Birdnet Hotline Highlights
July 2008

Review Species Reported This Month:
Neotropic Cormorant  Washington Co.
     Glossy Ibis  Cache Co.
     Pacific Golden-Plover  Juab Co.
     Western Gull  Box Elder Co.
     Boreal Owl  Uintah Co.
     Whip-poor-will  Cache Co.
     Least Flycatcher  Utah Co. 
     Eastern Towhee  Sanpete Co.    


Matthew Alexander - On 8 July 2008 at around 6:30pm, myself and Jim Pawlicki identified and photographed an adult Western Gull hanging out with about a dozen California Gulls at the Bear River NWR. The bird was near the southwest corner of the square-shaped auto tour. The bird appeared fidgety and flew off towards the south once we approached for better photos. None of the California Gulls flew away at that time. The Western Gull was larger with a darker mantle and pink legs.


John Barnes (28 Jul 2008) - I got out this afternoon hoping to find the recently sightings of hard to find birds in Cache County. Struck out but did find Lark Buntings ( one male and one, perhaps two females). They were immediately west of Newton near the County address of 6800 N and 7000 W. ...

Kristin Purdy (23 Jul 2008) - Friend Scott Baxter saw Purple Martins flying over Dry Bread Pond (just barely in Cache County from Weber) on Saturday, and I couldn't leave that stone unturned. I visited the spot this morning (SR-39, the Monte Cristo Highway, at mile 41.1) and came across the birds perched in the tops of dead aspens on the left as soon as I turned off the highway. And I thought it was going to be tough. I wasn't even out of my truck yet when I saw them. I observed for a couple hours and saw at least seven birds, six female-types and one adult male, and two nest cavities. At least two of the female types and the male are feeding at the same cavity. The second cavity didn't have as much activity and I never saw an adult enter carrying insects. Perhaps that brood hasn't hatched yet.

Craig Fosdick (11 Jul 2008) - Today I birded Tony Grove and the trail from Tony Grove to White Pine Lake... birds at Tony Grove included an Evening Grosbeak and at least two Purple Martins...

Ryan O'Donnell (3 Jul 2008) - This afternoon I birded the "Polishing Ponds" in Benson, Cache County. I saw one possible Glossy Ibis. There were also many White-faced Ibis present but the bird in question was alone, not associating with any other ibis. I have no experience with Glossy Ibis and I know they can be trickier to tell from White-faced than they seem, so I'd love to hear your opinions one way or the other. The pale blue markings around the face of this bird were narrower and less obvious than most drawings and photos I've seen. I do believe this is an adult bird, not a juvenile, because the bill is a solid color (see Sibley's illustration of juvenile ibis heads), the primaries or secondaries were molting and included worn feathers, and because the shoulders and scapulars were reddish-brown, not drab gray.

Bryan Shirley (3 Jul 2008) - My dad & I made a quick trip last night for the Whip-poor-will. It started calling at 9:25 just behind camp site number 15 (basically the same place as others have reported it). It moved around a lot and it moved up the canyon out of earshot for a while, but at about 10 PM it was back and was still calling when we left. We caught a glimpse of it a couple different times, but it moved around enough to make it tough.


Kristin Purdy (27 Jul 2008) - Thanks to Crystal Carpenter for reporting the Ruddy Turnstone at Antelope Island Causeway yesterday. ...Jack Binch and I watched the turnstone for 20-30 minutes on the north side at the big bridge near the marina. The turnstone was easy to miss and easy to lose because of the rocky shoreline in that area. The bird was not flighty, but hopped among the rocks along the waterline and frequently dropped out of sight. Fortunately, he was also fond of playing king of the rock and often stood on high points at water's edge. Several times, he flew away from the shore in a wide loop, low to the water, and returned to the shoreline farther east or west. He's still in strong rust, black and white plumage. I couldn't see any sign of the post-nuptial molt yet and his median coverts are faded enough almost to call them blonde rather than ruddy.

Crystal Carpenter (26 Jul 2008) - There was a lone Ruddy Turnstone on the causeway this morning. My camera is horrible for taking photos, so I didn't. It was just east of the jetty with the metal drum heading toward Fremont Island on the north side of the causeway. It was feeding on mud bank not the rocky bank.

Jeff Bilsky (26 Jul 20088) - My advice would be for anyone with a good scope to head out to AI. It was quite active today. Red-Necked Phalaropes as far as the eye can see. Also had a group of 20+ Marbled Godwits, a Whimbrel and several Curlews. On the island had a nice look at a Grasshopper Sparrow and some of the other usuals ...

Ben Palmer (18 Jul 2008) - I ran out to Antelope Island today... I was very surprised to see a couple Whimbrels on the North side of the causeway, near milepost 3. The birds were right on the waters edge, so it made for great viewing. I also saw a Long-billed Curlew near there. On my way back, about 2:30, I saw a Whimbrel and Long-billed Curlew together on the South side of the road, near mile post 2. It was great to see the two birds side-by-side, the curlew looked huge next to the Whimbrel, and it was fun to be able to compare their field-marks.

Stephen Carlile (8 Jul 2008) - I went to Antelope Island this morning in hopes of getting a Grasshopper Sparrow, as I haven't seen one yet this year. I wasn't disappointed and saw two.


Jay Banta reported a Pacific Golden-Plover at Fish Springs, seen on 19 Jul 2008. photos -


Kristin Purdy (13 Jul 2008) - I ... went birding in the Monte Cristo Range in Rich and Cache Counties. It was lovely. Wildflowers haven't yet reached their peak and a breeze kept the air comfortable all day. I spent a lot of time watching two species of woodpeckers in Monte Cristo Campground (mile 47.7 of SR-39) or nearby and just absorbed everything else that was moving or singing. Here's the list: ...Williamson's Sapsucker (likely the same pair as last year...)... American Three-toed Woodpecker (nest cavity at campsite #11)... Purple Martin (overhead at Curtis Creek Road, mile 48.8 of SR-39)...


