Birdnet Hotline Highlights

February 20

Review Species Reported This Month:
Cackling Goose  Box Elder Co.Washington Co.
    Blue Jay  Weber Co.
    Curve-billed Thrasher  Grand Co.


Jason St. Sauver (28 Feb 2011) - While checking the waterfowl (and there was a bunch) at Salt Creek WMA this amongst the thousands of Canada geese and hundreds of Tundra swans...was one lil Ross's Goose. There were also plenty of Northern pintails, mallards, common goldeneye and common mergansers around - as well as a few Sandhill Cranes. Also - on the road to the WMA...i must have seen in the thousands of Horned Larks....amazing!

Kristin Purdy (27 Feb 2011) - A CACKLING GOOSE, subspecies minima, was at Salt Creek WMA in Box Elder County this afternoon... A pair of GRAY PARTRIDGES crossed the road in front of my truck and ran up the south sage-covered hill. That was actually the second group of Huns for the day.
   --Eight SHARP-TAILED GROUSE were roosting in Howell in the tall trees of the house at SR-83, mile 27.7. ... I also flushed a flock of about a dozen GRAY PARTRIDGES from the yard of an abandoned-looking house on East Canal Road in the extreme southeast corner of Blue Creek Valley. A PRAIRIE FALCON was resting in a tree in the yard as well... AMERICAN TREE SPARROWS were in the Russian Olives along the back road out of Thatcher to Salt Creek WMA.
   --Finally, I saw a MERLIN on a power pole in Corinne.

David Hanscom (26 Feb 2011) - The good news was a small flock of Tree Sparrows behind one of the houses just beyond the Bear River Refuge Visitor Center. Also a few flocks of Horned Larks here and there, but I couldn't find any rarities.

Kristin Purdy (25 Feb 2011) - No fooliní, no debatiní, no Graylagginí about this report. An adult GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE was hanginí with about 250 Canada Geese in a field off 2600W. northwest of the Bear River MBR visitorís center in Box Elder County this afternoon.


Craig Fosdick (26 Feb 2011) This afternoon I had three GRAY-CROWNED ROSY-FINCHES make a very brief appearance (less than 2 minutes) on the gravel shoulder of 3000 N, about 1.5 miles west of Benson Marina, and almost to the intersection with Utah 23. They were by themselves-and were not seen again after they took off and flew west...

Craig Fosdick (17 Feb 2011) - [Benson Marina] - Canada Goose, Mallard, Common Merganser, duck sp., Northern Harrier, Larus sp., Horned Lark, Red-winged Blackbird, House Sparrow

Craig Fosdick
(5 Feb 2011) - I birded the area around 2900 E 4727 N in Liberty for about 1.75 hrs today, but could not find the Blue Jay, although I did find a Ned Bixler.  The trip was worth it though for the minimum of 7 Lewis' Woodpeckers along the road, seemingly one every 1/4 mile, usually on one of the wooden telephone poles...

Dave Hanscom (5 Feb 2011) - David Wheeler and I spent a collective couple of hours in Liberty awaiting the arrival of the Blue Jay, but no such luck. The special bonus was when David spotted a Ruffed Grouse hunkered down under a scrub oak.


Joel and Kathy Beyer (27 Feb 2011) - This morning the Snow Bunting was still on the Antelope Island Causeway, south side, at approx. mile marker 2. At Farmington Bay WMA a Least Sandpiper was feeding with a flock of Killdeer, and two groups of American Avocets (50 birds total) flew over.

Steve and Cindy Sommerfeld
 (26 Feb 2011) - Today was a good day at Farmington Bay. We saw an American Bittern. The Bittern's location was next to the west parking lot at the end of the road. The Bittern was standing at the water's edge just behind a sign that read "Boat Launching Area, No Parking." Near the lookout hill, (Goose Egg Island?), Steve saw a flock of birds land on the west face of the hill. We drove on top of the overlook, and looked down the hillside. It was a flock of 30 Gray-crowned Rosy-Finches. Among them was one Black Rosy-Finch. What a great find. We watched them for about half an hour. Then they took flight and headed east toward the foothills.

