Birdnet Hotline Highlights
November 2008

Review Species Reported This Month:
Cackling Goose  Salt Lake Co.
Black Scoter  Davis Co.  Piute Co.  Utah Co.
     Red-throated Loon  Washington Co.
     Iceland Gull  Cache Co.
     Lesser Black-backed Gull  Cache Co.
     Common Redpoll  Salt Lake Co.


Merrill Webb - On Saturday, Nov. 22, I took some time to look for birds at Minersville Lake Park west of Beaver. First bird I saw was a juvenile Greater White-fronted Goose with a small flock of Canada Geese. There were also two Ross's Geese with the flock.


Joel Beyer (12 Nov 2008) - Yesterday afternoon, Kathy and I found the Winter Wren at Box Elder Campground (Mantua, Box Elder Co.) It was across the stream from site #25 (where Paul Higgins photographed it) at site #12. It was quite vocal, and fairly easy to locate.

Paul Higgins (7 Nov 2008) - I stole away at lunch and went up to Box Elder Campground.  Sure enough, Kris's Winter Wren has taken over Campsite #25 again this fall.


Craig Fosdick (28 Nov 2008) - A first-winter Thayer's Gull was at the Logan Mitigation Ponds (Sue's Ponds) today, and has probably been there since at least 11/24/08. The Ross's Goose continues at the Logan Mitigation Ponds (Sue's Ponds); this bird also was first seen 11/24/08. Few other highlights from today....a female Hooded Merganser (not so common in Cache Co.) was at Hyrum State Park.

Craig Fosdick (22 Nov 2008) - Following the BAS field trip this morning, Ryan O' Donnell, Jason Pietrzak, and I birded both Logan Mitigation Ponds (Sue's Ponds) and Hyrum State Park. The Lesser Black-backed Gull first found 17 days ago at the Logan Mitigation Ponds thankfully made another appearance, no doubt so I could finally see it. Soon after we found the LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL, an adult BALD EAGLE kicked up all the gulls and put an end to our gull-watching.

Craig Fosdick (22 Nov 2008) -  A cooperative male Long-tailed Duck was seen by most participants on the Bridgerland Audubon Society's field trip to the Logan Sewage Lagoons / Polishing Ponds this morning.

Ryan P. O'Donnell (17 Nov 2008) - Thanks to yesterday's post from Craig Fosdick, I found a Winter Wren this morning at Guinavah-Malibu Campground in Logan Canyon. This bird was a partial albino (or leucistic, whatever you want to call it): it had a clean white patch above the bill on the front of the crown, withs everal pure white feathers into the hind crown.

Stephanie Cobbold (17 Nov 2008) - This afternoon I saw a Snow Bunting at the Utah State University Forestry Station in Logan Canyon, Cache County. It was feeding on the ground by itself, by the gravel road, about 30 m in from the entrance gate. The USU Forestry Station is located in front of the turn off to Tony Grove from Highway 89.

Craig Fosdick (16 Nov 2008) - Birded First Dam in Logan, as well as Malibu-Guinavah CG and Spring Hollow CG in Logan Canyon. Quiet, and very cold in the shade. Winter Wren at Malibu-Guinavah CG was a welcome find.

Bob Atwood (7 Nov 2008) - The gull that wants to be an Iceland Gull was hanging around Sues' pond Thursday at 1:00 together with the American Golden Plover. There was no sign of the Lesser Black Backed Gull. There were hundreds of Ring Billed and California Gulls with several Herring Gulls.

Jason Pietrzak - (5 Nov 2008) - Quick update on the dark gull: I went out to the playa with Anne where we met up with Ryan O'Donnell and then Craig Fosdick. More photos and observation confirm the Lesser Black-backed Gull. Here are a couple of photos of that gull (and a Dunlin). He mostly stood and walked around until some other gulls found food and then the Lesser Black-backed charged in and dominated.

Ryan P. O'Donnell (5 Nov 2008) - I initially identified the bird that Jason Pietrzak posted about yesterday as a Glaucous Gull on the basis of its pale overall pale color, pale wingtips relative to the wing, and bicolored bill with a distinct dark tip and pale base. But some aspects of the head and bill shape made me doubt that initial identification, so I went out to look for the bird last night and again this morning. Last night Jason and I found a Dunlin and relocated the American Golden-Plover, but not the gull. This morning, Craig and I relocated the gull in question on the Shorebird Playa at Sue's Ponds, just west of the Logan Landfill. ... Although I know it is very unlikely based on distribution records, these traits taken together make me wonder if this is an Iceland Gull (in the broad sense, including Kumlein's), which has a smaller bill than Thayer's, paler colors in the body, paler wingtips, and lacks a bold tail band. ...

