Birdnet Hotline Highlights
June 2008

Review Species Reported This Month:
Brant  Box Elder Co.
     White Ibis  Utah Co.
     Whip-poor-will  Cache Co.
     Vaux's Swift  Rich Co.
     Tennessee Warbler  Morgan Co.
     Blackpoll Warbler  Davis Co.
     Painted Redstart  Washington Co.


Betsy Beneke (29 Jun 2008) - I think we had a pretty good trip at Bear River yesterday. ...There were about 6-8 Great Egrets found...

Tim Avery (24 Jun 2008) - I just received a text message from Chris Wood (eBird project manager), that several of the field trip leaders, as well as a small group of field trip participants were able to see a Brant at Bear River MBR on the behind the gates tour of the refuge as part of the ABA Convention. Unfortunately, the area is closed to the public, and the bird swam into cover before most of the participants were able to see it. None-the-less an outstanding record for June 24th!!!

Betsy Beneke (17 Jun 2008) - I completed my Promontory Breeding Bird Survey this morning, and will share a few comments.  I found a Eurasian Collared Dove, which is the first time I've seen this species along the Promontory Road.  Grasshopper Sparrows can be found several places along Promontory Road - I heard them singing in more places than I normally do. Hope that's a good sign.


Tim Avery - Whip-poor-will YES!!!‏  - This evening (06/20) Steve and Cindy Sommerfeld, Colby Neuman, Larene Wyss, Bob Atwood, Buck Russell and I ascended Green Canyon in Cache county to try for the rare nightjar. As luck would have have it the bird started singing around 9:30PM precisely where it was previously reported from. The bird moved all over the hillside to the northeast of the large open parking area constantly emitting the quivering notes. The bird sounded distinctly like the Mexican/Arizona subspecies with a somewhat lower voice and I would say slower start. A huge thanks to Ryan O,Donnell who alerted me to this bird. A word of caution. The bird did not respond to a tape played briefly after we listened for a while, so the fruitless repetition of Peterson or Stokes is not only probably a waste of time but could impact this birds continued presence at this locale. If you visit Green Canyon I would suggest arriving shortly before 930, and just waiting till the bird begins to announce itself. At times it wasn't more than 50 feet away while at other instances it was well over 150 yards into the woods.

Ryan P. O'Donnell (20 Jun 2008) - To follow up on Tim's post to Birdnet, Ron Ryel did indeed find a Whip-poor-will at the end of the road in Green Canyon last night. Craig Fosdick, Stephanie Cobbold, and I happened to be on our way up to the same spot when we met Ron on his way down at about 10:15PM and within a few minutes we were all at the end of the road, where the bird was still singing. It sang almost continuously for the 70 minutes or so that we were there. Ron and I were both able to record the bird: you can hear a cleaned-up version of one of my two recordings at:<>

Ryan O'Donnell (16 Jun 2008) - Yesterday Keith Archiald, Craig Fosdick, and I conducted a 4.75 mile point count on private land near Avon, Cache County, for the Little Bear Conservation Alliance. We detected a total of 47 species. The highlights were a single singing Grasshopper Sparrow, a Vesper Sparrow nest with three eggs, and a Golden Eagle nest with one chick in a cottonwood tree along the creek.


Pomera Fronce (1 June 2008) Ben Palmer, Kent Lewis and I observed a handsome breeding male Blackpoll Warbler at Garr Ranch today (Sunday) from 11:05 to 11:35. I hope most of you will know what I mean when I say the bird was working the line of russian olive trees just south and east of the spring house. Particularly, he was foraging in the tree at the southeast corner and the tree directly to the west.  The bird was very intently working the upper branches of the trees and would occasionally sally out to catch insects. He was still there when we left at 11:35. ...Also near the spring house was a female American Redstart.


Ryan O'Donnell (7 Jun 2008) - A quick report from the road - I found a successful Black Phoebe nest in Grand County today. I flushed four or five youngsters from the nest over the south fork of Mill Creek, near Moab. According to the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, Black Phoebes' "breeding distribution in Utah is limited to the Mojave Desert in the southwestern corner of the state," two or three hundred miles away.


