Birdnet Hotline Highlights
January 2008

Review Species Reported This Month:
Cackling Goose  Salt Lake Co.
    Lesser Black-backed Gull  Salt Lake Co.
Western Gull  Davis Co.  Salt Lake Co.
    Red-breasted Sapsucker  Washington Co.


Steve and Cyndy Sommerfeld ( 28 Jan 2008) - Saturday Cyndy and I went wandering North and West of Corrine. We drove through Salt Creek, not much for birds. We continued East from the refuge on 6800 North and we started seeing Horned larks. These birds were about 3/4 to 1 mile West of 7600 W. The first flock of about 75 birds had 1 Snow Bunting and 3 Lapland Longspurs. We drove about 300 yards and saw a flock on the side of the road, so we got out and set up a scope. The birds kept flushing every time a car went by, but at one time I counted 47 Longspurs between cars. If you should find this flock look carefully at the Longspurs . When they flushed a few of the times there was one with a mostly white upper tail that I could never pick out while they were on the ground. Did not see well enough to decide if it was a Chestnut-collared or McCown's. Good luck. ...We also drove the loop at Bear River very few birds. On the way back at the corrals was a small flock of Horned Larks with one Lapland Longspur in it. The Longspur was at least half way into breading plumage.  More Longspurs than we've ever seen , so not a bad day.

Kris Purdy (6 Jan 2008) - This afternoon at about 3:30 I saw a huge flock of Horned Larks near Box Elder County Landfill that included Lapland Longspurs. This was the biggest flock of Horned Larks I think I've seen; I estimate the number at 500-600 birds. The flock remained far out in a field south of the road I was on (6800N, Corinne) and moved frequently. ...The best I did was to count eight longspurs in a small area before they flushed. I was finally rewarded for good behavior when a group of 40-50 birds flew to the road and landed in front of my truck. I counted seven longspurs among the Horned Larks before my stupid glasses fogged up and I couldn't see anymore. ...I feel certain there are many more longspurs than what I saw. ...I also saw a Northern Shrike at my turnaround spot in Howell, it's at the first intersection when driving northbound on SR-83 and there's a feedlot there...

Betsy Beneke (3 Jan 2008) - I took a little "jaunt" out to the refuge between 11:30 am and 2:00 p.m. today. Was THRILLED to come upon a flock of about 50 Snow Buntings with a few Lapland Longspurs mixed in! They were on the north leg of the auto tour route loop, picking grit along the south shoulder of the road, and I was able to watch them for several minutes at about 50 feet. They eventually flushed and flew out on the flats in Unit 2 to the south, out of binocular range, but could be seen moving about on the ground, in and out of the edges of the weeds. My odometer said 14.8 miles from the end of the wildlife education center driveway to this spot, but it's probably closer to 14.5 or 14.6 miles, as I was messing around a bit along the way. This spot was also about 2/10 of a mile before you start into the S curves.


Craig Fosdick  (31 Jan 2008) - Bohemian Waxwings are still present in Logan. Today while driving to work on Center St., I pulled over to watch a combined flock of ~100+ waxwings that appeared to be 60-40 BOWA-CEWX just west of 100W and Center St. While watching these beauties, another flock of 120+ waxwings, which appeared to be primarily BOWA's flew overhead.

Ryan P. O'Donnell (27 Jan 2008) - Stephanie Cobbold and I birded around Cache Valley this afternoon. The highlight was certainly a flock of about 400 Horned Larks on Highway 23about a quarter mile south of the intersection with 3000 N which included at least 14 (probably 30+) Lapland Longspurs, at least 4(probably 10+) GRAY-CROWNED ROSY-FINCHES, and at least 2 Snow Buntings.

Ryan O'Donnell (20 Jan 2008) - I found two Lapland Longspurs in Cache County today, in a flock of about200 Horned Larks. The longspurs were on 3000N between the Benson Marina and Highway 23.

Stephen Peterson (13 Jan 2008) - This past Friday, I went on a field trip with Alice Lindahl's class and one of our stops was the fish hatchery. Great Egret was there, as well as two Dowitchers and single American Pipit, foraging along the muddy banks of the slough.

Connie McManus (4 Jan 2008) - the NEW BIRD FOR ME IS ... Northern Shrike. He appeared in my apple tree today and seems to be lingering.

