Review Species Reported This Month:
Cackling Goose Cache Co.
Salt Lake Co.
Painted Redstart Washington
Baird's Sparrow Washington
Craig Fosdick (29 Mar 2009) - 4-5" fresh snow brought some good birds to my
yard today. A flock of 17 White-winged Crossbills flew over the
apartment, and was kind enough to land in the big snag in the adjacent horse
pasture just long enough for me to count them (at least 5 adult males) before
they took off again.
Ryan P. O'Donnell (21 Mar 2009) - Craig Fosdick, Steve Carr, and I birded
around Cache Valley today. ... We found both RED CROSSBILLS and White-winged
Crossbills at the Logan Cemetery. At least one (possibly two) RICHARDSON'S
Cackling Goose was at the fields along Sam Fellows Road.
Craig Fosdick (1 Mar 2009) - Yep, yet another *yawn* White-winged
Crossbill post. Today I found WWCR at both Logan Cemetery (previously
reported by Ryan O'Donnell and Jason Pietzrak) and Smithfield Cemetery
(previously reported by Buck Russell). At least 20 WWCR were at Logan Cemetery,
and at least 25 WWCR were at Smithfield Cemetery. The WWCR at Smithfield
Cemetery were in the NW corner of the cemetery, near the main gate, and later
flew across the road to spruces at 30N 330E. I did not see or hear Red
Crossbills at either location.
David Jensen (25 Mar 2009) - Despite snow, rain, wind, (some nice dry
periods, but with COLD wind), the Audubon group today saw 38 species at
Farmington Bay. No Blue-winged Teal, but the Eurasian Wigeon (very
uncooperative as it fussed around on a grass island just inside the main
entrance of the refuge in the first big pond on the left). A Clarke's Grebe in
the largest pond beyond the gate just past Egg Island. And two Sand Hill Cranes
doing their ritual dancing - always cool. 30+ other species.
Les Talbot (21 Mar 2009) - I led a Wasatch Audubon Trip to Antelope Island
today. The Varied Thrush is still at Garr Ranch. This was a lifer for me.
We saw two Burrowing Owl, one at the bottom of the hill going up to Buffalo
Point. The other one was at mile marker 6 (going east) on the south side of the
Carl Ingwell (17 Mar 2009) - I birded Mueller Park today. Found 3 Golden
Crowned Kinglets, 1 Ruby-Crowned Kinglet, 3 White-Winged Crossbill (2 of
them flew to the ground and fed no more than 5 feet away from my feet. I found
it odd that they were feeding on the ground & so close to me!), Steller's Jay,
Pine Siskin, Dark-Eyed Junco, Black-Capped Chickadee, American Robin & Northern
Jeff Bilsky (15 Mar 2009) - Carl Ingwell and I headed to Farmington Bay this
morning to track down the Eurasian Wigeon along with several other
birders who were there. Thanks to Pomera for her great find and telling everyone
Joel Beyer (15 Mar 2009) - The Varied Thrush is still at Garr Ranch on
Antelope Island, and we saw the Winter Wren at Mueller Park in Bountiful.
Pomera Fronce (14 Mar 2009) - I found a male Eurasian Wigeon at
Farmington Bay today (Saturday) around 1:00. He was in the company of some
American Wigeons in the wet area between Goose Egg Island and the new visitors
Jeff Bilsky (13 Mar 2009) - Took an evening hike up Mueller Park to see what
I could find. Birds weren't plentiful but I got the best look I've ever had at a
Winter Wren and a NORTHERN GOSHAWK. I was surprised and pleased to locate
Joel Beyer (8 Mar 2009) - Mueller Park in Bountiful was busy with birds this
morning. In the pine trees just up the canyon from the caretaker's
trailer/second parking lot we found 10-12 White-winged Crossbills, RB
Nuthatches, Brown Creeper, GC Kinglets, Pine Siskins, and Mountain and BC
Chickadees. At Garr Ranch on Antelope Island, the Varied Thrush is still
Weston Smith (30 Mar 2009) - Went birding today with my dad(Arnold Smith),
brother(Aaron), and his daughter in Morgan County. We decided to see if we could
find any White-winged Crossbills in the county since they have been
reported all around Morgan. Our trip was very successful as we found nine
White-winged about a half mile from dads house, maybe they will find his feeders
or spruce trees.
