Birdnet Hotline Highlights

December 20

Review Species Reported This Month:
Cackling Goose  Salt Lake Co.  Washington Co.
    Purple Sandpiper  Washington Co.
    Northern Parula  Washington Co.
    Rusty Blackbird  Garfield Co


Paul Higgins (30 Dec 2010) - I took the road from the south end  of Salt Creek, FWMA to Penrose this morning.  There were 12 Sharp-tailed Grouse feeding in the tops of some large Willow trees 4/10ths of a mile before you get to Penrose.  Also, an American Tree Sparrow, Road to Bear River, FWMA. 100 yards west of Goose Trailer.

Kristen Purdy (28 Dec 2010) - I headed to Mike Fish's territory today (Blue Creek Valley, home of the town of Howell, north of ATK in Box Elder County) in search of raptors and the prairie birds that like stubbled fields and roadside grit. The best of the day was seeing the bulky silhouette of a Great Horned Owl perched in a tree in a yard; while looking for its mate (which I never found), I came across a Barn Owl in the same yard, then another, then another, then two more in a nearby yard. The eight raptor species of the day included Northern Harrier, both eagles, Rough-legs and Red-tails, American Kestrel, Prairie Falcon and Merlin. Two of the falcons were highlights. The Prairie Falcon was on the ground in an agricultural field tearing something up .... The Merlin was my last raptor of the day, which I logged after seeing the owls. I was bemoaning the fact that I hadn't yet logged my benchmark of eight raptor species when I saw the Merlin sitting in a tree in another front yard. .... The Rough-legs were also highlights because I saw about eight while poking north through the valley on 18000W, an unmarked west turn off SR-83 at the northwest corner of the ATK compound). One was a beautiful dark morph. How very nice.

Jason St Sauver (5 Dec 2010) - Decided to go for a "big day" today in Box Elder County to see how many sp.ecies I could find. Didn't do too bad with a total of 67 species for the day - not bad, and didn't get Snow buntings which I had seen yesterday- Rats. I started up at the Box Elder landfill and Salt creek - then down to Promontory - and then Auto Loop at Bear River MBR..and ended in town (Brigham City) which always has some great and sometimes even odd finds (today - 2 Redhead and a Lesser Scaup sharing the pond on 90 as it comes into town on the east side with a white domestic duck, and a Belted Kingfisher there, too.) Also - had one White-throated sparrow with a small flock of White-crowned Sparrows and House sparrows at the Bear River crossing on Hghwy 13/83.

Jason St. Sauver - (4 Dec 2010) - Had a lovely morning with group of 10 kids and adults birding on the Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge for our first annual CBC4Kids! Thanks to all my fellow counters and leaders!  Here's a full list of what we saw:  (from Jason, Park Ranger, Bear River MBR - Brigham City):
    - Bald Eagle, Red-tailed Hawk, Rough-legged Hawk, American Kestrel, Northern Harrier, Ring-billed Gull, Common Merganser, Red-breasted Merganser, Common Goldeneye, Mallard, Northern Shoveler, Pied-billed Grebe, Great Blue Heron, Ring-necked Pheasant, Common Raven, Red-winged Blackbird, European Starling, Western Meadowlark, Black-billed Nagpie, Northern Shrike, Snow Bunting, Horned Lark, House Finch, American Goldfinch, Song Sparrow, House Sparrow

Jason St. Sauver (2 Dec 2010) - We've had great views and sightings of both Barn and Short-eared Owls on the Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge in past 2 days, including a Barn that came and sat on our fence post just south of the Wildlife Education Center!


Ryan O'Donnell (19 Dec 2010) - [Logan Christmas Bird Count] - Record high number of LESSER GOLDFINCHES at various feeders, only the second time they've been recorded on the count. One out-of-season adult BLACK-CROWNED NIGHT-HERON at the Logan Fisheries Experiment Station ("Logan Fish Hatchery"). Two PACIFIC WRENS (formerly known as Winter Wrens). Several (two?) NORTHERN PYGMY-OWLS, one LONG-EARED OWL, and one SAW-WHET OWL. Several HERRING GULLS (less than annual on our count) plus two adult THAYER'S GULLS. CHUKARS in two locations, totaling six individuals. Several out-of-season EARED GREBES and PIED-BILLED GREBES.

