Birdnet Hotline Highlights

March 20

Review Species Reported This Month:
    Neotropic Cormorant   Davis Co.
    White-tailed Kite   Washington Co.
    Yellow-breasted Sapsucker   Washington Co.

    Gilded Flicker  Washington Co.


Kris Purdy (18 Mar 2012) - HOODED MERGANSERS seemed like odd birds for Bear River Refuge in Box Elder County, but I saw two female-type birds in the canal that parallels the north leg of the auto tour loop a mile or two west of the maintenance building this afternoon around 4:30. One of them really was a female; the other was one of the bizarro-looking first spring males like those Rich Young publicized in an earlier post...

Bryant Olsen (13 Mar 2012) - I Went up to northern Box Elder county on a tip looking for a SHARP-TAILED GROUSE lek, and was able to locate them and watch their dancing and display for the first time...
   --I did hear, but not see, a GREATER SAGE GROUSE lek to nearby (I know that bubbling sound from Henefer), but I couldn't locate it. Also saw an adult male PRAIRIE MERLIN in Blue Creek valley.
   --On my way back I stopped in Corinne, and saw something like 10,000 SNOW and ROSS'S GEESE, including 1 BLUE MORPH SNOW GOOSE, and had on flock of 5,000 geese fly right over me,it toke a few minutes to pass. After looking through the photos, the ROSS'S GEESE seem to have been the more abundant by far, as I have observed here in years past...

Kris Purdy (10 Mar 2012) - Members of Wasatch Audubon Society saw a single CACKLING GOOSE at Salt Creek WMA in Box Elder County today. Iím inclined to think the bird was of the taverneri subspecies due to the darkness of the breast, along with other Cackling Goose characteristics... --Salt Creek was pretty quiet for todayís Tundra Swan Day...It was good to see lots of pairs of Sandhill Cranes. Other species of note for their spring appearance include Cinnamon Teal, Common and Red-breasted Mergansers, Greater Yellowlegs and American Pipit. Bald Eagles havenít entirely given up the neighborhood yet.

Bryant Olsen
(6 Mar 2012) - Today I headed up to Bear River MBR, looking for Bewick's Swans and the possible Great Black-backed Gull ... the 10,000+ Swans were mostly tucked up sleeping, bobbing up and down in the surf....Also saw a flock of AMERICAN TREE SPARROWS, and actually heard their song for the first time. There were a few hundred SNOW GEESE in Corinne, with one fly over ROSS'S GOOSE mixed in. One highlight of the wind was having a ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK kiting right above me. Good birding!


Ryan O'Donnell (29 Mar 2012) - This morning I took my Ornithology students to the Logan Sewage Lagoons for a field trip. (Note that the Sewage Lagoons are closed to public access.)... A few noteworthy observations included:   
   -- A singing adult male GREAT-TAILED GRACKLE. Although common just to the south or west of here, Great-tailed Grackles are rare in Cache Valley. I ....This one was seen in the cattail marsh off the west end of the sewage lagoons, and might be visible from the Valley View Highway near the shooting range if you're lucky.
   -- My first EARED GREBES of the year, one in non-breeding plumage and two in full or nearly full breeding plumage.
   -- A few (3-5) FRANKLIN'S GULLS, recently returned migrants.
   -- On the drive back to campus, a kettle of at least 40 TURKEY VULTURES. There have been scattered reports around the valley in the last week or so, but as far as I am aware this is the first large migrating group seen here this year.

Ryan O'Donnell (27 Mar 2012) - This afternoon I went to the Amalga Barrens in search of an adult Lesser Black-backed Gull that Bryan Dixon photographed at that location on Friday, March 23rd. I was not able to relocate the gull,...However, I did find a drake EURASIAN WIGEON in the hunting club land north of the road. (Note that this area is private property accessible with permission only.) Other notable birds seen today included three GREATER YELLOWLEGS and my first TREE SWALLOW, AMERICAN AVOCETS (33) and SAVANNAH SPARROWS (3) in the county this year. (23 Mar 2012) - I saw and photographed a Gambel's Quail on 1200 W behind Gosner's in Logan at 8:30 AM on 03/22/12. I also saw the White-throated Sparrow again that has been hanging around there with the White-crowned sparrows this winter.