SALT LAKE COUNTY
Tim Avery (24 Mar 2009) - 3 calling flyover White-winged Crossbills
near 9000 south and Wasatch Blvd.
Susan Ogilvie - Last Friday, March 20 I saw a pair of White-winged
Crossbills here in Silver Fork in Big Cottonwood Canyon.
Pomera Fronce (8 Mar 2009) - Jack, Roberta and I birded the Jordan River
Parkway south of 12600 South today. The best bird was a Sage Sparrow with a
Cackling Goose and Cliff Swallow coming in second and third. All three
birds were seen in the general area of the mitigation site which is the wet area
on the east side of the paved trail before you get to the silo.
Martha Veranth (3 Mar 2009) - If you missed the Greater White Fronted Goose
at Lake Park in January, there was one grazing with the Canada Geese on the golf
course at 4646 Lake Park Blvd (WVC) around 1:45 today. Take highway 201
westbound to Bangerter exit (13); turn left at the top of the ramp; turn right
at the entrance to Lake Park Corporate Center (there's a sign); turn left at the
T junction and follow the road about 1 mile to 4646 Lake Park Blvd. The GWFG was
with a flock of Canada Geese on the section of the golf course between the
Intermountain Health Care parking lot and the pond.
Dave Hanscom ( Mar 2009) - My wife and I skied the Beaver Creek Trail (along
the Mirror Lake Highway) last Thursday. We saw a flock of Red and
White-winged Crossbills (ho hum), but the best sighting of the day was the
Ruffed Grouse that wandered across the trail in front of us, seemingly
unimpressed with our presence. Pretty neat!
Jeff Bilsky (16 Mar 2009) - Birded Swede Lane after work. Best bird was a
Wendy (18 Mar 2009) - just happened to glance out the window to the feeders at
the visitor center at Wasatch Mountain State Park (Midway) and low and behold,
there were three White-winged Crossbills, two females, one male. That was
a first for me and for the park, I believe.
Kathleen & Hal Robins (24 Mar 2009) - We observed our first Painted Redstart
(male) on the Three Ponds Trail in Snow Canyon State Park (Ivins, Utah) on
Sunday, March 22nd. (Sorry about the late posting - unable to get to a computer
or phone.) The bird was very active, fanning its tail and singing, seemingly
setting up his territory. While observing this fantastic bird, we heard a loud
whirring sound. Above us were two Peregrine Falcons repeatedly stooping on a
number of White Throated Swifts. We no longer asked ourselves why we were out in
the cold and wind that afternoon. The State Park map shows the
location of Three Ponds (actually small potholes in eroded sandstone) Trail and
it is well marked (moderately difficult). The trail is 3.5 miles round trip. The
Redstart was located in some large bushes (scrub oak?) on the left side of the
trail approximately 150 yards before reaching the first pond. A large rotting
log was lying on the left side of the trail seemingly pointing to the bush.
Sid Westerman - On the morning of March 17, 2009, Nathan Fisher and I, Sid
Westerman (I've been birding since my teenage years; I'm now 62 years old) were
at Lytle Ranch in Washington County, Utah. While birding at the pond north of
the orchards on the ranch we spotted a small (about 5.5 inch sparrow) alone on
the ground next to a small stream of water being drained from the pond. It was
next to a small bush on the nearly barren flood plain and was very quiet and
secretive, making no call or song at all. I had overlooked it as I passed by yet
Nathan came and called my attention to it. We watched it for about 5 or 10
minutes, getting a very good look at the head, upper back, and breast of the
bird. It had a definite ochre-colored crown down the middle, with not too
distinct head markings and, noticeably, a light nearly white breast with a
narrow band of fine dark streaks across the breast. This sparrow matches
precisely the photo 32.3 of Beadle and Rising's Sparrows of the United States
and Canada: The Photographic Guide, page 147. Though I did not get a very clear
picture of the tail it was short, and the fairly large flat head was diagnostic.