Colby Neuman (29 Jul 2008) - I heard at least two White-winged Crossbills singing in the conifers on the south side of the Big Cottonwood Canyon road about 50 yards below the lower entrance to the Solitude Ski Resort.

Tim Avery (19 Jul 2008) - This afternoon,  Jeff Bilsky and I spent some time birding along the south shore of the Great Salt Lake in the vicinity of Lee's Creek. ...Solitary Sandpiper 2... With the small flock of dowitchers were two birds that struck me as odd. There appeared to be 2 juvenile birds, that in plumage and shape fit Short-billed Dowitcher. I took some pictures and will upload them later tonight.

Tim Avery (15 Jul 2008) - I went up to Silver Lake this morning ...highlights: ...4 American Three-toed Woodpecker...

Jeff Bilsky (10 Jul 2008) - Carl Ingwell and I hiked the Silver Lake, Twin Lakes, Lake Solitude loop this evening. Highlights are a Three-toed Woodpecker (we found an active nest),... and a couple of Williamson's Sapsuckers heard drumming.

Jeff Bilsky (8 Jul 2008) - I decided to see if I could see some of the reported species up Big Cottonwood this evening. I started by hiking past Silver Lake and up to Twin Lakes. ... Not much to report on the way down towards Solitude or at Solitude itself. However, heading back towards Silver Lake I ran across a nice female Williamson's Sapsucker and then I saw a pair (male and a likely female - I got a better look at the male) of White-winged Crossbills! They wouldn't sit still long enough for me to get a pic, but I was able to distinctly make out the wing bars, coloration and size...

Tim Avery (6 Jul 2008) - This morning, Steve & Cindy Sommerfeld and I hiked the loop from Brighton by Silver Lake, up to Twin Lakes, down to Lake Solitude and back to Brighton...Near Twin Lakes we had a female Williamson's Sapsucker, and a male American Three-toed Woodpecker. Just over the divide that drops from the ridge, down to Lake Solitude 2 ATTW could be heard drumming, one likely the same bird that we saw. About 150 yards down the trail from the top I heard what sounded like White-winged Crossbills giving flight calls. After a little work 2 flew over giving the the distinct chatter. A lone bird was visible on top of a spruce several hundred feet away.


(4 Jul 2008) - Mike Monson reported seeing an Eastern Towhee along Pleasant Creek Dr. this morning, about 1/2 mile below the power plant just before a burnt-out area on the north side of the road. He has not been able to re-locate the bird but will call if he can find it again.


Tim Avery - This weekend (07/25-07/27) Colby Neuman (and his dog Lucy), Samantha Sargent and I headed to the Leidy Peak area... We got a late start into the mountains and ended up getting to the parking area above Hacking Lake just after sunset, as it started to rain. ...And it shouldn't seem odd given the numbers this year, but a White-winged Crossbill was singing in the dim morning light in the trees around camp, and throughout the weekend they could be heard singing, calling, and the occasional fly-over was seen for added satisfaction. ... Around 11:00am, Sam and I ventured back through the tree-line towards camp, where many White-crowned and Chipping Sparrow were still busy singing away. Back at our camp, I heard an American Three-toed Woodpecker drumming, and tracked the male bird down for a photo.... We waited for it to get dark, and headed several miles down the road to start playing for owls. We made 8 stops playing for Boreal Owl,...On the 5th stop, about 1/3 mile below Hacking Lake after playing the song for 45 seconds a small owl flew low over me, and Colby and I both heard the wing beats. WE frantically searched in the trees for the bird, and even thought we heard it scratch a couple times. I thought I heard a small cough call once, but wasn't sure. We made our 6th stop just at the entrance to Hacking Lake, and after playing the song just 2 times, we heard wing beats flyover and through the trees. Twice we caught glimpses of a bird flying through the woods, and into trees, but were never able to get clear, or close looks at the bird. Finally, our 8th stop was at the Highline Trail stop along the road just above Hacking Lake. We played here for about 30 seconds before I had another bird buzz me, the wing beats, loud enough that I jumped in the air, freaking out at how close the bird had came. I think Colby was probably laughing as I was pretty shaken and began scanning all the surrounding trees. I caught some movement high in a spruce/fir but never got a clear glimpse of what the bird was.  Although, we never got good looks at a bird, and had no feedback in terms of song or call, the actions of the tiny birds were consistent with that of Boreal Owl in surrounding states at this time of year. As with other possible interactions with this species in Utah, this was somewhat a frustrating experience, as it is truly impossible to say that the birds weren't saw-whet or pygmy owls. However, I would like to think that based off the birds flying over when a Boreal song is played, in what is seemingly perfect habitat, it would make sense that the birds were indeed Boreal Owls.

Diane Penttila (21 Jul 2008)  - Ouray National Wildlife Refuge General Waterbird Survey... The following birds were seen within the survey route (that I could getto): ...Blue-winged teal 3... Wood duck 3... Great Egret 1... American bittern 2...


Ned Bixler (9 Jul 2008)  - 7:30 AM - Grant Jense and I birded Skipper Bay Trail this morning. We heard and saw a Least Flycatcher in the small woods at the end of Skipper Bay Trail.


Rick Fridell (1 Aug 2008) - Yesterday (7/31), I photographed an adult Neotropic Cormorant at Ivin's Reservoir, Washington County, Utah. It was still present this morning (8/1)on my way back through town. It appears to be the only cormorant currently at the reservoir. I also saw a few shorebirds, Great Blue Heron, Great Egret, Green Heron, and Black-crowned Night Heron at Ivin's Reservoir.