Buck Russell (16 Mar 2012) - About 1 PM today there was a pair of Peregrine Falcons circling over a farmers field and barn just north of RR Donnelley (6th West 10th North) in Logan...

Connie McManus (11 Mar 2012) -  [Nibley] -This morning I heard - but did not see - two SANDHILL CRANES flying somewhere around my house. I hopped out of bed to see if I could find them, but they were no where in sight. This is the first I've heard of seen them this year...

Andy Kleinhesselink (10 Mar 2012) - I had 5 Mountain Bluebirds along the Deer Fence Trail just north of Providence this afternoon. According to e-bird this right on schedule for when they have shown up in the county in past springs.


Eric Huish (17 Mar 2012) - KC Childs and I visited Spring Canyon in Helper then Scofield Resevoir.  At a stop in Indian Canyon between Emma Park Road and Hwy 6 we found a Lincoln's Sparrow and a pair of Golden Eagles.  Highlights in Spring Canyon were a Steller's Jay and a Canyon Wren, it was very quite there (only 8 species).  Scofield Resevoir is still iced over and there were several ice fishermen out standing on the ice.  We saw a Northern Shrike on the power lines next to the highway along the north arm of the reservoir.  We saw a probable Northern Goshawk flying over the hills east of the hwy at the very north end of the reservoir.  A little open water at the south end of the reservoir had Canada Geese, Mallards and a Common Merganser and there were Cassin's Finches with Pine Siskins and Am. Goldfinches at a feeder in the town of Scofield.  


Casey Day (11 Mar 2011) - Matt Westover, Suzanne Dunken and I spent a few days on the Green River up near Flaming Gorge the first week of March and I thought I would give an account of some of the bird highlights seen.
   --On the river, CLARK'S NUTCRACKERS and AMERICAN DIPPERS were plentiful. Ducks were also plentiful, as we saw several flocks of COMMON GOLDENEYE, several pairs of COMMON MERGANSERS, and one pair of flyover RED-BREASTED MERGANSERS. Several BALD EAGLES were still around, as well as a pair of GOLDEN EAGLES seen soaring above C Section of the Green...Near the end of C Section we spotted one GREAT HORNED OWL tucked away in the canyon wall.
   --Away from the river around Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area we saw two different flocks of PINYON JAYS, of ~30 birds each, a few MOUNTAIN BLUEBIRDS, and a small flock of what appeared to be ~15 ROSY-FINCHES foraging near Red Fleet Reservoir...The birds were too far away to be sure, but the closest one appeared to be a black rosy-finch.
   --Also, at Red Canyon Lodge they have a feeder that was servicing a large mixed flock of PINE SISKINS and AMERICAN GOLDFINCHES, with one STELLER'S JAY. There was also a downy or hairy woodpecker off in the distance. Best bird at this location was a small flock of RED CROSSBILLS that were passing through just as we arrived, and got great looks at one that perched at the top of a tree.
   --I thought we might spot some early swallows or osprey during the trip but they were all absent.


Bryant Olsen (20 Mar 2012) - I saw 1 NEOTROPIC CORMORANT adult at Buffalo Ranches pond near Farmington Bay today around 2pm. Small size,white corners on gape apparent. Highlights included thousands of TREE SWALLOW west of egg island,and I did pick out a couple VIOLET-GREEN SWALLOWS (my favorite)... As I was leaving, I heard a bird in flight coming in, and looked up to see a cormorant. My first impression was that it was rather small, and when it landed I saw the white in the gape, making it a NEOTROPIC CORMORANT! As I was looking at the cormorant, a HORNED GREBE in breeding plumage popped up right in front of it, nice...

