Birdnet Hotline Highlights
January 2007

Review Species Reported This Month:
    Cackling Goose  Cache Co.  Davis Co.
    Scaled Quail  San Juan Co.
    Western Gull  Salt Lake Co.
    Lesser Black-backed Gull  Salt Lake Co.
    Glaucous-winged Gull  Salt Lake Co.
    Red-breasted Sapsucker  Washington Co.


Kristin Purdy (26 Jan 2007) - Willard Bay State Park in Box Elder County produced a Harris's Sparrow and a NORTHERN MOCKINGBIRD this afternoon. The Harris's Sparrow was at Willow Creek Campground campsite #15. Cracked corn is sprinkled along the northwest edge of the campsite and across the road east of the campsite. Other birds eating the corn included White-crowned, Song and House Sparrows and Red-winged Blackbirds.

Kristin Purdy (24 Jan 2007) - Members of Wasatch Audubon saw two White-throated Sparrows in Willow Creek Campground at Willard Bay State Park in Box Elder County this morning. One of the sparrows was a strongly marked white striped morph; the other was a tan morph.

Kristin Purdy (22 Jan 2007) - Betsy called back to report a first-winter Harris's Sparrow. She continued north on SR-83 and turned west on Blue Creek Drive at a sign pointing toward Howell. Approximately 300 yards later on the northwest side of the road, there's an area of sagebrush leading down to a ravine (likely Blue Creek). In the sagebrush Betsy found the Harris's Sparrow, American Tree Sparrows and White-crowned Sparrows.

Kristin Purdy (21 Jan 2007) - I just got a call (10:20 am, Sunday) from Tim Avery, who's watching Lapland Longspurs with Colby Neuman in Howell, Box Elder County. Tim and Colby have found at least a dozen longspurs at mile 26.5 of SR-83 in Howell, the spot where just one bird was seen on Thursday. Tim sounded like it was a total longspur party with different ages and sexes of longspurs represented including adults going into breeding plumage. The spot is 1.8 miles north of the north border of Thiokol/ATK. -- Tim and Colby say to add a Snow Bunnting to their previous report of Lapland Longspurs in Howell, Box Elder County, and up the number of longspurs to about 20. They're still at the same spot--mile 26.5 of SR-83.

Kristin Purdy (18 Jan 2007) - A Lapland Longspur accompanied a small flock of Horned Larks along SR-83 in Howell, Box Elder County, this morning. I found precious few Horned Larks using Howell's agricultural areas; the flock with the longspur was only the second and final flock. The longspur was a beautiful adult with an exceptionally buffy head pattern, smudgy dark breast band, and bright rufous and black in the wing coverts. The specific spot along the highway was at mile 26.5, 1.8 miles north of Thiokol's north border both along the road bed and among the cowpies in the field west of the road. Mayor's Pond in Brigham City was hopping with a good diversity of waterfowl, which means Mantua Reservoir must be frozen solid. Using the pond today were: ...Greater Scaup (3 drakes; didn't study the hens)...


Tim Avery (21 Jan 2007) - Late this afternoon Colby Neuman and I spotted a Cackling Goose at the Logan River Golf Course. The bird was actually in the field across the street to the north of the clubhouse on Golf Course Drive. It was with a flock of around 30 Canada Geese. I managed to snap one pretty good shot showing the shorter bill with a bit of a steeper slope on the upper mandible, and a nice white collar like the bird I photographed last Christmas in SLC.

Buck Russell (1 Jan 2007) - The January 1st Bridgerland Audubon Field Trip to kick off a fresh start for the 200 club was a big success. ...up Logan Canyon to Third Dam. Along the way we found a Bald Eagle at Second Dam and at Third Dam we found a Winter Wren... At the Fish Hatchery we had our second out-of-season bird, a Great Egret. ...The third surprise bird of the day was a White-throated Sparrow just east of Mack Park in Smithfield. All of our surprise birds were first located during the December Christmas Bird Count and were gracious enough to stick around to be counted in the new year. It was a great day for a crazy lister.


Joel Beyer (21 Jan 2007) - Kathy and I observed an adult Mew Gull at Farmington Bay WMA this afternoon, about 3:00 pm. It was at the open water on the north side of the first bridge on the western dike road, in company with 8 Herring, 2 California and a Ring-billed Gull, and several Great Blue Herons. After a few minutes, everything flew and then settled again, with the exception of the Mew Gull, which was last seen flying out of sight to the northeast.  We also saw 13 Great-tailed Grackles in Centerville, just off I-15, in the IHOP parking lot.

Tim Avery (14 Jan 2007) - This morning Colby Neuman and I observed 2 female Long-tailed Ducks at the last bridge at AIC. Also present was 1 female Barrow's Goldeneye.