Ryan P. O'Donnell (2 Nov 2008) - Yesterday I joined about twelve other birders on the Bridgerland Audubon Society's field trip around south Cache County.  ...went to Hyrum Reservoir. Several COMMON LOONS were on the water, with a flock of gulls that were too distant to identify. The highlight here was a single Horned Grebe.


Joel and Kathy Beyer (30 Nov 2008) - A few birds of note from today's outing...  Antelope Is. causeway (Davis Co.): Black Scoter (female), Long-tailed Duck (female) -- both at second bridge.

Kris Purdy (25 Nov 2008) - Today, I heard a report of another Dunlin. Members of Wasatch Audubon saw and photographed one on Antelope Island's causeway in Davis County on Saturday. The bird was with a group of Killdeer north of mile markers 1-2.

My husband and I visited Farmington Bay WMA in Davis County this afternoon. ...Best birds in regards to level of rarity included several Greater Scaup. I swept through literally hundreds of Lesser Scaup before finding any Greaters, they were neither easy to find nor numerous today. I saw five or six. A male CINNAMON TEAL brightened everything up in his fresh spicy plumage, one WESTERN GREBE looked lonely without compatriots, and four Horned Grebes swam along the edges of the raft near the south end of the ducks (not far from the southwest end of the dike).

Eric Huish (15 Nov 2008) - Lu Gidding led 4 carloads of Utah County Birders on a field trip today. ...On the Antelope Island Causeway we saw the previously reported Black Scoter and Long-tailed Duck at the last bridge before the island.. We also saw a White-winged Scoter. It flew past on the North side of the causeway then a few minutes later flew in and landed near the bridge on the South side. The field trip ended here. It was a great field trip with lifers for some in the group.  Matt, Stephanie and I headed on to Garr Ranch where the best birds were a Merlin and a Great Horned Owl. On our way back across the causeway we stopped at the bridge again (4:15 p.m.) This time there was one of each scoter species. The White-winged on the South and the Black and a Surf Scoter next to each other right next to shore on the North side of the causeway.

Kris Purdy (14 Nov 2008) - John Bellmon, Keith Evans, Jack Rensel and I had a great day birding Jensen Nature Park in west Layton and Antelope Island State Park in Davis County today. ...Surf Scoter - One female on the north side of the big bridge near the marina. Doug Roberts was blessed with three there. Black Scoter - The first sighting was a right-place-at-the-right-time sighting. We had left the bridge and continued west when a duck flying low over the water from the northwest and landing on the north side of the bridge caught our attention. It screamed to be checked, and turned into the female Black Scoter. She only stayed there, diving, for a few minutes, and then took off east and then south over the causeway. On the way home, we found her again south of mm 1. Long-tailed Duck - A female in the morning south of the big bridge, and a male there in the afternoon.

Carl Ingwell (13 Nov 2008) - This morning I birded Antelope Island for a couple hours. Watched the Surf Scoter for about 30 min. She was my first Scoter of the year. Both the Scoter and Long-tailed Duck had moved to the North side of the bridge.

Joel Beyer (12 Nov 2008) - A female Surf Scoter was seen on the north side of the second bridge on the Antelope Island Causeway (Davis Co.). A male Long-tailed Duck was on the south side of the bridge.

Kris Purdy (9 Nov 2008) - Paul Higgins just called (10:00 AM, Sunday) to report that he and Cindy and Steve Sommerfeld are enjoying a male Long-tailed Duck at the big bridge near the marina at Antelope Island Causeway in Davis County. The duck is wearing his eye-catching winter plumage with the elongated central retrices. Maybe there's still time for folks to get out for a look before the front hits. Kris


Rick Fridell (13 nov 2008) -  Work took me around to some seldom visited southern Utah spots the last couple of days, and fortunately I had a little time to scope Panguitch Lake and Otter Creek Reservoir. I really wish I could have spent more time looking around these seldom birded lakes. The highlights included: Panguitch Lake (Garfield County) - 11/12/08 1 Common Loon, 13 Tundra Swans, 3 Surf Scoters (adult female and two juveniles), 2 White-winged Scoters (two juveniles).


Joel and Kathy Beyer (30 Nov 2008) - A few birds of note from today's outing... East Canyon Reservoir (Morgan Co.): Pacific Loon (winter plumage), Barrow's Goldeneyes, Hooded Mergansers - Morgan (Woods Creek Road - 4186 So. Hwy 66): Lewis' Woodpecker (2).