Kenny Frisch (17 Mar 2012) - [Farmington Bay] - The ponds on the east side of the entrance road held a lot of waterfowl, among them about 9 Cinnamon Teal. Shorebirds included 7 American Avocets which was the first time I've ever seen them in their gorgeous breeding plumage and some Killdeer. Up on hill which is the end of the road now provided viewing of large flocks over over 100 American White Pelicans and over 100 Tree Swallows. Flying with the Tree Swallows I found 1 Northern Rough-winged Swallow but there were probably more mixed in that I missed..

Cindy Sommerfeld (9 Mar 2012) - It felt like spring as we started across the Causeway this morning. That feeling was reinforced when Steve spotted a LONG-BILLED CURLEW just a few hundred yards west of the pay station. (on the south side)  I heard SANDHILL CRANES and many flocks of PELICANS took turns soaring over the Island. The Causeway and the Island were pretty birdie. But Garr Ranch was silent.

Mia McPherson (2 Mar 2012) -  Long-tailed Duck on the AI Causeway. Second bridge, north side of antelope causeway, 1 mile marker, 10 minutes ago.


Mike Adams (31 Mar 2012) - [Yuba Lake] - I went down early this morning with my wife and father-in-law to see the Great Blue Herons again. This time we counted 60 birds in and around the nests. See my previous post for location of Rookery.


Cindy Sommerfeld (30 Aug 2012) - This morning Steve and I got up early to get to the GREATER SAGE-GROUSE lek above Henefer. The grouse were there and displaying beautifully.  We continued up the road to East Canyon reservoir, where we found a few COMMON LOONS. Then back through Henefer to Croydon. In Croydon we found a flock (more like a herd) of 90 WILD TURKEYS. It was fun to watch the Toms strut their stuff. To get back on the freeway we passed the cement plant and crossed a bridge over the Weber River, Steve spotted a AM. DIPPER flying next to us. We stopped and scanned the river. There on a small rock in the river was the Dipper singing his heart out. It was the first time I'd ever heard a Dipper sing. What a melodic song. He continued to sing in spite of the trains passing over him and the cement trucks passing next to him. What an optimist! It made my day.

Bryant Olsen (20 Mar 2012) - This morning, it being the Spring Equinox, I decided what better way to start the day other than going to the Sage Grouse lek at Henefer...I pulled over and turned off my car and rolled down the window to listen for the bubbling sound of sage grouse. I didn't hear that, but I did hear the distant hooting of a couple GREAT HORNED OWLS, not a bad first bird of the day. A minute or two after that, I heard the sound of wind rushing through wings from overhead, and in the faint light saw about a dozen GREATER SAGE GROUSE come in from the south and land out on the lek about 50 yards north of the road. Within a few minutes, I could here that bubbling sound of strutting grouse. As the light grew, more birds showed up, and my high count, just before dawn, was 31 strutting cocks, and at least 3 hens.


Oliver Hansen (31 Mar 2012) - 4 Utah County Birders took advantage of the beautiful weather, landscapes, and birds or Sanpete county.   --Highlights: Log Canyon (dirt road leading to the canyon) - Long-billed Curlew; Fayette - Golden Eagle being chased by a falcon; Wales Reservoir - Common Merganser; Chester Ponds (new hotspot we found) - 12 (probably more) Sand Hill Cranes; Palisade reservoir - Red breasted Merganser; Fayette River bottoms - around 200 Am. Pelicans doing aerial maneuvers, Blue-winged Teal, swallows, Turkey Vultures


Kenny Frisch (31 Mar 2012) - Today my girlfriend and I hiked the Desolation Trail from the South Box Elder parking area in Mill Creek Canyon. The biggest surprise were at least 2 Northern Pygmy-Owls calling the whole time I was there. It was my first time hearing them and quite the tree. Also calling were several Brown Creepers which also provided good looks. Plus there were many of the usual Steller's Jays, Mountain Chickadees, Red-breasted Nuthatches and Golden-crowned Kinglets...