James Lofthouse (17 Dec 20100 - Two Sharp-tailed Grouse in my yard today.

Paul Higgins
(11 Dec 2010) - Barn Owl, Benson Marina Cache Valley,  Dec 11, 2010.  Surprised to see one right next to the roadway in bright daylight.

Ryan O'Donnell (11 Dec 2010) - Craig Fosdick and I had an adult MEW GULL in the field north of the Logan Fish Hatchery (~1900W, 200N) this evening, in the company of about 300 Ring-billed Gulls, 30 California Gulls, and 2 Herring Gulls.

Ryan O'Donnell - (11 Dec 2010) - This morning twelve of us had a very successful field trip with the Bridgerland Audubon Society up Logan Canyon. We started at First Dam where we saw a dozen or so COMMON GOLDENEYES and over 20 BARROW'S GOLDENEYES, along with two male HOODED MERGANSERS. We also had our first of many TOWNSEND'S SOLITAIRES here.
    - Near the Stokes Nature Center, we had our first RED-BREASTED NUTHATCH of the day, and a flock of AMERICAN GOLDFINCHES, plus several other expected species.
    - The highlight of the day, in my opinion, was the Spring Hollow Campground area, where we had an amazing minimum of three PACIFIC WRENS (formerly "Winter Wrens") seen at the same time, and probably a fourth calling from across the river. All were seen further down the trail than I have seen them before, about a quarter mile from the campground, near the "Vegetation Zones" interpretive sign...

Craig Fosdick (4 Dec 2010) - Birded Cache County in the rain today.  Nothing super exciting, but I did find two NORTHERN SHRIKES, 25 EVENING GROSBEAKS, a dark morph HARLAN'S HAWK, and a MERLIN (Prairie race) scuffling with an American Kestrel, which held its ground. One of the Shrikes was at the jct. of Utah 23/218, just east of Newton; the other was in the Bear R. floodplain on Utah 61 just east of Cornish. Also in the floodplain were hordes of starlings, House Sparrows, the 25 Evening Grosbeaks, which made a quick stop in the top of a Box Elder (or Russian Olive?), and the dark morph Harlan's Hawk. No Snow Buntings or Lapland Longspurs, and only 28 Horned Larks.  Finally, though, I did find a couple of places with manure spread (2400 W/Utah 61) and 3200 W in Benson (across from the old Darrell's Appliance). Each held exactly 8 Horned Larks. I also had a NORTHERN SHRIKE on Nov 30 at First Dam.


Steve Coleman (31 Dec 2010) - [Bues Park] Wood Ducks and Hooded Mergansers at Kaysville Pond.

Carol Gwynne (29 Dec 2010) - I did a Davis County loop, hoping to get some good birds before the storm rolls in. Things were pretty quiet. The frost was incredibly gorgeous this morning, though. There was one female Long-tailed Duck at the bridge closest to the island on the AIC, Hooded Mergansers on the Kaysville pond, (north pond), and the Ross's Goose that Joel and Kathy reported at the Jensen Nature Park in Syracuse. The ponds at Glover Lane were frozen. Raptors have been sparse at the end of Glover Lane this winter. There was a lonely kestrel, but no Rough-legged Hawks. They used to hang out there all the time.

Paul Higgins (24 Dec 2010) - I located three separate Burrowing Owls spending the holidays on Antelope Island, Davis County, Utah.

Jerry Liguori (5 Dec 2010) - There is a White-faced Ibis at the end of the diked road at Farmington Bay refuge. It has a broken/injured leg but is feeding near the parking lot.

