Goldeneyes and three Hooded Mergansers were there along with beaucoup Mallards, Common Goldeneyes and Common Mergansers. I also saw a couple Pied-billed Grebes, Western Grebes and Bald Eagles.


Susan Prescott (29 Dec 2005) - I had a Varied Thrush in my backyard, which is in the foothills on the east side of Salt Lake City near the mouth of Emigration Canyon. My husband and I watched and photographed the bird for about 15 minutes before it flew away.

Kristin Purdy (28 Dec 2005) - Pennsylvania visitor Win Shafer persistently watched the feeders at the house named Ben Hame on the Alta Bypass road above Alta in Little Cottonwood Canyon/Salt Lake County this past week, and was rewarded with sightings of Black Rosy-finches. Win said a flock visited the feeders repeatedly and there may have been other species of rosy-finches present.

Barbara Watkins (22 Dec 2005) - A first winter Harris Sparrow was in a small flock of White-crowned Sparrows at 700 North Desoto Street in the Salt Lake City avenues area on Saturday, December 17th. This is the last house on the street and there is a field on the north side. The sparrow was in shrubs on the fenceline of house and field.

Pomera Fronce (19 Dec 2005) - A Harris's Sparrow visited our backyard feeders today for about ten minutes.  He was in loose company with a very small flock of White-crowned Sparrows.  This is the second time this beautiful bird has graced us with his presence since we moved to Holladay. 

Tim Avery (17 Dec 2005) - This morning at 7:20 am I spotted a lone Cackling Goose with around 500 Canada Geese at Decker Lake. At 8:30 I returned with Jim Rafferty who also was able to see the bird...We also saw a female Hooded Merganser, and a pair or Cinnamon Teal near the Oxbow on the Jordan River.

Pomera Fronce (14 Dec 2005) - Jack Clark and I thought we saw a Winter Wren last Sunday in City Creek Canyon, but could never get a clean look at the bird. We went back today to check it out and the looks we got left no doubt...Sunday we saw the bird above area 5 by the red bridge. Today it was working the stream just above area 4. Beautiful little bird!

Tim Avery (13 Dec 2005) - Yet again the Barrow's Goldeneye are back along the Jordan River for the winter. I just took a quick stop at around 2300 south and saw 1 male Barrow's Goldeneye, 1 male Common Merganser, 1 male Lesser Scaup, several Common Goldeneye, Northern Shoveler, Mallard, and several 100 Canada Goose.


Lu Giddings (20 Dec 2005) - ... I observed a flock of 26 Eurasian Collared-Doves in a feedlot in southeast Monticello at 8:15 a.m. this morning. I also observed a total of seven Eurasian Collared-Doves in Bluff later this afternoon...And finally, two White-winged Doves were observed in Bluff late this afternoon. They were spotted in the same place as the lone dove I observed in October, making me wonder if perhaps these are resident birds.

Lu Giddings (20 Dec 2005) - At about 12 p.m. on Monday December 19th a pair of Barrow's Goldeneyes were seen on Ken's Lake. One bird was male and the other was female. They were keeping company with about a dozen common goldeneyes at the south end of the lake... For those of you wondering where in the devil Ken's Lake is, it can be found about 8 miles south southeast of Moab. ...A Northern Saw-whet Owl was seen just inside the Devil's Campground gate at about 7 p.m. this evening. A second northern saw-whet owl was heard near the inlet of Lloyd's lake, and a pair of great-horned owls was observed. Devil's Canyon campground is closed for the season but may be found about 12 miles south of Monticello on Highway 191. Lloyd's Lake can be found by following 200 South west out of Monticello and then following the signs. It's about two miles south of town.


Diane Penttila (2 Dec 2005) - Ouray National Wildlife Refuge General Waterbird Survey...Only a small corner of Sheppard Bottom has open water along with the River. But the raptors have started moving in. The following birds were seen within the survey route: ..Snow goose 6, Greater white-fronted Goose 1,...Great egret 1,...Sandhill crane 37...


KC Childs (28 Dec 2005) - I started my morning at Aspen Grove where I found a Utah County First for me. I saw 10 Pine Grosbeaks just above the amphitheatre at the trailhead to Timpanogas. I was above it though on the Stewart Falls trail...I then came back to my condo here in Provo and I have a Green-tailed Towhee feeding underneath my feeders. Great day of birding anyhow.

Bryan Shirley (21 Dec 2005) - Yesterday afternoon my dad & I went and saw the Mew Gull in Orem. All the ice is off the lake now, but we easily located the gull in with about 20 R.B. Gulls. Just as we were leaving Pomera and friends showed up and apparently they were unable to locate the gull so it may be moving around a bit since there is more open water now. On the way home I stopped to look at the ducks at Flow Serve in Springville and there was 1 Ross' Goose there. Nobody got one on our bird count on Saturday, but this will add 1 species for the count week.

Jack Binch (19 Dec 2005) - Bob and I went after the Mew Gull this morning...the bird is in the northwest inlet...We got it at 10:30.

