Birdnet Hotline Highlights

February 20

 Review Species Reported this month:
   Western Gull  Davis Co.
   Neotropic Cormorant  Salt Lake Co.
   Lesser Black-backed Gull  Cache Co., Davis Co.
   Snowy Owl  Cache Co.
   Blue Jay  Cache Co.
   Winter Wren  Utah Co.
   Common Redpoll  Box Elder Co., Cache Co., Morgan Co.


Bryant Olsen (18 Feb 2013) - Yesterday's GSLA field trip was in general a good time, with one big exception. Started off in Amalag looking for the Snowy Owl, unfortunately it was foggy, so it was not a good time to look. ....Then on to Golden Spike, where we found the 3 SHARP-TAILED GROUSE and 3 GREY PARTRIDGE at the visitor center. Then went to ATK ranch, found the pond there mostly frozen, and no geese, but a few ducks. A little north of the ranch are the big springs,which had the most waterfowl, including 2 TUNDRA SWANS, a CINNAMON TEAL, GREATER YELLOWLEGS and various ducks. On to Salt Creek WMA, where we found 100+ TUNDRA SWANS, a SHORT-EARED OWL, and more ducks, Generally raptors were pretty scarce ...,then we went to Howell, found a flock of a dozen+ COMMON REDPOLLS along Blue Creek north of town. One or two of them looked rather pale, perhaps HOARY REDPOLL? Pale rump,thin streaking on the flanks, faint pink wash to the breast, stubby bill,but thats such a tough ID... Also saw a flock of 35 GREY PARTRIDGE south of town, in someone's yard. Huge flock of HORNED LARKS too...

Joel Beyer (8 Feb 2013) - We started the day at Golden Spike National Monument, with a Northern Mockingbird on the entrance road.  At the Visitors Center we found Gray Partridge (~10), Sharp-tailed Grouse (7-8) and Am. Tree Sparrows.  Along Highway 83 we saw a pair of Golden Eagles and a Ferruginous Hawk, and Wilson's Snipe and Greater Yellowlegs in the thermal ponds.

Bryant Olsen (6 Feb 2013) - [Howell] - Headed north to look for the reported Snowy Owl in Cache co. However, when I got to Tremonton, it was socked in dense fog....So, instead I head up to Howell, where I found clear skies, and right at the I-84 exit a SNOW BUNTING mixed in with a hundred or so HORNED LARKS. In Howell itself not a ton of birds, and no grouse, but I did see 2 PRAIRIE FALCONS. I did find a SHARP-TAILED GROUSE at the visitor center at Golden Spike NM, along with 36! GRAY PARTRIDGE. At Salt Creek WFMA, which was socked in with fog, I saw 16 more GRAY PARTRIDGE. The usual raptors were present throughout the area, however #'s seem down, only 10 BALD EAGLES at Farmington Bay, a few more at Salt Creek. Best raptor of the day was a beautiful "black type" dark morph ROUGH-LEGGED HAWK adult near Salt Creek. No owls, no Gyrfalcons.

Paul Higgins (5 Feb 2013) - Gray Partridge-Promontory Mountains, Box Elder County, Utah.

Connie McManus (4 Feb 2013) - I saw a GOLDEN EAGLE in flight near the summit of Sardine Pass between Box Elder & Cache Counties. 


Ryan O'Donnell (25 Feb 2013) - I had an adult LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL at the Logan Landfill this afternoon, among about 300 each California and Ring-billed Gulls, and 3 Herring Gulls. A YELLOW-HEADED BLACKBIRD at the same location was the first of the year for Cache County and is a week or two ahead of schedule.

Ryan O'Donnell (16 Feb 2013) - Leah Waldner just reported to me by text that she is looking at the SNOWY OWL right now from 4600N just south of Cache Junction. This is roughly four miles southwest of the earlier sightings at Amalga Barrens.

Ryan O'Donnell (10 Feb 2013) - In a quick tour of Cache Valley today, the highlights were a cool-looking leucistic Horned Lark in Petersboro, three Richardson's Cackling Geese in Benson, and a  relatively cooperative Rough-legged Hawk at Sue's Ponds. (posted in Birding In Utah)

Mike Fish (7 Feb 2013)- I saw 2 different groups of Grey Partridge in Howell today. The partridge were in town towards the west end of Blue creek Drive. Most of the Partridge were females. Didn't see any Sharp-tailed. (posted in Birding In Utah).