Kenny Frisch (30 Mar 2012) - Today after work I birded up at Little Dell and Mountain Dell reservoirs and ran into Jeff Bilsky. We couldn't find any loons, but we did have one of each species of scaup (Greater and Lesser) at Little Dell Reservoir. We observed the scaup while they were both sleeping and awake. The Greater Scaup showed a flatter, non-peaked head and also a larger bill and large black nail tip. We also had an adult Peregrine Falcon showing off its great speed on the west side of the reservoir...

Dave Hanscom (28 Mar 2012) - Today I joined Salt Lake Audubon at Farmington Bay. Best sighting was a pair of Greater White-fronted Geese just west of the visitors center. I had 37 species for the day, including an audible Virginia Rail and a very distant raptor sitting on the ground that I'm sure was a Perigrine.

Deedee O'Brien (20 Mar 2012) - Iím always so excited to see a Band-tailed Pigeon return to my yard. We first saw this bird yesterday afternoon (March 19th) around 1:30...

Kenny Frisch (18 Mar 2012) - Kenny Frisch and I birded a number of locations around Salt Lake
County today. A few birds arriving and waterfowl variety is picking up. Highlights were as follows...
   --8800 West and SR-201 - there were 7 FOY TURKEY VULTURES soaring over the tailing impoundment. Nice to see more than just a singleton arriving.
   --Copperton City Park - Walked the entire park looking in the trees for roosting owls. Tried a pygmy-owl imitation for a while and a number of chickadees, kinglets, juncos, and one Townsend's Solitaire came in. Right after that, Kenny said he found an owl. There was a juniper with 5 or 6 pellets on the sidewalk and a BARN OWL was perched near the top.
   --Yellow Fork Canyon - We struggled to pick up Juniper Titmouse, but after a few stops we hopped out just in time to hear one giving its alarm trill off in the distance. We hear it one more time but never got looks.

Kenny Frisch (12 Mar 2012) ... Down at Little Dell Reservoir, I had 4 Red-breasted Mergansers (3 males and 1 female). At Mountain Dell Reservoir, I found a swan which turned out to be a Trumpeter Swan, most likely a juvenile based on its off-white plumage...

Bryant Olsen (4 Mar 2012) - I had a training today at Tracy Aviary, and the jake WILD TURKEY that showed up there mysteriously is still hanging around, he likes the area near the old mill. Today he was gobbling up a storm. Apparently he can fly,and is very tame, its just that no one knows where he came from, but it is not a domestic pet Turkey, as it has a buff tail tip, not snow white as one would expect in a domestic bird. Also as I was leaving at dusk, I heard and then re-located the drake WOOD DUCK on the big pond again, northeast side,by the island with the pavilion...

Keeli Marvel (3 Mar 2012) - I ran up to Powder Mountain today with a friend to scout out the Rosy
Finches spot... We spent about 20 minutes looking at them and thought that all we'd seen were Gray-crowned Rosies, but after I got home and looked at the photos I took, I found at least one Black Rosy Finch in the mix. Yay! While driving back down towards the ski resort I spotted at least two Red Crossbills on the snowbank on the side of the road.

Bob Walters (1 Mar 2012) - Sandhill Cranes were observed foraging each date west of 2200 West at about 2688 North ... this location is just north of the SLC International Airport.


Dave Hanscom (30 Mar 2012) - I made a loop around Echo Reservoir this afternoon and was pleased to find several new birds for 2012. There were many common loons, a flock of AW. Pelicans cavorting about, a pair of Osprey on the nest on the east side of the road about a mile north of Coalville, and a flock of Turkey Vultures near town. An hour well spent!

Dave Hanscom (28 Mar 2012) - A friend who lives in Summit Park emailed me a few days ago to say that she'd seen Evening Grosbeaks on Matterhorn Drive. I finally got up there yesterday, and was pleased to find a flock hanging out in some aspens. Matterhorn is the highest street in Summit Park.