Jeff Bilsky (27 Feb 2011) - Tim Avery and I located a Snow Bunting in a group of Horned Larks near mm2 on the Antelope island causeway this morning...

David Wheeler (22 Feb 2011) - Yesterday at Farmington Bay WMA, on the large ("main") pond east of the dike road, there was an immaturish Trumpeter Swan, all off by itself, possibly pouting....The swan had a ginormous (per Wheeler, 1992[c]) bill, ginormer than the Tundra swans on the pond, with a convexesque bill, noticeably and notably convexer than the Tundras, and the little black peninsula of tissue connecting the eye to ginormous bill was very short and thick, in a Trumpetous manner clearly distinct from the Tundras...

David Wheeler (2 Feb 2011) - By mid day there were several hundred gulls, including a Western adult, a Thayer's adult, and the regular stuff.

Tim Avery (2 Feb 2011) - Farmington Bay yesterday including Iceland Gull, Western Gull with Mew Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, and Glaucous Gull.


Jeff Foote (15 Feb 2011) - Curve-billed Thrasher has been coming to feeder at Moab.


Bob Walters (17 Feb 2011) - [Delta, UT] - It was reported to me (February 16, 2011) that about 15k Snow and Ross's Geese are present at Gunnison Bend Reservoir, just outside Delta, Utah. We're hoping to double that number by the time of the 2011 Utah Snow Goose Festival (February 25-27).


Tom Fletcher (28 Feb 2011) - I went up City Creek Canyon this evening to do some owling. I missed my target bird (Saw-whet), but it was an amazing trip all the same. I did hear 2 Great Horned Owls and a Western Screech Owl. The best bird of the trip was a Ruffed Grouse right before mile marker 2.

Jerry Liguori (27 Feb 2011) - Still a small flock of Rosy Finches above the Bonneville shoreline trail just east of 3300 south in SLC

Steven Mlodinow (21 Feb 2011) - I was passing through Salt Lake, changing residence from Everett, WA (near Seattle) to Longmont, Colorado. Tim Avery suggested Farmington Bay WMA for a good few hours of birding in the morning. The highlights were two, yes two (and yes, I know how incredibly unusual this is) Western Gulls... quite apparently "pure"...

Jeff Cooper (18 Feb 2011) - I took lunch today just after 1 pm and dropped by Sandy Pond and then the little pond at Mulligan's Golf Course, just up the road from my office. I saw three TREE SWALLOWS (at least one male) playing in the wind just over the Jordan River and next to the Sandy Fishing Pond. I think I agree with others that the warm weather and then strong winds blew them in. ...From Sandy Fishing Pond I went back toward work and noticed a BUFFLE HEAD in the pond at Mulligan's Golf Course ... and a male and female HOODED MERGANSER.

Jeff Cooper (17 Feb 2011) - I cut out of work a little early this afternoon to drive up to Snowbird to check out the area around the feeder that Tim Avery kindly put out. I saw a few Mountain Chickadees, but there wasn't much else moving about. ... On the way out of the canyon I spotted my fourth Northern Pygmy Owl of the year (and my life for that matter).

Tim Avery (16 Feb 2011) - I took a quick trip up Little Cottonwood Canyon to check the feeder I put up over the weekend... The best bird though, was a flyover PINE GROSBEAK headed towards Snowbird Resort. Wish it would have stopped by the feeder--maybe next time.

Jeff Bilsky (15 Feb 2011) - [Sugarhouse] - I have had a Western screech Owl singing away in my backyard just about every night for the last couple of weeks. I wish him well in his quest.

Bryant Olsen (11 Feb 2011) - Went up Neff's Canyon (Salt Lake co.) today to see what owls I could find, and the NORTHERN PYGMY OWL  that I found last spring, and re-found again a few months ago, is still there. ...