Joel and Kathy (1 Jan 2007) - We hit a goose trifecta plus one at the Oakridge Country Club (golf course) in Kaysville. Besides a couple hundred Canada Geese, there was a Cackling Goose, a blue-phase Snow Goose, and a Greater White-fronted Goose. A Belted Kingfisher rattled back and forth several times. All were seen from Shepard Lane, which is reached by continuing south on the road from the Kaysville Ponds.

Kris Purdy (1 Jan 2007) - The Antelope Island CBC was great fun today and the count included some great birds... Within our sector the first three highlight birds were all Northern lights--Northern   Goshawk, Northern Mockingbird and Northern Shrike. The goshawk was an adult hunting along the Russian Olives east of the road and south of the turnoff to Frary Peak. The mockingbird and the shrike were south of the ranch in a restricted area open to us only because we were doing the CBC. ...We dilly-dallied across the causeway in the twilight and saw the waterfowl at the big bridge including the Surf Scoter Tim reported and a female Barrow's Goldeneye among the Commons and the Buffleheads.


Pomera Fronce (28 Jan 2007) - Roberta, Jack and I walked along the Jordan River Parkway trail at 12600 South today. We saw lots of nice birds with the most unexpected being a Mountain Bluebird. We also got to study a Northern Shrike from a very short distance.

Pomera Fronce (22 Jan 2007) - Roberta Wherritt found a female Varied Thrush along the Jordan River Parkway south of the 4800 South trailhead on Monday around 1:30 p.m. She and I relocated the bird in the same area at 3:30.  If you walk straight out from the Kennecott Nature Center, you will see the beginning of a wooden fence. There is an opening there where you can see across the river. The bird was working the bank on the far side of the river. She stayed low the entire time we watched her and in typical fashion would come to the water's edge and then scurry back under the overhanging tree branches.

Kristin Purdy (20 Jan 2007) - Tim Avery just called (11:30 am, Saturday) with a report of great gulls at Lee Kay Ponds in Salt Lake County. Tim and Dave Slager have only been gulling there for about 20 minutes and already they've seen the Western Gull, two Glaucous Gulls, one first-winter Glaucous-winged Gull, one apparent first-winter Lesser Black-backed Gull and a NELSON'S GULL (Glaucous x Herring).  In addition, Tim and Dave visited the Ben Hame house on the Alta Bypass Road this morning and saw approximately 180 Gray-crowned and Black Rosy-finches. Both Hepburn's and Interior races of Gray-crowned were present with Hepburn's in the majority.

Joel and Kathy Beyer (14 Jan 2007) - Both the Western Gull and the second winter Glaucous Gull were seen on the main pond late this morning (11:30-noon) at Lee Kay Ponds.

Joel and Kathy Beyer (6 Jan 2007) - An adult Lesser Black-backed Gull was found at Lee Kay Ponds this morning by Steve and Cindy Summerfield. We also observed the bird. It was seen at the west end of the main pond. A second winter Glaucous Gull was on the westernmost pond. The "thaylandic" gull was also on the west pond, and was flying around quite a bit, giving us nice views of the wings and tail. There seemed to be too much of a brown tail band for an Iceland Gull, so the four of us non-experts think it's probably a Thayer's Gull (a very light one). The Western Gull was not seen.

Lu Giddings (2 Jan 2007) - Dennis Shirley and I arrived at LeeKay ponds at about 11:40 a.m. and stayed until about 3:30 p.m. The Western Gull was spotted by Dennis almost at once in the company of a small group of gulls (75-100 birds) near the east end of the west pond, near the small finger of land that pokes out into the pond from the south bank. The bird stuck around until 1:29 p.m., five minutes before Bryan Shirley arrived. While we were watching it and waiting for Bryan, Dennis spotted a Glaucous Gull, also in this same small flock of gulls, which stuck around, sleeping on the ice and preening, until around 3:30 p.m.


Jack Binch (28 Jan 2007) - Scaled Quail... Other highlights were a couple of White-throated Sparrows at Jim Hook's feeders in Bluff (me). An Acorn Woodpecker and Pygmy Nuthatches in Monticello for the three of us.

Lu Giddings (21 Jan 2007) - Three brave souls made the Friday night drive to Bluff. They awoke Saturday morning to the leavings of a once-in-a-decade storm that had dropped 4-6" of snow on a town that seldom sees more than a dusting. This did not stop brave soul #1, Steve Sommerfeld, from spotting a White-throated Sparrow in the snow beneath the feeders at the Recapture Lodge in Bluff early Saturday morning.  The roads were a bit sloppy but nothing we brave northern souls are not used to. We soon made our way to the Scaled Quail following Dennis Shirley's perfect directions. Brave soul #2, Cindy Sommerfeld, found the three birds on the north slope at the end of the small dirt road, about 150 yards east of the seep at which they had previously been reported.   While sorting through the wee birds beneath the feeders at the Recapture Lodge this morning, Steve once again spotted his white-throated sparrow and then espied a second, different White-throated Sparrow as we watched the first.