Cindy Sommerfeld (5 Dec 2010) - This morning Steve and I, along with Paul Higgins, did our December Antelope Island Bird Survey.  It was quite a challenge.  Because of the fog we were only able to see about fifty yards in any direction.  It was a bit of a handicap.  Last year our December survey (without fog)  produced 35 species.  This year our species count was 34.  Not bad considering the conditions. The bird of the day had to be a Snowy Plover Paul pointed out on the causeway. here's the list:
   - Northern Shoveler, Common Goldeneye, Chukar, Ring-necked Pheasant, Eared Grebe, Northern Harrier, American Kestrel, Virginia Rail, Snowy Plover, Killdeer, Bonaparte's Gull, Ring-billed Gull, California Gull. Great Horned Owl, Northern Flicker, Loggerhead Shrike, Northern Shrike, Black-billed Magpie, Common Raven, Horned Lark, Rock Wren, Marsh Wren, Golden-crowned Kinglet, Hermit Thrush, American Robin, European Starling, Spotted Towhee, Song Sparrow, White-crowned Sparrow, Dark-eyed Junco, Red-winged Blackbird, Western Meadowlark , Brewer's Blackbird, American Goldfinch.


Diane Penttila (17 Dec 2010) - [Ouray National Wildlife Refuge] - General Waterbird Survey. We've warmed up just in time for our Christmas Bird Count tomorrow. The river is open and has pulled in a few birds. The following birds were seen within the survey route:
   - Canada geese 142, Mallard 301, Common merganser 5,  Sandhill crane 21,  Northern harrier 1, Red-tailed hawk, 2 Bald eagle 1.

Diane Penttila (3 Dec 2010) - The following birds were seen within the survey route: Canada Geese 1,000, Common Goldeneye, Sandhill Crane, Northern Harrier, Red-tailed Hawk. American Kestrel, Prairie Falcon


Terry Sadler (16 Dec 2010) - A male Rusty Blackbird was seen yesterday, Dec. 14, in Torrey, Utah. The bird was found during the Torrey Christmas Bird Count. It was seen in a marshy wetland area behind the Red Sands Hotel near the intersection of Highways 24 and 12. The marsh is on private land and access is restricted without prior approval from the property owner.


David J. Allen (29 Dec 2010) - There appears to be a White-winged Dove wintering in Oak City, Millard Co. I have observed one several times the past couple of months in my back yard. My wife and daughter saw one again yesterday - Tuesday 12/28/10 - while I was away.


Kristen Purdy (29 Dec 2010) - Wasatch Audubon performed the Morgan CBC today in Morgan County. Jack Rensel, Sharon Perry and I recorded seven GRAY PARTRIDGE on W. Deep Creek
Road in Morgan. We flushed them from under sagebrush on an embankment above the road without knowing they were there previously.


Dean Tomaso ( 5 Dec 2010) - I saw a group of 11 SNOW BUNTINGS on State Highway 30 about 1 mile east of Sage Creek Junction.


Jeff Bilsky (31 Dec 2010) - Two Western Screech Owls singing away on my street. How can you not love owls? Happy new year, everyone!

Tim Avery (29 Dec 2010) - Jeff Bilsky and I had a pretty good morning finding CACKLING GEESE around Salt Lake County. Although that wasn't the goal, the recurring theme ended up being Cackling Geese. We started at Decker Lake where I found 2 Cackler's that flew in while Jeff was checking the west end of the lake. When he got back he informed me there were at least 2 or 3 more. We grabbed
the scope and headed back, and as we scanned the droves of Canada Geese, the Cackler's were popping up left and right.

Norman Jenson (28 Dec 2010) - My wife and I saw the Hooded Mergansers at Decker Lake today, there were  also Common Mergansers, Green-winged Teals, a bunch of Gulls, both Ring-billed  and California, we didn't seen any unusual Gulls. There were also a number of  Canada Geese .....