Shelly Spencer (2 Feb 2011) - Peregrine Falcons have returned to their traditional roost in downtown Salt Lake. Hopefully they'll use the nesting box that was moved from the JSM building (old Hotel Utah) to the LDS church office building.


Eric Peterson (19 Feb 2011) - I went out with a group from the zoo today to continue our winter raptor survey.  Today we went to the Sanpete County area.  We started in Fountain Green and went down to Manti and then back up to Fountain Green again... Here is my list of what we saw.
   -- Ring-necked Pheasant, Bald Eagle, Northern Harrier, Sharp-shinned Hawk, Red-tailed Hawk (Western), Red-tailed Hawk (Harlan's), Rough-legged Hawk, Buteo sp., Golden Eagle, American Kestrel, Prairie Falcon, Rock Pigeon, Eurasian Collared-Dove, Great Horned Owl, Northern Flicker, Black-billed Magpie, Common Raven, Horned Lark, American Robin, European Starling, Dark-eyed Junco (Oregon), Red-winged Blackbird, House Finch, House Sparrow


Robert Williams (19 Feb 2011 - I birded the Skipper Bay trail today, definitely a hot spot right now! There were 1000+ Northern Pintails, 500+ Green-wing Teals, 200+ American Widgeon, 150+ Canada Geese, 6 Cinnamon Teal, 100,000,000 Mallards (slight exaggeration), and the best bird of the day a Snow Goose. The airport dike is still closed due to the Ice build up. 

Reed Stone (19 Feb 2011) - Female Red Breasted Merganser - # 132 on my yard list.

Jon Watkins (19 Feb 2011) - Kendall and I drove along the western edge of Utah Lake this morning, birded around Goshen and Elberta, and then swung over to Lincoln Point. Highlights for us was a Great Horned Owl roosting in the Goshen cemetery, several Juniper Titmouse along Goshen Canyon road (struck out on the Pinyon Jays), a flock of 200+ Cedar Waxwings at Warm Springs...

Jeff Cooper (19 Feb 2011) - This morning I drove SR 73 through Lehi, past Eagle Mountain and then through Cedar Fort and Fairfield to watch my first Utah Sky Trials (Falconry Competition). I half birded along the way and saw typical birds until just before entering the very small community of Cedar Fort where I was fortunate to come across a flock of about 50 PINYON JAYS.

Douglas Mead (17 Feb 2011) - [Saratoga Springs] - Says Phoebe. Observed in my N Saratoga Springs yard this morning. Blew in with the storm.

Tim Avery (16 Feb 2011) - [American Fork] - Tree Swallows. Had 8 "flying" (I mean how much flying can you in 40 MPH winds anyway? More like pushed around.) over I-15 in American Fork this afternoon.  Might be a rough couple days for them with the incoming storms.

Eric Huish (9 Feb 2011) -  saw a Northern Shrike in my backyard this morning!

Ned Bixler (9 Feb 2011) - Lower Hobble Creek WMA - Snow Geese along with other ducks, and Canada geese.

Jeff Cooper
(4 Feb 2011) - I was above Sundance this morning between 8 and 8:30, before heading to work. The Evening Grosbeaks were there in the same spot I found them last week. Pass mile marker 24, make the hairpin turn to the right and look left where the snow is absent due to an underground spring. There is a small pullout just past this spot on the right. I saw two Pygmy Owls as well.

Ned Bixler (2 Feb 2011) - [Sundance] 3:30 PM - Sundance. From a sign that reads "North Fork Fire Department" continue (.1 mile), and on the left there is a small tree. A northern pygmy owl was sitting on the top branch. The owl is only 20 feet from the cars on the road.

Bryan Shirley
(2 Feb 2011) - [Utah Lake State Park] - Yesterday afternoon there were 8 Swans on the ice at UT Lake SP.  They were a couple of hundred yards west of the dike sitting on the ice.  All but one had their heads tucked under a wing, but I assume they were all Tundra Swans.