Dennis Shirley (29 Jun 2008) - Thought I'd provide a recap of the ABA field trips I conducted this past week.... Highlights included: Burraston Ponds WMA - Blue Grosbeak, Common Grackle...


Eugene Hunn (30 Jun 2008) - While not on your report list I have photographed a pair of what sure look like Greater Scaup at Duck Creek Village, Kane County. There are also a number of Lesser Scaup pairs in the area as well as one or two Ring-necked Duck pairs. Greater Scaup, according to the maps, are not supposed to nest south of northern Canada. Both the male and female have the flat rounded crown and broad bill nail characteristic of Greater as opposed to Lesser Scaups and the female shows the distinct pale auricular patch typical of Greater females. The sinks tend to dry up in mid-summer so it's not clear if they will nest successfully. I'm very familiar with both species as I live in Seattle.


Tim Avery (9 Jun 20008) - Late yesterday afternoon, I was dragged out of my house and ended up in the upper portion of East Canyon above East Canyon Resort. I birded along the river that flows along the dirt road that heads south (to the left), right before the pavement turns west and heads up towards Big Mountain Pass from East Canyon. And vice versa from Big Mountain Pass heading towards East Canyon Reservoir, the dirt road heads south (to the right) as the road bends to the north towards the reservoir. It was birding that typified montane summer birding in Utah at its finest! However, the highlight was not the many mountain birds twittering through the tops of the cottonwoods, along the creek in the willows or across the hillsides in the oak... No, the highlight was a BEEE-autiful male Tennessee Warbler singing up a storm just to the south of the bridge over the river that leads onto private property, less than a 100 yards down the dirt road from the main paved road. When I heard the bird singing I thought, oh great, another Orange-crowned Warbler tyrign to confuse me (I hear 3 or 4 each year that sing notes that sound very similar to a TEWA). However, the bird kept singing and when I found it, I was pleasantly surprised to see a clean gray and white bird, with a greenish back and white undertail.   This has to be a rather late date for this species, but judging how migration has been iffy and a bit on the late side this year, I'm not all that surprised....Location: East Canyon, Morgan Co. ...Calliope Hummingbird 1 (male perched on top of a willow along the creek)...


Kristin Purdy (29 Jun 2008) - Today, I came across another Purple Martin colony south of the Monte Cristo Highway (SR-39) at about milepost 52 in Rich County. I observed long enough to locate four nest cavities and saw males delivering green aspen leaves to the nest holes.

Mark Stackhouse (26 Jun 2008) - This evening, at about 8 pm, I saw a single Vaux's Swift flying over Main Street in Randolph from the city park to over the LDS church, disappearing behind the church to the NW. I was unable to relocate it by the time I got to the other side of the church, but it could easily still be in the area.

Kristin Purdy (14 Jun 2008) - Wasatch Audubon headed north and east this morning to bird Bear River Meadows northeast of Randolph in Rich County ... The highlights: Despite significant snow in deep rotting drifts and no apparent buds yet on the aspens in the Monte Cristo area along SR-39, we saw a good number of mountain species. We stopped at mile 48.8 at the intersection with Curtis Creek Road to look for Purple Martins and saw decent numbers of them, along with a nest cavity along Curtis Creek Road that I've never seen occupied in the past three years. This brings to six the number of Purple Martin nest cavities around that intersection that the birds have occupied this year, 2007 or 2006. We couldn't check all of them for occupancy this year due to the snow...


Tim Avery (29 Jun 20008) - Having the ABA convention in town this past week was a great excuse to get out birding. I was the local help on 2 field trips, both to Brighton and the ISSR, on Thursday and Saturday.... Some highlights included: ...2 White-winged Crossbills in Brighton ...2 Northern Goshawk at Silver Lake...