Craig Fosdick (4 Jan 2008) - The Short-billed Dowitcher was still at the Logan Fish Hatchery in Logan (Cache Co.) at 115 pm today. After hearing that Ryan O' Donnell was able to locate the bird and get excellent looks at it, Mo Correll and I tried again today. We too were rewarded with excellent looks at the bird. Both Mo and I were able to see a tail pattern that is apparently distinct for at least some Short-billed Dowitchers...We also heard it call once, and the call sounded to me to be more like a Short-billed Dowitcher than a Long-billed, but I could not be sure, even though I listened to recordings only 20 minutes after seeing and hearing the bird.  If anyone else sees the bird, I would be curious to hear what people think. The bird is frequenting the Logan Fish Hatchery, along UT 30 in Logan, just west of UT 30 and 1000 W.


Doug Roberts (29 Jan 2008) - I saw two female Long-tailed Ducks at Antelope Island today (Tuesday, 29 January), at the causeway, west culvert.

Joel and Kathy (27 Jan 2008) - An adult Western Gull and Trumpeter Swan were at Farmington Bay WMA this afternoon, The Western Gull was on the west dike at the first bridge, along with over 100 Herring Gulls and 18 Bald Eagles. The gulls were busy finding fish in the small section of open water, and the eagles were just as busy taking the fish away. Quite entertaining! The Trumpeter Swan was in the southwest pond at the end of the west dike road, hanging out with pintails and shovelers. At mile marker 2 on the Antelope Island Causeway, a Lapland Longspur was found in a flock of 30 Horned Larks. Also, 7 Long-tailed Ducks (3 male,4 female) were at the second bridge.

Doug Roberts (8 Jan 2008) - At the causeway at Antelope Island, Utah, today, Jan 8, I believe I saw a Glaucous Gull. It was the largest gull in the water, and it had pinkish bill with black tip. It was mostly white-ish.


Stephen Carlile (28 Jan 2008) - I had a different, but new yard bird for me today in West Valley City. A lone Common Grackle spent an hour or so today "sparing" with the juncos and sparrows. It seemed to be after the cracked corn that is part of the seed mix I use.

Tim Avery (24 Jan 2008) -  Yesterday ...At Lee Kay Ponds there was also a nice flock of gulls on the ice. From the observation deck/gazebo several of us were able to get pretty good looks at 2 - 1st winter Lesser Black-backed Gulls, as well as several Thayer's Gulls. A Harrier flushed all the birds, and a beautiful 1st winter Glaucous Gull flew past and circled a couple times before heading off to the dump.

Tim Avery (20 Jan 2008) -  2 Cackling Goose - Lake Park Facility. I saw one in the A.M. and another in the P.M. with Colby Neuman and Steve Sommerfeld (the latter appeared to be a different bird) - 1 Lesser Black-backed Gull - Decker Lake (yep that's right), the same 3rd year bird form Lee Kay Ponds (seen with the Sommerfelds in the A.M.) - 4 Thayer's Gull - Decker Lake, 3 1st winter and one adult...

Tim Avery (13 Jan 2008) - This morning Steve and Cindy Sommerfeld and I located an adult Mew Gull at Decker Lake. This afternoon at 12600 South and 5000 West we found a flock of an estimated 10,000 HORNED LARK. This flock had a smattering of Lapland Longspurs and we were able to pick out 15-20.

Tim Avery (5 Jan 2008) - This afternoon Steve and Cindy Sommerfeld and I birded Lee Kay Ponds, 7200 West, and the frontage road along Lee's Creek in western Salt Lake County. At Lee Kay we were joined Jeff and Susan Saffle to scan through the gulls. The flock probably numbered around 2200 birds this afternoon and numbers and highlights are as follows: 1 or 2 Mew Gull (1 for sure 1st winter bird. A 2nd was seen later that may have been the same bird) - 2 Lesser Black-backed Gull (1st winter bird which may have an injured foot now, and one 3rd winter/adult bird - hard to judge the age on this one) - 1 Glaucous-winged Gull (same 2nd winter bird as the last 2 weeks) - 11 Thayer's Gulls (ALL 1st winter birds ranging from light pink white to dark individuals-- several very close to Kumlieni)... After Lee Kay we headed to the frontage road along I-80 that heads to Saltair. In the vicinity of Lee's Creek we observed a Northern Shrike.