KC Childs (17 Dec 2005) - While doing the Christmas Bird Count in Provo today, Josh Kreitzer and myself saw an adult Mew Gull in the pond behind the Orem Sewer Treatment Plant... It was very active and kept to himself. It would sometimes go in the inlet in the pond. Also there were Least Sandpipers and Lesser and Greater Yellowlegs at the pond. Also a winter Cinnamon Teal and Black-crowned Night Heron...Also of note we saw a White-throated Sparrow in the old Geneva Steel Property. It was active moving all around the brush, not to stay in one place...

Lu Giddings (10 Dec 2005) - I observed a Northern Shrike on River Lane in Utah county this morning at about 10 a.m. It was seen in the top of a tree on the far side of the river about 3/4 of the way beyond the cattle grate on the way to Sandy beach. A northern shrike was also observed yesterday at Farmington Bay, about mid-way between the three gates parking area and the first bridge. A loggerhead shrike was also seen in the area and provided an opportunity for comparison.

Lu Giddings (10 Dec 2005) - At 8:45 a.m. this morning I spotted a pair of juvenile swans on Salem Pond across from the short fishing dock erected in the park earlier this year. They appeared to be Trumpeter Swans and are probably the same pair spotted in Salem last Sunday evening. I returned at 1 p.m. this afternoon and observed them in approximately the same place. While watching them I also observed a male Barrow's Goldeneye swimming with a large mixed flock of ducks on the far side of the pond...

Eric Huish (6 Dec 2005) - I went for a short hike yesterday up Dry Canyon (Linden, Ut Co.). About 1/4 mile up (before you get to the main cliffs) I found a Winter Wren working the roots and weeds and stuff at the bases of the oak trees near the stream.

Lu Giddings (4 Dec 2005) - At about 4:30 p.m. I spotted two juvenile Trumpeter Swans swimming on a small pond in Salem. The identification was based principally on head shape, the shape of the forehead where the bill inserts, and bill color as described in Sibleys. Not 100% certain of my identification, I called Dennis Shirley and he and Bryan drove down. We managed to get a few more good looks before it became too dark to continue. Collectively we were mostly convinced that the birds were indeed juvenile trumpeters but still not 100% certain. If you'd like to take a look at them you can hopefully find them on a small pond at 400 N and Main Street in Salem. Note that the pond and the land surrounding it is all private property. You can see much of the pond from the streets on the south and west of it. Keep your fingers crossed and hope that the birds are still present and cooperative.


Rick Fridell (23 Dec 2005) - ...I've finally been able to get out a bit and here are some Washington County highlights: This evening (12/22) there were two first winter Tundra Swans on Stratton Pond, Hurricane. Stratton Pond continues to host a few Greater Scaup and huge numbers of Hooded Mergansers (usually 50-80)....Yesterday I saw a flock with FIVE species of Geese at the SR-9 (Hurricane) Sewer Ponds. The flock was grazing on the grassy hillside between the ponds. There were about 40 Canada Geese, 5 or so Ross's Geese, 3-4 Snow Geese, a first winter White-fronted Goose, and a probable Cackling Goose (I guess perhaps I should say 4 and half species of Geese). The possible Cackler was about the same size as the WF Goose, with a very small wide bill, dark breast, and distinct white collar. If pressed, I guess I would label it Aleutian (lueopareia), but would appreciate hearing the thoughts of any other observers...

Charles/Marilyn Sheard (11 Dec 2005) -  14 Red Cliffs Audubon Society birders...Strattton pond (a.k.a "Grandpa's Fishin Hole") for a variety of waterfowl. This is where you'll find an amazing number of Hooded Mergansers plus both Greater and Lesser Scaups, Redheads, Canvasbacks, etc. The Scaups gave us good comparison looks at the differences in head color and shape. The Hurricane fields are full of raptors now...


Kris Purdy (28 Dec 2005) - I saw two Bohemian Waxwings in a flock of about 150 Cedars in Ogden Valley in Weber County this morning. The location was in a Cottonwood along the south shore of Pineview Reservoir, just east of Anderson Cove Campground and near the intersection of Trapper's Loop (SR-167) and SR-39.

Kris Purdy (28 Dec 2005) - About 2 weeks ago, Jeanette and Brian Nosker saw and photographed a flock of about 40 Gray-crowned Rosy Finches at the Hidden Lake Lodge at Powder Mountain Ski Area in Weber County. The area where they saw the finches requires lift-ticket access.

Kris Purdy (18 Dec 2005) - Bohemian Waxwings were also reported on the Ogden Christmas Count yesterday by the team of Keith Evans, Shirley Lee, and Sharen Perry. They saw two Bohemians in a flock of Cedars near the intersection of Harrison and 11th Streets in Ogden.

Kristin Purdy (16 Dec 2005) - I saw an adult Ferruginous Hawk in Weber County this morning on 9300W and north of the intersection with 900S. 9300W is approximately 10 miles west of I-15, and is the road that leads to the Great Salt Lake Minerals plant tucked against the eastern slope of Little Mountain....Other raptors in the area included Northern Harriers, Bald Eagles, Red-tailed Hawks, an almost coal-black Rough-legged Hawk, American Kestrels, Prairie Falcons, a Merlin, and a Great Horned Owl. Several of these, including the owl, were along 8300W north of the intersection with 900S....