Rick Fridell (13 nov 2008) -  Work took me around to some seldom visited southern Utah spots the last couple of days, and fortunately I had a little time to scope Panguitch Lake and Otter Creek Reservoir. I really wish I could have spent more time looking around these seldom birded lakes. The highlights included: Otter Creek State Park (Piute County) - 11/13/08 8 Common Loons1, Black Scoter (juvenile)2, Surf Scoters (juveniles), 1 Herring Gull (first-winter)...


 Jeffrey Saffle (30 Nov 2008) - My wife and I walked the first 3 miles of City Creek Canyon Saturday. Best bird by far was a Winter Wren just above campsite number 5.

Jack Binch (25 Nov 2008) - I just drove by the pond across from the Flying J station on 21st. South and about 850 west. Little bitty guy [Cackling Goose] with a bunch of regular Canada Geese.

Tim Avery - This morning (11/22) Jeff Bilsky and I birded around Salt Lake County. We stopped at Glendale Golf course where 8 HOODED MERGANSER were on the pond visible from 2100 south and about 1300 east to the north. ...we stopped at Lee Kay Ponds where 1000's of gulls were present, including numerous Ring-billed and Herring Gulls. A first-winter Thayer's Gull was present on the west pond as well.

Tim Avery - Apparently there was a Common Redpoll seen in Salt Lake City on the 20th. A sighting by Jay Langford from a personal location was listed on the ebird google app.

Tim Avery (9 Nov 2008) - This afternoon, Sam and I headed out to Great Salt Lake State Park / Saltair Marina to see what was floating around. Our first pass through the parking east parking area produced a seemingly late SAY'S PHOEBE near the host trailer. After passing through once and heading to the west side of the marina we went back to the easy lot and put to the lookout point. As we we're sitting in the car a large white-winged gull flew past heading west. I hopped out and took a few shots. It appeared to be a Glaucous-winged Gull but I wasn't sure. Luckily it landed about 200 yards off shore with a few other birds. We got the scope out and took a look at the large gull which had pale gray primaries, a smudged up head and a nice big bill. It was an adult and was with 3 other birds, a Herring Gull, a California Gull and what looked to be an adult Mew Gull. There were 1000's of gulls along the shore and on the lake. Probably at least 5000 birds. There were 1000's of Eared Grebes on the water too and at least 2 Horned Grebes as well.

Val Stock (3 Nov 2008) - Saturday, I had a flock of approx. 10 Bohemian Waxwings fly in and perch, briefly, in my backyard in Bountiful. I had been looking at a group of Robins, so had binoculars in hand. Is this a little early for Waxwings?


Kris Purdy (3 Nov 2008) - A birding friend of mine, Brian Nosker, reports seeing flocks of both Red and White-winged Crossbills in the area of Marsh Lake, Summit County, while elk hunting on the north slope of the Uintas this week. Marsh Lake is due south of Mountain View, Wyoming, and just south of the Wyoming border. 


Diane Penttila - Ouray National Wildlife Refuge - General Waterbird Survey - 11/18/08 - The following birds were seen within the survey route: ...Great Egret 1...


Jeff Bilsky (21 Nov 2008) - I birded Lincoln Pt at about 4pm and the Snow Bunting was present on the South jetty this time accompanied by a much more jumpy American Pipit.

Milt Moody (19 Nov 2008) - Leena Rogers and I showed up at Lincoln Beach this morning at about 9:30 and found the Black Scoter in the same place as reported earlier. We may have been too late for the Snow Bunting -- it wasn't around.

Lu Giddings (16 Nov 2008) - Just returned from a few hours at Lincoln Beach. I spotted the Black Scoter before I knew it had been posted. It was there all afternoon, feeding in water so shallow that at times killdeer were wading around it. Erich Huish, Ned Bixler, Cheryl Peterson, and Dennis and Bryan Shirley came out and saw the bird as well.  The Snow Bunting was spotted late this afternoon on the north dike, near the end.  A pair of Least Sandpipers was spotted in the company of roughly 40 killdeer, also at Lincoln Beach.

Dave Hanscom (16 Nov 2008) - I just got back from Lincoln Beach, where the Snow Bunting was still hanging around the south dike. A special bonus was the Black Scoter feeding in the shallow water with some coots just south of the two dikes. Thanks to the couple from Alaska who pointed it out to me. No luck on the Northern Shrike at Provo Airport dike.