Paul Lombard (1 Feb 2011) - [Sundance] I visited the area reported by Bryan Shirley yesterday. Temperature was 7 degree F. and a brisk wind at about 1:30 pm today. I waited about 45 minutes and a flock of better than a dozen Red Crossbills arrived and began feeding on the cones in the conifers next to the road. I watched for about 15 minutes as they moved from one tree top to another. Thanks Bryan for the tip. No Grosbeaks but a couple of Steller's Jays crossed the road.


Eric Huish (22 Feb, 2011) - I birded a few stops on my way to visit family in Tooele on Sunday. Best birds were a flock of almost 50 Evening Grosbeaks in Middle Canyon, East of Tooele. I hiked past the road-closed-for-winter gate and first saw the grosbeak flock about .4 mile past the gate then again closer to the gate. Didn't see many other birds in the canyon.


Joel and Kathy Beyer (19 Feb 2011) - [St George are] - Red Cliffs SRA:   Bushtit, Verdin
   -Silver Reef:   Anna's Hummingbird (male), Red-naped Sapsucker, White-winged Dove, Cooper's Hawk
   -SR9 sewage ponds:  Snow Geese, Cackling Goose, Lincoln's Sparrow, Ferruginous Hawk, Savannah Sparrow
   -Tonaquint Park:  Wood Duck, Cooper's Hawk, Abert's Towhees
   -Beaver Dam Slope:  Cactus Wren, Crissal Thrasher, Greater Roadrunner, Loggerhead Shrike, Pinyon Jay...
   -Springs Pond:  Lincoln's Sparrow, Ross's Goose, singing Crissal Thrasher, Abert's Towhee
   -Hurricane area:  Yellow-rumped 'Myrtle' Warbler, Merlin, Inca Dove, Greater White-fronted Goose (2 at Sky Mountain Golf Course), Virginia Rail
    -Sand Hollow State Park:  Long-tailed Duck (f), Least Sandpiper, Greater Yellowlegs, Bald Eagle, Horned Grebe, Red-breasted Merganser...
    -Grandpa's Pond:  Hooded Merganser, Greater Scaup
    -Dixie Red Hills Golf Course:  Great Egret, Abert's Towhee, Verdin...

Joel and Kathy Beyer (17 Feb 2011) - After a couple of days of intermittent searching we finally managed to locate some Inca Doves! It was a group of 6, and they were hanging out in the area of 3560 West 290 North in Hurricane.

Jeff Bilsky (14 Feb 2011) - [Various locations around Washington County, 2/5/11] - Ross's Goose, Canada Goose, Mallard, Northern Shoveler, Greater Scaup, Hooded Merganser, Pied-billed Grebe, Double-crested Cormorant, Bald Eagle, Northern Harrier, Sharp-shinned Hawk, Red-tailed Hawk, American Kestrel, Virginia Rail, Sora, American Coot, Ring-billed Gull, Eurasian Collared-Dove, Mourning Dove, Say's Phoebe, Marsh Wren, Northern Mockingbird, American Pipit, Orange-crowned Warbler, House Sparrow...
   -Tonaquint Nature Center - Wood Duck, Mallard, Northern Shoveler, Ring-necked Duck, Bufflehead, Gambel's Quail, Bald Eagle, Ferruginous Hawk, American Coot, Mourning Dove, American Robin, Song Sparrow, Lincoln's Sparrow, White-crowned Sparrow, Red-winged Blackbird, House Finch, Pine Siskin, Lesser Goldfinch  
   -Red Cliffs Campground - Anna's Hummingbird, Western Bluebird
   -Quail Creek Reservoir - Green-winged Teal, Common Goldeneye, Ruddy Duck, Common Loon, Western Grebe, Double-crested Cormorant, Great Blue Heron, American Coot, Ring-billed Gull, Say's Phoebe, Rock Wren, House Finch...
SR9 Sewage Ponds - Snow Goose, Ross's Goose, Cackling Goose...