Dave Hanscom (22 Mar 2012) - The ice in Rockport is starting to disappear, although there's still not a lot of open water. Three Red-breasted Mergansers were hanging out with one Common this afternoon. Despite about 30 minutes of looking, I wasn't successful in finding any pink-legged gulls. But I know there must be a Herring somewhere in that herd!

Kimberly Roush (1 Mar 2012) - Cassin's Finches normally visit our feeders in winter. This is the first one I recall at the feeder this winter. Beautiful male.


Candy (6 Mar 2012) - The first flycatcher of the year continues to be the Say's Phoebe for me at Dugway.


Norman Jenson (22 Mar 2012) - Gail and I birdied Ouray WR this afternoon highlight was 100+ Sandhill Cranes and lots of porcupines.


Bryan Shirley (31 Mar 2012) - Yesterday I birded along the road between Elberta and Saratoga Springs. Curlews are back, as well as a pair of Burrowing Owls toward the North end... it was about mile 12 or 13). Also in that same area we spotted our first Short-eared Owl. It was soaring quite high, so maybe migtrating?... Near the dairy south of Elberta we found another pair of Short-eared Owls, then a 4th at the Utah Lake Wetland Preserve parking area between Goshen and Genola... Our other birding stop was in 5 mile pass. Both Sage Sparrows & Sage Thrashers were easily located just west of there. Lots of Pinon Jays a bit north of there.

Alton Thygerson (31 Mar 2012) - While hiking up Rock Canyon (east of Provo) just west of the first bridge (this bridge is about a 30 minute hike up the canyon from the parking lot) and near a slide area, a small flock (7 or 8) of Bushtits were seen. Also, in the canyon this morning were: Townsend's Solitaire, Canyon Wren, Steller's Jay, Spotted Towhee, Chuckar (heard only), Mountain Chickadee, Black-capped Chickadee, and Magpie.

Alona Huffaker (30 Mar 2012) - I just saw and heard a Juniper Titmouse at Evergreen Cemetery in Springville--the west part of the cemetery.

Eric Huish (19 Mar 2012) - I stopped at Grove Creek Canyon this afternoon and found a flock of about 150 Rosy-Finches up on the cliffs at the mouth of the canyon, south side. They were mostly Gray-crowned with a few Black Rosy-Finches mixed in. They flew up and moved around a lot and gradually moved up the canyon. Jeff Cooper joined me and we hiked farther up the canyon to get a closer look. About 30 seconds after we rounded a bend in the trail and finally had a closer look at part of the flock a Sharp-shinned Hawk dove in and took a Rosy-Finch mid-air! ...It all happened so fast. Very exciting.

Eric Huish (17 Mar 2012) - KC Childs and I drove up Spanish Fork Canyon very early this morning to get a Sage-Grouse on our Utah County Year List... We only found 4 Sage-Grouse. Three strutting birds appeared to be just on the Carbon County side and one was walking down the hillside behind them in Utah County.

Jeff Cooper
(16 Mar 2012) - For lunch I drove by the Lindon Marina and Geneva Settling Ponds area. I observed about ten first of season (FOS) TREE SWALLOWS flying between the ponds and the road. I also saw BREWER'S BLACKBIRDS, YELLOW-HEADED BLACKBIRDS, RED-WINGED BLACKBIRDS (mostly females), and a single FOS BROWN-HEADED COWBIRD in a tree in the field east of the north pond. I heard the whistle call of a male BROWN-HEADED COWBIRD about a minute before locating it on the tree. Hearing that call prompted a "where is Waldo" scan of the birds in the tree. I followed the birds in my binoculars when they flushed from the tree further east and then to the ground. I noticed a few birds on the wires above where the bulk of the birds were foraging and quickly recognized a SAY'S PHOEBE.

Ned Bixler (7 Mar 2012)- Yesterday, I saw 4 Sage Sparrows at Hobble Creek WMA, and 6 at River Lane.