Dave Hanscom (27 Dec 2010) - Today I saw a Northern Pygmy Owl in Neff's Canyon,Salt Lake County. It was in  the exact same place I saw one last spring,about 1/2 mile up from the trail  head, in a grove of firs near the mouth of the canyon. Not a lot of other birds  in the canyon, except Ravens, Chickadees and some very cute Golden-crowned  Kinglets.

Stephen T. Carlisle ( 27 Dec 2010) - I spent a couple of hours this morning at Redwood Trailhead Park (RTP-1045 West  2320 South) and Decker Lake (DL-Decker Lake Lane, 1935 West 2770 South); both in West Valley City. Most action was at RTP. Highlights were 9 Barrow's Goldeneye and a lone Wilson's Snipe at RTP; south a few hundred yards along the  river walkway by the Khadeeja Islamic Center.

Karl Fink, Chicago IL (20 Dec 2010) - Yesterday, December 19, 2010, I was driving on I-80 next to the Great Salt Lake and saw a pink flamingo standing in the water of the Great Salt Lake.

Pomera Fronce (19 Dec 2010) - [SLC Christmas Bird Count] - Most interesting birds: Snow Goose, Western Grebe, Wild Turkey, Varied Thrush, Canyon Wren, Cinnamon Teal, Blue-winged Teal, Chukar, Eared Grebe, Ferruginous Hawk, Northern Saw-whet Owl, Loggerhead Shrike, Northern Shrike, White-breasted Nuthatch, American Tree Sparrow, Pine Siskins,

Bryant Olsen (18 Dec 2010) - Taiga Merlin at the Salt Lake City Cemetery seen during the CBC.

Tom Fletcher (18 Dec 2010) - Varied Thrush on Popperton Park Way in Salt Lake.

Robert Mortensen (17 Dec 2010) - Thursday, I had an I-15 fly-over in the Sandy area of a Flicker that was Yellow-shafted.

Tim Avery (14 Dec 2010) - [Summit Park] - In the trees were plenty of Black-capped and Mountain Chickadees, Red-breasted Nuthatch, Golden-crowned Kinglet, and Brown Creeper to peak my interest into imitating a pygmy-owl. Almost instantly I got an alarm response form up the hillside. For a couple minutes the Northern Pygmy-owl and I whistled at one another till it decided to make it's way down to the road and a dead snag. I spent about 35 minutes taking pictures and got some pretty good video with my phone (that I will post tonight). Before I left I added Northern Goshawk in a flyover that sent the Pygmy-Owl diving for cover; and a flock of 25-20 Evening Grosbeaks flew over heading to the south.

Dave Hanscom (14 Dec 2010) - I just got a call from someone who lives on Matterhorn Drive in Summit Park (one of the uppermost streets).  They have a flock of more than 100 Evening Grosbeaks at their feeders.

Paul Lombard (13 Dec 2010) - This morning I spotted 3 male Barrow's Goldeneyes amongst  30-40 Common's on the Jordan River near 21st South. Access to the river is at the far east end of 2320 South off of Redwood Road.  A parking lot is next to the River at that point.

Bryant Olsen (5 Dec 2010) - Today (Sunday 12-5-10) I saw a late RED-NAPED SAPSUCKER up Emigration Canyon . It was in the tall cottonwoods just below the turn off for "Pinecrest". Hopefully it will stick around for the CBC. Not a lot of other bird activity in the canyon, although I did see 2 RUFFED GROUSE, plus the usual A. ROBINS, E. STARLINGS, T. SOLITAIRES, SONG SPARROWS, D.E. JUNCOS (Oregon), C. RAVENS, W. SCRUB JAYS, STELLAR'S JAYS, B.B. MAGPIES, B.C and MOUNTAIN CHICKADEES, H. FINCHES, and N. FLICKERS. I should also mention that the MERLIN that has been wintering in the Salt lake City Cemetery for the past few winters is back, as I saw it a few days ago (Friday).


Christina Higgins (17 Dec 12010) - While I was out for a jog today I saw a male Ring-necked Pheasant and 8  California Quail. Apparently they were also out for their morning jogs. All were located near 500 South & Vernal Avenue.