Rick Fridell (14 Feb 2011) - Regarding wintering Common Yellowthroats in Utah.  They rarely but occasionally winter in Washington Co.  This is the fifth (known anyway) Yellowthroat that has wintered in Washington Co. in the last ten to 12 years (and the first adult male; all others were first-winter birds). The others were found in Washington City, Seegmiller, Tonaquint Park, and Red Hills GC. 
    -Speaking of other rare wintering birds, there is a House Wren wintering in Zion Canyon. It's usually in the large field area between the nature center and amphitheater (immediately up canyon from the South Campground.
    -Also Also of note around Washington Co.:
    - the female Long-tailed Duck is continuing (through 2/12) at Sand Hollow State Park
    - there have been a couple Inca Doves starting to call around my neighborhood (Canyon Ridge subdivision in Hurricane).
    - white geese are starting to come through, on 2/12 there was a large flock of geese in the fields behind the SR-9 (Hurricane) Sewage Ponds including ~150 Canada Geese, a few Cackling Geese, 46 Snow Geese, and 14 Ross's Geese.
    - the two wintering Greater White-fronted Geese remained at the Sky Mountain GC through 2/13.

Carl Ingwell (14 Feb 2011) - A week and a half ago, Jeff Bilsky and I went to St George for some birding. We found some Cackling Geese (3), Ross's Geese (3), and Snow Geese (6) at SR-9 Sewage Ponds. We had a Greater Scaup at Springs Estate Park and not much else...


Steve Christensen (27 Feb 2011) - I photographed 11 of what I believe are Greater White-fronted Geese and a Ross's Goose near Loa, UT yesterday.


Ted McGrath (22 Feb, 2011) - Yesterday at about 11:00 AM, a small flock of Red Crossbills came into our back yard to feed on the sunflower seeds in our feeders.  They came and went for a couple of hours after that.  The most we ever saw at once was six, and we saw mature males, mature females, and at least one immature male...

Ryan O'Donnell (12 Feb 2011) -
I took an expedition to Weber County today to hit some birding spots.  My main goal was the feeders at Powder Mountain, where I found about 30 GRAY-CROWNED ROSY-FINCHES.  Two of them were the coastal "Hepburn's" race, one appeared to be a Hepburn's x interior intergrade (?) and the rest were the interior subspecies. ... On the drive down the mountain, I stumbled upon a flock of about 400 BOHEMIAN WAXWINGS, a great find for a non-irruption year...

Kris Purdy (4 Feb 2011) - Diana and Jon LeVasseur saw and photographed a BLUE JAY on 2900E. in Liberty, Weber County, at about 1:30 pm today. ... The bird was off the west side of the road just south of house number 4727 (on a wooden garage at the base of the driveway on the west side of the road). It was keeping company with a Stellerís Jay. 2900E. runs north-south at the base of the North Ogden Divide Road in Ogden Valley. Six or seven Lewisís Woodpeckers are spending the winter along this part of the road as well.

Kris Purdy (2 Feb 2011) - Thanks to Cindy and Steve Sommerfeld and Paul Higgins for reporting the NORTHERN PYGMY-OWL at the base of the North Ogden Divide in Ogden Valley, Weber County, on Sunday. I saw the bird early this afternoon and it seemed to be in the same place (on a branch over the road) doing the same thing (hunting the snow-free south-facing slope) as what the earlier crew reported. The bird was in the area of a deer crossing warning sign for the eastbound lane only.   Between my first two unsuccessful passes along the base of the divide and my last two successful passes, I turned north from the divide road (4100N.) onto 2900E. and found 6 LEWISíS WOODPECKERS using the power poles or dead cottonwoods, or in the groves of oak along the road. I havenít known Lewisís to winter at this location in the past. ... I also noticed Stellerís Jays at the feeders well-hidden at the house on the northwest corner of 4100N. and 2900E.


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