After viewing this bird for some time I picked up my field guide (the new 2008
Peterson Field Guide to Birds of North America) and then looked back to find the
bird gone. Though it had not flown away I could not find it thereafter. I also
referred to Kenn Kaufmann's Lives of North American Birds and Sibley's Guide to
Birds, and I compared what I saw with Peterson's and Sibley's guides--to see if
it could be a Savannah, Vesper, Grasshopper or other similar species--and was
convinced it was none of these. All these habits, field marks, and field guide
descriptions compared confirmed to me that this was indeed a Baird's Sparrow
migrating to its summer range, though their migration does not generally occur
until April. Parenthetically, I have seen Baird's Sparrows before (Dec. 19,
2002) in their winter grounds in southeastern Arizona near the Mexican border.
(I have been birding for about a year. I agree with the information stated by
Sid, and also feel confident in his assessment. Nathan Fisher)
Tin Avery (17 Mar 2009) - Sam and I drove down to Washington County late on
Friday night (03/13), arriving in the Beaver Dam Wash around midnight. ...
Saturday (03/14) we woke to trees budding with green...I took a short stroll
through the trees to see what else was a round, when I flushed a Sapsucker. It
struck me as odd when it flew, and when it landed it was apparent that this was
not an adult bird. The back was heavily barred and had some brownish feathering
on the back, head and front--the head was mostly black and white with some brown
speckling, and a little bit of red on the forehead. I got a nice shot of the
bird with its head turned, and based off the time of year am inclined to believe
this is a YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER. ....After birding at Lytle we headed
toward St. George. A quick stop at Ivins Reservoir revealed a few Greater
Scaup... Heading into town we visited Tonaquint Park, where there wasn't a
whole lot of activity.... A Red-shouldered Hawk was seen gliding along
the river, and a PRAIRIE FALCON flew through the cemetery here. ... Heading out
across the Beaver Dam Slope, we visited Zella Tank which was very overgrown with
cattails. There were no birds which wasn't surprising for 5pm. We ended up at
our campsite in the middle of nowhere on the slope in time to set up camp and
eat dinner before it got dark... The first bird of Sunday (03/15) was a singing
CACTUS WREN near camp in the dark. As it became lighter both BLACK-THROATED and
SAGE SPARROW were heard singing around camp. We headed up the slope towards the
main road when a large bird flushed from near the road and flew off onto a
Joshua Tree. It struck me as thrasher-like in shape and flight. When I finally
got my binocs on it, I was shocked to see not a Sage Thrasher, but instead a
Bendire's Thrasher perched a top the tree. I struggled and grabbed my camera
slipping out of the car and peeking around the site, to take a picture of the
bird which was about 80 or 90 feet down hill. I snapped off 3 or 4 shots before
the bird dove off the tree and flew up and over the hill heading south. ...we
hurried back towards Hurricane to check out Sky Mountain Golf Course. At the
first pond we checked out there was a lone Greater White-fronted Goose
foraging. This is the only pond visible from the road. I don't remember the
exact street name, but its pretty easy to find. I knew there had to be another
pond, so after spending 15 minutes driving all the road I finally glimpsed what
looked like wigeon heads walking along the backside of a bunker. Sure enough a
flock of 200+ American Wigeon were foraging here. I spent some time wading
through them without luck of finding a Eurasian. Finally some golfers came by
and all the birds flushed away. I figured there was a pond, so I found a cart
path and wandered onto the edge of the course finally seeing water, and to my
surprise a beautiful Eurasian Wigeon swimming with the Americans. And
just in time for someone to ask what I was doing, and scold me, I snapped a
couple pics and hurried off the course.
Bryant Olsen - This past weekend I went to Capital Reef NP. and on Saturday
the 21st I saw a flock of Canada Geese, with 9 Greater White-fronted Geese
mixed in. They were flying west over Torrey at dawn.
Tim Avery (7 Mar 2009) - Jeff Bilsky, Carl Ingwell and I spent the morning
birding around northern Utah. ...Heading south and east we went up to Huntsville
and the City Park where there were between 20-25 White-winged Crossbill,
a number of Siskin, Chickadees, Nuthatches and Eurasian Collared-Doves. We also
checked out the cemetery which was dad (no pun intended). Leaving Huntsville a
flock of birds at the VFW (I think) caught our attention. Among House Finches
and Pine Siskin were at least 2 more WHITE-WINGED CROSSBILLS. We headed
back towards Ogden and I stopped to photograph the waterfall near the mouth of
Ogden Canyon. 2 Flocks of GRAY-CROWNED ROSY-FINCHES flew off the hillside and
down the canyon. A total of maybe 30-40 birds were seen.