Larene Wyss (16 Jan 2007) - David Wheeler and I drove down to Blanding yesterday and did get the Scaled Quail. The directions provided by Dennis Shirley to get to the draw were perfect. We found the draw easily enough, but had to search around a bit to find the three quail. We searched all along the western edge of the draw where the seep is for quite a while. The seep was frozen. We then decided to split up and search the northern and southern edges towards the front of the draw.  While doing that, a large flock of Pinyon Jays came into the draw along the southern edge, which drew David over to that side where I was to take pictures. While admiring the jays, we started hearing the quail call, and it just took a few seconds to locate the three of them.

J. Shirley - I found Scaled Quail in San Juan county on Saturday, January 6. There were three birds. I confirmed the sightings on January 9, with Dennis Shirley. We found the same three birds in the same location. The location is in Montezuma Canyon -- GPS location (NAD27-conus)12S 0653570/4154140. Dennis wrote down mileage markers and driving directions. Amazingly the birds were in the exact location and did answer to a call.


Nate and Stephen Nye (1 Jan 2007) - My Dad and I went out to Tooele this afternoon to look for the Northern Shrike... We eventually found the Northern Shrike in the area reported by James McKay yesterday. We searched all up and down Mormon Trail Rd. in the area it had been seen, but with no luck. We were about to head home when we decided to head up a dirt road to the east off of Mormon Trail Road for one last shot. Sure enough, it flew up and landed on top of a juniper not far off the track... The turnoff for this dirt road T's off at about 0.2 miles south of mile marker 9 (which is almost exactly 6.5 miles north of Meadow Ln.)...


Diane Penttila - Ouray National Wildlife Refuge - 1/19/07 - I saw a flock of Black Rosy-Finches today. Not a species seen very often here. But it has been an unusual year.


Ned Bixler (16 Jan 2007) - This afternoon, while walking the Skipper Bay Trail, I saw the Swamp Sparrow. It was about 1/2 way down the trail. The bird was sitting along side the trail, out in the open. White-crowned, and song sparrows were also in large numbers along the trail.

Jack Binch (13 Jan 2007) - I was scoping gulls at Lee Kay this morning when Steve and Cindy Sommerfeld pulled up. They asked me if I wanted to go chase a Swamp Sparrow. ...One had been found on the CBC in Provo at the end of the Skipper Bay trail. We found it foraging on a little snow covered island just north and west of the trail end. It was on the northwest edge of the little island just outside of the cattails. Be patient, it took us about twenty minutes to see it and another fifteen to get a picture.


Lu Giddings (26 Jan 2007) -   A Red-breasted Sapsucker was seen today at Lytle Ranch on a St. George Bird Festival field trip lead by Larry Tripp. The bird was spotted in the SE corner of the orchard, in a fruit tree on the fringe of the orchard and the mesquite bordering the orchard. It was seen in the same tree from about 8:30 a.m. until nearly noon. A few rather blurry photos were taken and will be forwarded to Utah Birds.

Rick Fridell (20 Jan 2007) - Sorry for the late notice on this one. On January 15 and 16, Kristen and I made our annual winter trip to Zion Canyon. Avian highlights included a Winter Wren along the outflow from Icicle Rock (er, I mean Weeping Rock)... Also the wintering Varied Thrush, first found by Kevin and Aaron in December, is remaining at the Springdale Pond.

Larry Tripp (19 Jan 2007) - The White-throated Sparrow was along the Virgin River walkway between St. George and Bloomington. It was about one mile north of the Man O War parking lot in Bloomington.

Rick Fridell (14 Jan 2007) - Today in the Hurricane Fields I saw several Lapland Longspurs accompanying the huge flocks of Horned Larks. There are several thousand Horned Larks moving throughout the Hurricane Fields. I managed to pick out a few Lapland Longspurs in most flocks that remained settled long enough to work through them with a scope. In one flock I saw at least 8-10 longspurs.

Rick Fridell - I observed an adult White-throated Sparrow in the willows along the Virgin River adjacent to the Springdale Pond, on Sunday 1/7. Also there was a nice variety of ducks on the pond, including a couple species rarely observed in Springdale (female Redhead and 3 female Buffleheads).

Larry Tripp (4 Jan 2007) - Lytle Ranch... Harris's Sparrow was a winter plumaged Adult. It was just east of the entrance gate along the trail just past the covered picnic tables by the fire pit surrounded by the log seats. It was with a small group of White-crowned Sparrows.

Rick Fridell (4 Jan 2007) - There was a large flock of geese on the SR-9 (Hurricane) Sewer Ponds today, including 123 Canada Geese, 3 Greater White-fronted Geese, 3 Snow Geese, and 2 Ross's Geese... Also the 7 Tundra Swans are continuing at Sand Hollow State Park (Washington Co.).