Jeff Bilsky (21 Dec 2010) - [Lower Provo River Parkway] -Birded around the Provo River/Skipper Bay. The bird that captured the majority of my interest was a yellow, ragged looking warbler that didn't give me another look after my initial view - must've snuck out the back of the thicket. It's chip note was quite reminiscent of an ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER as was it's appearance. I'd like another look, but I'm sure that's what it was. Where the heck were the White-Crowned Sparrows.    
Number of species: 25.
     - Wood Duck
, Mallard, Common Goldeneye, California Quail, Ring-necked Pheasant, Pied-billed Grebe, Northern Harrier, Red-tailed Hawk, Rough-legged Hawk, American Kestrel, American Coot, Northern Flicker, Black-billed Magpie, Black-capped Chickadee, Marsh Wren, American Robin, European Starling, Cedar Waxwing, Orange-crowned Warbler, Spotted Towhee, Song Sparrow, Red-winged Blackbird, House Finch, American Goldfinch, House Sparrow .

Robert Williams (16 Dec 2010) - I saw a Red-napped Sapsucker on BYU campus on my way to final today (it was in  the trees on the north-east corner of the law building). Also had a Townsend's
at my house just off Ninth East behind Gold's Gym.

Robert Williams (15 Dec 2010) - At Utah Lake State Park today there were 6 Herring gulls 2 adults 3 third years, and one 1st winter. Also there were about 6 California gulls and about 20 Ring-billed gulls. There was one fly over Pipit, 2 Buffleheads, some Golden-eyes and not much else.

Eric Huish (11 Dec 2010) - This morning Jeff Cooper and I saw a flock of Rosy-Finches flying around the cliffs in Dry Canyon as we were walking up the road to the canyon. Jeff ran back to the car for the spotting scope then we hiked up the canyon but we never got a close enough look to determine species. They wouldn't land near us. All we saw were the flocks flying over the canyon. ..

Robert Williams
(11 Dec 2010) - Birded the Airport dike, Utah Lake State Park, and Provo River Parkway trail today not much around but there was a Black Swan on the river that was a bit unusual, the two Nuthatches seem to be hanging around there were present at the trail parking lot, i had bad, and short looks at a what i think was a Prairie Falcon on the dike, also saw a Merlin. a few days back (last Sunday)  there was mixed flock of black birds mostly Red-winged that had to be 3-5 thousand strong!

Gloria A - (4 Dec 2010) - I've been seeing one Black Swan on the Provo River for several days. I've never seen one before so I am assuming it is unusual and worth reporting.


Rick Fridell (24 Dec 2010) - There was a Northern Parula today (12/24) at Tonaquint Park, St. George, Washington Co., UT. The parula was actively moving around the pond and through nearby trees. It was also very vocal and I was able to relocate it several times by listening for it's distinctive chip. There was also an Orange-crowned Warbler in the area and a male Wood Duck on the pond.

Rick Fridell (8 Dec 2010) - This evening (12/08) there was a Long-tailed Duck at Sandhollow State Park, Washington Co.. The duck was actively diving near the green bouys off the north boat ramp.  The two Trumpeter Swans and nine Tundra Swans are also remaining at Sand Hollow.  The biggest surprise this evening at SHSP was a small flock of 5 or 6 Blue-gray Gnatcatchers in the creosotes at the northeast corner of the reservoir; my only other Utah December BGGn observation was two at Seegmiller Marsh on 12/17/02. Unfortunately the Purple Sandpiper appears to have moved on; it was last observed Saturday (12/4) afternoon.

