Birdnet Hotline Highlights
February 2008

Review Species Reported This Month:
Cackling Goose  Salt Lake Co.
Lesser Black-backed Gull  Davis Co.  Salt Lake Co.
    Western Gull  Davis Co.
 Gilded Flicker  Washington Co.
 Eastern Phoebe  Washington Co.
McCown's Longspur  Box Elder Co.
    Purple Finch  Washington Co.
    Common Redpoll  Davis Co.  Cache Co.


Tim Avery (6 Feb 2008) - Yesterday I ventured north, with Ben (I am totally spacing out on your last name), to Box Elder County ...Near Salt Creek WMA near Termonton we met up with Larene Wyss and David Hanscom. It was bitterly cold, and there were very few birds in the area previously reported by others. No more than 20-25 Horned Lark, and at least 7 and maybe a few more Lapland Longspurs varying in plumage with a couple juvenile birds present as well. Ben and I drove across many of the roads in the area looking for other flocks, and found one small flock of 10-15 birds that contained 1 Lapland Longspurs already about 50% back into alternate plumage. This flock also had at least one American Goldfinch tagging along. We found a single MERLIN closer to Corrinne that looked to be in between Prairie and Taiga in plumage.  -  At 6000 West and about 2000 North we found a field that had fresh manure plowed into the snow. This area was teeming with activity, including a flock of Canada Geese out in the mess, and numerous flocks of Horned Larks, numbering between 750-1000. Only once did I think I heard a Lapland Longspur here and never could get eyes on the bird.

Jeff Langford (4 Feb 2008) - Shelly and I drove up to Teton/Flag Ranch/Yellowstone over a long weekend. Birding was sparse, snow heavy. We did observe a McCown's Longspur at the intersection of Utah state highways 30 and 38 east of Riverside on our way to Cache Valley last Thursday. The Longspur was foraging near the road with a flock of Horned Larks and we were fortunate to catch a glimpse before the snow storm hit.

Craig Fosdick (2 Feb 2008) - I found two McCown's Longspurs on 6800 N, about 1.5 mile west of 7600 W, in Tremonton. First off, thanks to Steve and Cyndy Sommerfeld for posting their sighting of a non-Lapland Longspur at this location on 1/26. The Sommerfeld's report was the major impetus for my trip, along with Harry Kreuger's McCown's Longspur sighting of a McCown's Longspur in Idaho, on 1/20/08 on Poen Rd, in Ada County, Idaho. ...Secondly, a big thanks to Jack Binch, who was at 6800 N when I arrived. Jack helped (Jack hope I spelled/got your name right!) confirm the identification, and the two of us then spent about 3 hrs chasing and searching for the two McCown's Longspurs. We were able to locate the birds four more times, and at 3:10 pm, we saw both McCown's along the side of 6800 N simultaneously. I left at 3:20; I think Jack left shortly after, but not sure.


Jim (29 Feb 2008) - Three Redpolls came to my feeder this morning [Paradise]. I can't say if they will hang around or not.

Ryan P. O'Donnell (23 Feb 2008) - Today I took a quick tour around Logan looking for birds. ... The biggest find of the day was an immature Glaucous Gull in Cutler Marsh, near the first bridge to the east of mile marker 104 on Highway 30. This bird may have been seen at the landfill earlier this week by Keith Archibald...

Ryan P. O'Donnell (11 Feb 2008) - On Saturday Stephanie Cobbold and I saw and photographed a first-winter Mew Gull at the Logan Fish Hatchery. I initially misidentified this bird, and it was only after going through the photos on Sunday night that I realized it. Thanks to Tim Avery and Craig Fosdick for helping me identify this bird from the photos.

Craig Fosdick - On Sat., 2/9, I did a short snowshoe trip from the Highway Sheds Winter Trailhead on US 89 in the Logan Ranger District of the Wasatch Cache National Forest. Not many birds, a total of 17 individuals and 5 species to be exact, plus lots of snow. Among those birds, though, was a lovely adult Northern Goshawk.

Brandon Spencer (2 Feb 2008) - Buck and Cindy Russel and I birded 3000 N., just west of the Benson Marina in Cache Valley this morning. We were searching for the reported Snow Buntings and Gray-crowned Rosy-Finches that have recently been reported. While scanning a couple of flocks of Horned Larks from about 9:00 to 9:30 am, we were able to locate one Lapland Longspur, two Snow Buntings, and three Black Rosy-Finches.