Rob Fergus (3 Jan 2008) - I only had a short time to check out Lee Kay Ponds this afternoon from 4:30-5:00pm. When I got there, about 2000 gulls were on the ice and in the small area of open water. Before I could scan the whole flock a Red-tailed Hawk flushed them all and only about half of the birds returned. While I didn’t see all the birds I could have hoped for, I did see seven gull species: Western Gull—1 adult - Lesser Black-backed Gull—1 2nd winter bird - Glaucous-winged Gull—1 1st winter bird - Thayer’s Gull—1 1st winter bird - Herring Gull—8 various ages - Ring-billed Gull—150 - California Gull—1200


Jim Woolf (5 Jan 2008) - A White-winged Crossbill has been seen coming to feeders at a private residence in the Park City area but the owners do not wish to have any  visiting birders. It was first reported around Dec. 11 and was seen (and photographed) again on Jan. 4. It is hanging out with a flock of pine siskins.


Clay Johnson (5 Jan 2008) - Our first bird for 2008: right at sunrise on January 1st, Cliftia looked out the kitchen window and said “come look at this!” A Northern Shrike was sitting in the cottonwood by the feeder. That is the first Northern for our yard…a good way to start a birding year!


Eric Huish (28 Jan 2008) - I just had a great new yard bird, a Northern Shrike was sitting in the tree above one of my feeding areas (Pleasant Grove, Ut Co.). It chased some juncos around for a while.

Carol Nelson (12 Jan 2008) - The Eurasian Wigeon surprised me today with an appearance under my feeders. He was grazing with a large flock of American Wigeons. Milt arrived in time to see him, but the flock flew back to the pond before anyone else arrived. We all tried to relocate him again, but to no avail. The backlighting of the sun made ID difficult. Perhaps this week with snow still on the golf course, and warmer temperatures predicted, the ice on the ponds will recede some more, and he'll stick around a while. If you are interested in seeing him, my home is open if I am here. If I'm not the south gate will be unlocked and you are welcome to use my patio at any time. If you want to know if the flock is in, you may call me at 362-8288. If you want to just come, do so. My address is 2831 N. Marrcrest West, Provo. (Turn west off University Ave. at about 2900 North. Provo. I'm on the west side of the Marrcrest circle, the only one level red brick, with white shutters.)

Milt Moody (11 Jan 2008) - Merrill Webb just called as he watched waves of Bohemian Waxwings coming into the trees between 4th and 5th North and 1050 East in Orem (near his home). He estimated there were about 200 Bohemians and about 40 Cedars in the waxwing flock.


Jeff Bilsky (29 Jan 2008) - For those interested, here are my reports from birding down at the St. George Bird Festival. ...The rarest sighting would be the Red-breasted Sapsucker we tracked down at Lytle.

Rick Fridell (29 Jan 2008) - Here's a belated report of the St. George Winter Bird Festival Quail Creek to Hurricane Fields field trip from last Saturday (01/26/08). ...We started at Quail Creek State Park, then proceeded to visit the Hurricane Fishing Pond (Stratton Pond), SR-9 Hurricane Sewer Ponds, Sand Hollow State Park, the Hurricane Fields. A total of 63 species were observed by at least some of the group. Highlights included both Trumpeter and Tundra Swans, 19species of waterfowl, nine species of raptors, a couple young Herring Gulls, and dozens and dozens of Mountain Bluebirds. And the few survivors who made it back to Quail Creek S.P. at the end of the day were treated to a Common and Pacific Loon...

Donna Thorum (3 Jan 2008) - I was able to see the Red-breasted Sapsucker in Springdale, UT. at the Cliff Rose Lodge around 11:30 this morning. So, yes, it is still there, and seems to be drinking sap to it's heart content. If you are by the side of the swimming pool nearest to Zion's Park, with it to your back to the pool, the trees are in front of you a bit to the right. After watching it for some time we came to the conclusion the best way to find the trees is to look for the sap running down the trunks. The sun makes it glisten. Also there is sap on the lawn and ground at the bottom of the trees.


Lee and Paula Shirley (9 Jan 2008) - Harris's Sparrow - Lee and Paula Shirley observed the sparrow at the Ogden Nature Center at the last Audubon feeder (#5) at 1:30 p.m. Jan.8th.

Kris Purdy (3 Jan 2008) - Jack Rensel saw the Red-shouldered Hawk at the Ogden Nature Center again today, so there's a good 'un for those of you who keep annual lists. The bird did his usual Houdini Hawk routine--was nowhere to be found on the 152-acre property until Jack was leaving via the main driveway; there the bird was on a post near the entrance.