Ryan O'Donnell (5 Dec 2010 - birded Washington County on Friday and Saturday (Dec. 3 & 4).  Sometimes I was with other birders and sometimes I was alone, so some of these reports may be redundant.  First stop, of course, was for the PURPLE SANDPIPER, which showed well for a couple of hours. Three LEAST SANDPIPERS were present, a bit late in the year. At Cox Park in St. George we (myself, Tim Avery, and Carl Ingwell) saw a female VERMILLION FLYCATCHER, but could not relocate the male that was seen here a few weeks earlier.  At Tonaquint Nature Park we found many of the expected species, including a couple of ABERT'S TOWHEES and this EARED GREBE... a flock of LESSER GOLDFINCHES, YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLERS, and WHITE-CROWNED SPARROWS. Springs Park Pond, near Washington Fields, had a ROSS'S GOOSE, along with lots of other species of waterfowl. A small flock of geese in Washington Fields had four SNOW GEESE and one additional ROSS'S GOOSE. After dark, we heard a calling COMMON MOORHEN at Quail Lake, behind the Chevron in Hurricane. The next morning, Saturday Dec 4th, I set off on my own for Springdale Pond.  Two HERMIT THRUSHES here were a first of the trip for me.  Also of interest was a NORTHERN FLICKER INTERGRADE between the red-shafted and yellow-shafted subspecies. I then went to Stratton Pond, a.k.a. Grandpa's Pond, in Hurricane, where I was able to relocate both the EURASIAN WIGEON drake and a female GREATER SCAUP. Sky Mountain Golf Course had a small flock of about a dozen Canada Geese that included two CACKLING GEESE. Quail Creek Reservoir had no surprises, but the COMMON MERGANSERS, COMMON LOONS, and LOGGERHEAD SHRIKE were all firsts of the trip for me.

Kevin Wheeler (4 Dec 2010) - Daniel Trujillo and I ran around the St. George/ Hurricane area today birding.  We saw the PURPLE SANDPIPER near the north boat ramp at Sand Hollow Reservoir about 1:00 pm.   Other good birds observed included Eurasian Wigeon and Greater Scaup (F) at Stratton Pond, Ross's and Snow Geese at the Springs Estates Pond, Both Trumpeter and Tundra Swans at Sand Hollow Reservoir, a Merlin in Washington Fields, Bald Eagle(imm) and Peregrine Falcon (2) at Sand Hollow, and a Vermilion Flycatcher (F) at Boots Cox Park in St. George.

Jack Binch (4 Dec 2010) - The Birding gods (one must be named Rick) smiled on Bob Huntington and I on Thursday. I guess this is almost non-news anymore. We found the Purple Sandpiper after about ten minutes of looking. Very co-operative bird. Friday we went out to Lytle Ranch, and the birding was very slow. One Red-naped Sapsucker, one Western Screech-Owl, one Ladder-backed Woodpecker, Juncos, White-crowns, Yellow-rumps and some Ruby-crowns. Back to Sand Hollow to see if the sandpiper was still there. Yes, and lots of birders.

Rick Fridell (3 Dec 2010) - This evening (12/3) there was a drake EURASIAN WIGEON on Stratton Pond (Grandpa's Fishing Pond) in Hurricane, Washington Co., UT.  Stratton Pond is a great place to view wintering waterfowl and is located at the north end of 3700 West in Hurricane. If you're taking SR-9 to access Sand Hollow State Park turn north at the light (instead of south) to reach Stratton Pond. This is also a great place to find in the winter (although I didn't see any tonight).  There were many ducks present including approximately 1,000, dozens of Green-winged Teal, Canvasbacks, Redheads, Ring-necked Ducks, Buffleheads, Hooded Mergansers, and Ruddy Ducks, and a single Red-breasted Merganser. I'm guessing the big wigeon flock is the same flock that is usually at Sky Mountain Golf Course in Hurricane.

Kevin Wheeler
(1 Dec 2010) - [Sand Hollow Reservoir] - David Wheeler, Daniel Trujillo and I saw the PURPLE SANDPIPER this morning on the island below the dike south of the large parking lot (where previously reported) at Sand Hollow Reservoir at 7:45 this morning.  It was associating with the Dunlin and a Killdeer.

Return to the Utah Birds Home Page