Tim Avery (27 Feb 2008) - I spent most of yesterday around Farmington and Farmington Bay WMA...I counted 144 eagles around Farmington during the day, and also tallied ...the Red-shouldered Hawk (rounding out the raptors) which was seen about noon in the previously mentioned location at Park Lane. ...The gull scene at FBWMA was happening, with 7 species seen: 1 ad. Western Gull, 2 juv. & a 2nd year Lesser Black-backed Gull, 1 ad. Mew Gull, 1 ad. Glaucous Gull, 3 - 1st winter Thayer's Gulls, and numerous California, Ring-billed and Herring Gulls rounding out the mix.

Joel and Kathy Beyer (24 Feb 2008) - We found 2 Bewick's Swans (the Eurasian subspecies of Tundra) a tFarmington Bay WMA late this afternoon. They were seen together with a large group of Tundra Swans in the pond east of the entrance road, at the point where the road turns west. One was an adult, the other was a juvenile. At the first bridge on the west dike road were 3 second-winter Glaucous Gulls, and a first-winter Lesser Black-backed Gull was near the second bridge. Barn and Short-eared Owls were also out and about as usual. And the Red-shouldered Hawk was still present at Park Lane in Farmington (this morning, afternoon and evening).

Tim Avery (22 Feb 2008) - Ben Palmer sent me some pictures this morning to confirm the ID of a finch he photographed along the road to Garr Ranch on Antelope Island. The bird in the pictures was a Common Redpoll as he had thought ...  Ben said, "The flock was hanging out just over the crest of the hill before the road drops down to head around the island." I believe this is just after you get on the road and are driving east across the hill side with all the rocks. As you come around the corner here, the road "drops down" and continues south. I would guess that it is hanging around with the flock of goldfinches so locating the flock is probably the best bet for looking for this bird.

MarJean Muhlestein (19 Feb 2008) - I went looking for the Red-shouldered Hawk juv., and just West of I-15 exit entering onto Park Ln., spotted the Hawk. I decided since it had been seen in the morning hours, and not in the afternoon hours, that it must roost there. So I went at 5:30 pm and immediately saw it resting in the snag of a dead tree. There is a pile of rubbish surrounding the snag. The pheasant pens are just North of several trees, and it was hunting that field.

Joel and Kathy (18 Feb 2008) - The Bald Eagle spectacle continued today at Farmington Bay WMA. We counted over 150 Bald Eagles, with at least 50 in the vicinity of the second bridge on the dike road. Also seen at this location was the adult Western Gull, a second-winter Lesser Black-backed Gull, an adult Glaucous Gull, a couple of first-winter Thayer's Gulls, and over 100 Herring Gulls. And what better ending to a day of birding than seeing 7 Short-eared Owls and 5 Barn Owls hunting along the dike road.

Tony Jones (13 Feb 2008) - I left home this morning about 8:15 am. As I drove over the bridge at Park lane in Farmington, I saw a raptor in a tree. This is the same spot that the Summerfields saw the Red-shouldered Hawk on Sunday. ...Park Lane is off the Highway 89 exit near Lagoon. From the highway exit, turn west and the bird is on the North side in a tree near a fenced area that looks like it has pheasant in it.

Bryan Shirley (11 Feb 2008) - After reading that the Sommerfelds survived Farmington Bay on Sunday I thought I might be able to handle it on a weekday. ...At first I couldn't find the Western Gull, but did locate a Juv Glaucous Gull (also at the 1st bridge). Then I found a suspicious looking Juv Herring Gull and thought if I watched it long enough I could turn it in to something else. After about 10 minutes it actually worked - the Western Gull walked into my scope! The Herring Gull was still there, so technically I didn't use my magical powers to change him into a rare bird, but close...

Cindy Sommerfeld (10 Feb 2008) - Today Steve and I birded Antelope Island until early afternoon.... On our way home we decided to stop at Farmington Bay. As we exited I-15 (exit 325 I think) and turned right toward Davis Co. Fairgrounds we spotted a raptor. The hawk was on the west side of the road in a tree near the pheasant cages. It was a Red-shouldered Hawk! We watched it for several minutes. It was very skittish and flew around a lot. Just as it found a place to settle a FERRUGINOUS HAWK flew in and chased it off. We last saw it flying south east over the Fairgrounds. We did try to relocate it without any luck....We ventured on to Farmington Bay...We did find the Western Gull and the Mew Gull that Jerry mentioned seeing on Friday. Also at least one adult Thayer's Gull.