Scott Root (24 Jun 2008) I saw some Evening Grosbeaks along Parley's Creek today while we electroshocked the spawning cutthroat trout. I saw the grosbeaks on both sides of hwy 65 as I stood on the road and looked down towards the creek. Saw the birds on both the east and west side of hwy 65. Take East Canyon exit from parleys canyon and drive north about 1/2 mile to where Parley's Creek goes under the hwy. this is located between Mtn. Dell Golf Course and Mtn. Dell Reservoir.


Lu Giddings (4 Jun 2008) - A Three-toed Woodpecker was seen at 10 a.m. this morning across the road from the Bald Mountain trail head on the Mirror Lake highway. As of early this afternoon the road has been cleared to a few hundred yards beyond the Hayden Peak overlook. While it has been plowed, the trail head parking lot remains under a great deal of snow, as do Trial Lake, Lost Lake, and the rest of the high country.


Diane Penttila (18 Jun 2008) - Ouray National Wildlife Refuge General Waterbird Survey 6/18/08 - ...The following birds were seen within the survey route (that I could get to): ...Blue-winged teal 5 ...Wood duck 1 ...Great Egret 1 ...American bittern 4...

Brian Maxfield (3 Jul 2008) - A bit of a late posting but recently I observed a single Indigo Bunting and a single Black Phoebe along the Green River in Desolation Canyon. The Indigo Bunting was only a mile or so downstream from the Sand Wash boat ramp but the Black Phoebe was smack in the middle of the canyon. I neglected to post early because of the remote nature of these sightings. This is the first Black Phoebe I have observed in this area but I generally see Indigo Buntings every time I go down the river.


Dennis Shirley (29 Jun 2008) - Thought I'd provide a recap of the ABA field trips I conducted this past week. ...Highlights included: ... North Goshen Fields - Boblink[5-6 males, 2 females] - numbers continue to drop each year, White Ibis - Probably the rarest bird found during the conference. It was seen on the east side of the north Goshen fields gravel road across from the Bobolink colony in an irrigation flooded field on thursday. It was not seen on saturday, nor has it been seen by other birders since then. By saturday the fields in the immediate area were again dry and there were even only a few white-faced ibis in the area. I believe to find it again we need to search those areas where the fields are flooded and WFI are working...

Jack Binch (28 Jun 2008) - Somehow this morning on my way to work I must have taken a wrong turn. I ended up sitting in the upper parking lot at Bridal Veil Falls at 5:45 AM. Just before six I finally looked through my binoculars and could see them [Black Swifts]. I guess there was not enough light to see them with the naked eye. I set up my scope and got some pretty good looks. (life bird)

Ned Bixler (27 June 2008) - Friday - 6:15 AM - Shortly after dawn this morning - I had 7 Black Swifts in my scope at one time at Bridal Veil.  They circled in clear view for approximately 20 minutes.

Tim Avery (26 Jun 2008) - I figured with the ABA Convention in full swing a few reports might get posted but nope. In passing I have gathered that at least 4 and maybe as many as 6 Black Swift are in the Bridal Veil Falls area this year. Many birders have gotten to see them, and the best times are of course in the morning and late late late in the day.

Milt Moody (13 June 2008) - Reed Stone just called in a sighting of 3 Great Egrets on North Goshen Bay Road (the extension of Center St. in Goshen going north) just after the road turns to dirt (and the paved road turns left).

Ned Bixler (4 June 2008) - Several Indigo Buntings were on the Provo trail yesterday.


Bryant Olsen (25 Jun 2008) - I just got back from a trip to the family cabin in the Strawberry Valley were I found a colony of Purple Martins! They were in an Aspen grove about 7 miles south of the marina on the east side of the road. When I first saw them I thought " those are some very big Starlings" then it hit me what they where so I turned around and got some photos.


Colby Neuman - Out of state birder Laurent Fournier reported a Painted Redstart from the upper Emerald Pool in Zion National Park on June 28th according to I can't remember if there have been reports of them from this specific location in past years so I thought it was worth passing along.