Jack Binch (15 Nov 2008) - I decided it would be more fun to chase the Snow Bunting at Lincoln Beach rather than sitting home. I went around the Provo Airport Dike on my way down, and found a Northern Shrike in the northwest corner. Next I ran out to the beach without stopping anywhere else. The Snow Bunting was foraging in the rocks at the end of the south dike. I first saw it from the north dike after driving along the south one without seeing it. That was the only small bird I saw at the beach area.

Eric Huish (11 Nov 2008) -  I spent the morning out at Lincoln Point. When I got out of my car at the end of the South jetty of the marina a Snow Bunting spooked up and flew low over the water to the back side of the North jetty. I went around and walked slowly down the North jetty hoping to get a good look at it. It flew up well ahead of me, circled in the sky a few times calling while it flew, and landed again on the south jetty. It landed very near a fellow and his dog but I couldn't see the spot where it landed. A minute later I could hear it flying again but couldn't find it against the sky.

Eric Huish (8 Nov 2008) -  I made a quick trip around the PAD this evening with KC Childs and his friend Sean... The Dunlin is still on the mudflat on the East side of the dike loop. There were a few more Dowitchers there today and a Least Sandpiper.

Eric Huish (6 Nov 2008) -  Ned Bixler and I drove around the Provo Airport Dike this evening after I got off work. Best bird was a nonbreeding plumage Dunlin with 4 Long-billed Dowitchers on the mudflat at the East side of the dike loop (where you first see the lake when driving the dike clockwise). The Dunlin was a Utah County lifer for me.


Rick Fridell (29 Nov 2008) - The Red-throated Loon was still present at Quail Creek State Park today (11/29/08) at 2:00 p.m.

Rick Fridell (26 Nov 2008) - Last night as it was getting dark, my dad, Quinn, and I stopped by Quail Creek State Park. We noticed a smaller loon with several Common Loons but it was too dark to make it out in the distance. So today, my dad and I braved the rainy weather, and returned to QCSP. We located an immature Red-throated Loon (a different individual than the one earlier in November - with a much darker throat). I managed a few distant, but hopefully diagnostic, photos of the loon, and will ultimately submit them for review by the Utah records committee. While we were there the loon moved all around the reservoir. Based on previous experience with rare loons on Quail, I would expect it to stick around as long as the weather and particularly night-time cloud cover holds.    Also, much to my surprise, there was a male Barrow's Goldeneye in a flock of 15 or so goldeneye immediately south of the boat ramp. This is the first adult male Barrow's Goldeneye I've seen in Washington County.

Rick Fridell - Today (11/15) there were three White-winged Scoters on Kolob Reservoir including a stunning adult male, adult female, and a juvenile female. They were on the southwest corner of the lake, loosely associated with a flock of 20 or so Ruddy Ducks. The only other waterfowl on Kolob Reservoir were a small group of Mallards, three female Buffleheads, and a pair of Hooded Mergansers. Other interesting birds around Kolob Reservoir included at least eight Bald Eagles, and an adult Northern Shrike (around the first cove along the road as you drive along the reservoir from the south). A flock of 10-12 California Condors flew over the reservoir as I was watching the WWScoters, and appeared to be heading south to their usual haunts in the Kolob Meadows along Kolob Creek. Sand Hollow State Park hosted a Snow Goose and the continuing juvenile Surf Scoter amongst it's hoards of waterfowl this morning. I did not see the Red-throated Loon at Quail Creek State Park today or yesterday, but the winds were blowing so hard I couldn't see much in the waves.

Rick Fridell - Today (11/11), there was an immature Red-throated Loon at Quail Creek State Park (Washington Co., UT). It seems like most of the loons at Quail, and particularly the rare ones, hang out along the inaccessible far shore, however this one was quite accommodating and was in the shallow area near the Quail Creek inflow. ...Sand Hollow State Park also had some nice birds including a couple Horned Grebes, an immature Surf Scoter, an adult Bald Eagle, and a young Herring Gull.

Larry Tripp (10 Nov 2008) - I had a very interesting sighting today in my yard in Veyo, Washington Co. Looking out the window, I saw something small flying low and fast with another bird right on it's tail that looked like it could be a Shrike. They both disappeared into a thicket of brush so I went and got my Binns. I watched for something to re-appear for about 5 minutes before a HY Brown Northern Shrike came up to the top of the brush. After looking at the Shrike for a bit, I noticed that it had dragged a House Sparrow to the top with him. Which was dead at this point. It then flew ( with the Sparrow ) to another bush 20 yards away. There it lodged the bird between a couple branches and started to tear it apart. It finished about half the bird ( It must have been pretty hungry ) before it flew off.