Jerry Lig (9 Feb 2008) - Went birding yesterday with a few friends at Farmington Bay, birds of note: Adult Mew Gull (right off the first bridge) Adult Western Gull (right off the first bridge)(2) Least Sandpipers (end of the dike road) Greater Yellowlegs (end of the dike road)(2) Harlan's Red-tailed Hawks (near entrance to the refuge, east on Glover lane) a bunch of Barn Owls several Short-eared Owls(150 or so) Bald Eagles.

Kris Purdy (6 Feb 2008) - Paul Higgins just called (11:00 a.m. Wednesday) to report seeing a Lapland Longspur and a Snow Bunting in a flock of Horned Larks on Antelope Island Causeway, Davis County, at about mile 2.5.


Lu Giddings (9 Feb 2008) - Dennis Shirley and went in search of longspurs and other winter birds this morning. We passed through Santaquin to Mona, drove the west side of Mona reservoir and through Goshen canyon into Goshen and Genola and then back into Payson and Salem pond. We did not see any longspurs but did have a few noteworthy observations: - a pair of Trumpeter Swans were seen on Burriston ponds - three drake cinnamon teal were seen at the inlet end of Mona reservoir...


Jeff Bilsky (23 Feb 2008) - This morning Carl Ingwell and I headed up to City Creek Canyon to find Winter Wrens and we got a great look at one.

Kris Purdy (18 Feb 2008) - I just got a call from Tim Avery (11:15 am, Monday) who has found a first-year White-winged Crossbill in a flock of Red Crossbills at Salt Lake City Cemetery, Salt Lake County. Tim's (and the flock's) location was along Center Street, also called 990E., and between 205N. and 300N. At last look, the flock appeared to be moving somewhat east.

Tim Avery (16 Feb 2008) - With what looked like great weather and the Great Backyard Birdcount happening, the Sommerfeld's, Jeff Bilsky and I decided to put together a Salt Lake County mini big day... The morning started below freezing a mile and a half up City Creek Canyon in the dark. ...As it started to get light we made our way back down canyon and just before MM1 were 2 Winter Wren, with at least one bird being a male singing up a storm (after we cheated by playing a tape).  ...After deciding to scrap plans to go to the International Center we hit Lake Park along the golf course where there was a Richardson's subspecies Cackling Goose (same bird as last month?) and another small goose, with a thin and long bill that I wouldn't have called Parvipes, but am unsure of which subspecies it may have been. ...We hopped on SR-201 and arrived at Lee Kay Ponds a few minutes later and Steve picked out 4 TUNDRA SWAN sitting on the bank of the east pond, a first for all of us at the ponds. On the main pond we were greeted by a large mass of gulls on the far east end of the pond in a nice large patch of open water. Quickly scanning through we were able to pick out a number of goodies including an adult Mew Gull, a 1st winter Lesser Black-backed Gull, a 2nd winter Glaucous Gull, nearly a dozen Thayer's Gulls, all but 1 being 1st winter, and of course the regular Ring-billed, California, and Herring....

David Jensen (13 Feb 2008) - Found one Cackling Goose among +-60 Canada Geese in Sugar House Park in Salt Lake City.


(9 Feb 2008) - Kay Stone reports seeing an immature Harris's Sparrow the last two days, at the model airplane field along the Jordan River parkway near Saratoga Springs. The Harris's Sparrow is being seen with other sparrows near the piled up snow at the east end of the parking area. Turn left off Lehi Main Street onto Saratoga road (2300 W), The parking area is a few miles down this road, on your right just before you cross the river.

Lu Giddings (9 Feb 2008) - Dennis Shirley and went in search of longspurs and other winter birds this morning. We passed through Santaquin to Mona, drove the west side of Mona reservoir and through Goshen canyon into Goshen and Genola and then back into Payson and Salem pond. We did not see any longspurs but did have a few noteworthy observations: ...- Bohemian Waxwings were seen, in the company of cedar waxwings, in the Genola Warm Springs area - a probable White-throated Sparrow was seen in the brush along the Genola Warm Springs road, along with song sparrows and a hermit thrush...