Jeff Cooper (7 Mar 2012) ...   --Pioneer Crossing Ponds & Marshes: Great Egret, hundreds of gulls worth studying more closely, but raptor-induced ADD kicked in and caused me to give chase to a Peregrine Falcon instead

J.Peter Maughan (7 Feb 2012) - I saw a Great Horned Owl up South Fork in Provo Canyon about 100 yards past the parking lot of Big Springs. Looked like it wad just sunning or hurt. ...I was not more than 10 ft away.

Reed Stone (7 Mar 2012) - Yesterday  (3/7/12) I saw at least four SAGE SPARROWS on the Provo, Utah airport dike. They were spotted about 100 yards north of the S. W. corner of the dike road.  I also saw a flock or 10 SNOW GEESE fly over. Good birding!

Eric Huish (3 Mar 2012) - [Pleasant Grove] - This morning (Saturday at 8:00 am) I birded Dry Canyon again. This time I found a small flock of about 40 birds feeding up in the canyon between the 1st and 2nd cliff on the north side of the canyon...They were mostly Gray-crowned Rosy-Finches including a few "Hepburn's" Gray-crowned and 2 or 3 Black Rosy-Finches...

Eric Huish (1 Mar 2012) - Highlights at Dry Canyon included Wild Turkeys up past the top cliffs, a couple of Golden Eagles and a large flock of Juncos. There was a Northern Shrike along the Bonneville Shoreline Trail above the water treatment plant just north of Provo Canyon."


arry Tripp (19 Mar 2012) - Birding at Lytle in the orchard today there was a Yellow-breasted Sapsucker. It was a male. Also I saw my first Lucy's Warbler of the season there.

Ryan O'Donnell (19 Mar 2012) - Craig Fosdick and I returned yesterday from a trip to many spots in southern Utah. We spent about half the trip focusing on birding and about half backpacking (but we were never really NOT birding). Here are some of the highlights:
   --On the way down, I saw my first SWAINSON'S HAWK of the year, a light morph adult, soaring over I-15 near the town of Beaver...
   --The next morning we looked for and found a pair of RUFOUS-CROWNED SPARROWS at their regular location near the Tanner Amphitheater in Springdale...

Rick Fridell (10 Mar 2012) - This afternoon (3/10) there was a male GILDED FLICKER at the South Campground of Zion National Park, Washington Co., UT. ... Today, I was able to study plumage details (back, chest patch, spotting, underside of tail, etc. ) and even view some direct size comparisons with a nearby Northern (red-shafted) Flicker...

Kenny Frisch (7 Mar 2012) - I had a chanced to bird the St George area on my way down to Las Vegas. My first stop were the Washington fields. I quickly found the White-tailed Kite perched on a pole in the field across from the George Washington fields...


Steve Christensen (18 Mar 2012) - Possible Savannah Sparrow, Bicknell bottoms.


Jeff Cooper (14 Mar 2012) - Eric Peterson and I got up early Tuesday morning and drove from American Fork to Powder Mountain Ski Resort to see the Rosy Finches... ...Right where the asphalt turns to dirt to get up to the Powder Ridge Village feeder, we located a flock of about 30 or more RED CROSSBILLS. Included in this mix was what we believe is a 1ST YEAR MALE VARIANT (with bright white wing bars--photo in link below) RED CROSSBILL. We wondered if it might be a White-winged Crossbill. The bars are a high-contrasting white... Either way, a variant or WW is rare so we were delighted to find and photograph it...
Kris Purdy (6 Mar 2012) - Well, finally. Itís only taken two years, but Iíve finally seen another Black Rosy-finch at Powder Ridge Village above Powder Mountain Ski Area in Weber County. And another. And possibly a third. ...

Eric Peterson
(4 Mar 2012) - I made the long trek from American Fork to Powder Mountain Ski Area to see the Rosy Finches...I was greeted by a flock of about 60 Grey Crowned Rosy-Finches. There were both races of them in the mix. No Blacks today in the mix. I was also visited by a Clark's Nutcracker, two Steller's Jays, Mountain Chickadees, Pine Siskins and two Hairy Woodpeckers...


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