Lynn Garner (7 Feb 2008) - Tuesday a couple of miles east of Goshen in Utah County I found some trees full of Bohemian Waxwings. I've never seen so many--must have been 600 or so. I could only see five or six Cedar Waxwings among them.


Edson Leite (25 Feb 2008) - Beth and I went down to So. Utah this weekend for some birding. On Sunday we found a Yellow-bellied Sapsucker at Lytle Ranch at noon near the pipe pouring water out of the ground. It was hanging out with a Ladder-backed Woodpecker and 4 N. Flicker. ...A Red-shouldered Hawk was six power poles up on the road to Sand Hollow Reservoir. Next to the water treatment plant in Hurricane at 4pm.

Rick Fridell - This weekend (2/15-18) there have been large flocks of geese moving through Washington County. Mixed flocks of geese have been in the Washington Fields, SR-9 (Hurricane) Sewage Ponds, and at Sand Hollow State Park. The largest and most diverse flock was at the SR-9 Ponds including several hundred Canada Geese, ~150 Snow Goose, a few Ross's Geese, and a single Greater White-fronted Goose. Flocks of at least 50 Snow Geese were also in the Washington Fields and at Sand Hollow State Park. On Saturday (2/16), there were three Trumpeter Swans and a couple Tundra Swans in a recently planted field in the Hurricane Fields.

Larry Tripp (16 Feb 2008) - ...The best bird was a female type Purple Finch I saw Friday afternoon along the bike path between the Southgate GC and the I 15 freeway. It was just above where the freeway crosses the Santa Clara. It was a greenish Pacific type. It let me get great close looks and was calling including the pit flight call. I first saw it on the GC and chased it up along the bike path until it flew across the freeway towards the Wildlife Museum . I looked for it over there and in the little park by the Santa Clara but only saw a few Cassin's which seem to be everywhere this winter. ...Today at Lytle Ranch the continuing Eastern Phoebe and Hammond's Flycatcher where both in the Cottonwoods by the entrance gate. The Phoebe was one of the first birds I saw and just before leaving while talking with 2 other birders The Hammond's flew in right in front of us in the same area. I saw 2 Yellow-shafted Flickers near the house. One male and a female type hybrid.

Tim Avery (10 Feb 2008) - This afternoon while guiding 2 photographers around Washington County we had some interesting sightings. At Lytle Ranch in the Orchard I photographed what looks to be a clean Gilded Flicker, not the same bird Rick and I observed the previous day. This bird was ALSO seen, in the vicinity of the old beaver dam along the creek. ...At Sand Hollow were 2 Trumpeter Swan and 6 TUNDRA SWAN along what I think is the south shore.

Rick Fridell (9 Feb 2008) - Last night (2/8) I saw a first-winter Mew Gull at Sand Hollow State Park (Washington Co.). It was perched on the 'cormorant rocks' directly off the main parking lot with some Ring-billed and a few California Gulls. There were also 7-8 Tundra Swans at Sand Hollow (foraging along the south shore). At Lytle Ranch, there is a interesting female flicker with yellow shafts, however, since it has a gray nape, I believe it has at least a few Northern Flicker genes, however all the other characters are good for a Gilded Flicker. In addition to the hybrid Gilded Flicker, there has also been an adult male Northern 'Yellow-shafted' Flicker hanging around this winter. I also photographed what I believe is a Hammond's Flycatcher at Lytle; it was located along the fence line that runs south (downstream) from the entrance gate. ...This is only the fourth winter Empid that I know of in Washington County (the other three were observed in Jan 2006), and if it is a Hammond's, it's the first of that species....

Rick Fridell (9 Feb 2008) - Tim Avery just called from Lytle Ranch (2/9) and this morning he located an Eastern Phoebe along the Beaver Dam Wash immediately south of Lytle Ranch.

Aaron (6 Feb 2008) - Today at Lytle Ranch I found an adult female Gilded Flicker in the pomegranate orchard directly across from the main ranch house. I watched the bird, which was easy to identify because it was with a dozen Northern Flickers, eating on the pomegranates that have dropped to the ground. The bird then flew behind the ranch house. I also found an adult Golden-crowned Sparrow just South of the large pond. This bird was feeding on the hillside with 20 or more White-crowned Sparrows.