Kendall Watkins (3 Feb 2013) - Friday night my dad and I decided to head up North after receiving a call from Kurt Kotter about a Snowy Owl in Amalga. We arrived at about 7:30 to a thick fog, which greatly reduced the chances of finding the bird. ...Other birds of interest were a couple of Rough-legged Hawks, a Northern Shrike, Harlan's Red-tailed Hawk, and in a field just north of the road a group of at least 100 Ring-necked Pheasants.
   --After an hour and a half of searching for the Owl, we tried our luck with the Smithfield Blue Jay. We walked around the cemetery for about a half hour searching for the Jay with no luck. We found 6 American Crows, a Red-breasted Nuthatch, and 2 Townsend's Solitaire. We went over to Mack Park and found the bird in the little parking lot across the street from the park. Just across the stream ... we saw 1 Mountain Chickadee and multiple Black-capped's, many Juncos, and a "Red-shafted" Northern Flicker. After watching these for a while a "Jay like" bird flew in and landed on top of a large pine on the east side of the road. I got my binoculars on the the bird and confirmed it as the Blue Jay.
   --Kurt gave us some tips to finding a Sharp-tailed Grouse in Richmond so we went over to check it out and were well rewarded. ... In our searches here we found lots of Wild Turkeys, a Dark Morph Rough-legged Hawk (and one other light morph), and a flock of 16 or so Red-winged Blackbirds visiting a feeder with many other common feeder birds. We then found City Creek Road and drove up until the road ended at a farm house and barn. ...We walked out on the "trail" and in no more than 30 yards we flushed a single Sharp-tailed Grouse that flew and landed up the hill a ways to the north. We decided to keep walking for a little longer and found a HUGE flock of Common Redpolls.
   --After Richmond we went out to Amalga again to try our luck for the Owl. No bird again so we left for Salt Creek. Here we saw another Dark Morph Rough-legged Hawk and many other light morphs, 4 Bald Eagles, and lots of Horned Larks. On the drive back to the interstate we saw a group of 12 Gray Partridge out in a field with Horned Larks and W. Meadowlarks. They all flushed before I could get pictures, but they were definitely there.
   --The last stop of the day was on 12th street in Ogden and the roads to Great Salt Lake Mineral. We missed the Snow Buntings and Longspurs, but found 2 Barn Owls instead.

Jim Lofthouse (2 Feb 2013) - Saw some Horned Larks near the Hardware Ranch. Feb 1.

Kurt Kotter (1 Feb 2013) - [Amalga ] - SNOWY OWL. This is a new species for my life lists for Amalga, Cache County, Utah .... This Snowy Owl was much larger than a SEOW that we were observing when the SNOW flushed in front of us from a fence post. I immediately noticed how bright the white looked as it flew away from our position. ... I alerted Grant Allen and David Kotter who were with me to see the owl and jumped out of the car with my binos up. I followed the SNOW for about 4-5 seconds. ... I started to set up the scope, but again it flew from its position and out of view. BEAUTIFUL! (eBird report).


Steve Christensen (27 Feb 2013) - I feed a few White-winged Doves, a few Juncos, and lots of Collared Doves, House Finches, and House Sparrows . . . and, in a roundabout way, one incredible  Merlin.

Steve Christensen (10 Feb 2012) - Today I saw a Dark morph Rough-legged Hawk in Price. This winter there have been three of them in Wayne County. I have never before seen Dark morph Rough-legged Hawks in this area.


Norm Jensen (25 Feb 2013) - Spring must be near, just saw 17 American Avocets at Farmington Bay.

Joel Beyer (8 Feb 2013) - Driving through the blizzard in Ogden, we made our way to Farmington Bay WMA.  Among the many gulls were 2 Thayer's (adult and 1st winter), the small Western, and a 2nd winter Glaucous Gull.

Rick Fridell (8 Feb 2013) - While in Salt Lake this week, I managed to get in some birding in the afternoons. Farmington Bay WMA ...On Wednesday the highlight were the two remaining Western Gulls along with mostly Herring and a few California and Ring-billed gulls, however, on Thursday I couldn't find either of the Westerns but there was an adult LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL and four or five Thayer's Gulls.

Bryant Olsen
(6 Feb 2013) - Birded today around the Great Salt Lake. First good sighting was the 2 WESTERN GULLS at Farmington Bay, an immature and an adult. ...Also saw a 1st cycle immature THAYER'S GULL there.

Bryan Shirley (2 Feb 2013) -  Today on the Utah County Birders Field Trip 5 birders headed North to Farmington Bay... We saw 1 Herring Gull and it was the only gull we saw there all morning. From there we went out 12th street in Ogden to try our luck with the Horned Lark flocks. I thought there were a lot fewer birds than when I was there last month, but we easily located several Snow Buntings (6 total) and 1 LAPLAND LONGSPUR. The Longspur was getting quite a bit of color - pure rufous nape and a fair amount of black in the front...

David Wheeler (2 Feb 2013) - ... Norm, Gail, and I went to Farmington Bay WMA, where we almost immediately saw an adult WESTERN GULL and LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL on the ice near the 2nd bridge. Very nice views of those as well. No year birds but a day well spent.

Cindy Sommerfeld
(1 Feb 2013) -  [Antelope Island] - Today's survey was hampered by deep snow. A few of the area's we usually survey were not accessible. At least the sun was shining and the sky was blue. Species total was 35: [highlights:] ...Barrow's Goldeneye... Great Horned Owl, Burrowing Owl... Loggerhead Shrike...


Weston Smith (28 Feb 2013) - There were two TRUMPETER SWANS in Croydon yesterday at about 10am.

Bryan Shirley (2 Feb 2013) - [Croyden] - Today on the Utah County Birders Field Trip 5 birders headed North to Farmington Bay. ... Stopped at Croyden for Redpolls.  We watched the feeders for about an hour or so and had small groups of Common Redpolls, but no Hoary (others had seen at least one earlier in the day).  Thanks again Weston for reporting them and letting us visit.

SALT LAKE COUNTY (26 Feb 2013) - After reading Rich Young's post I went looking for the Neotropic Cormorant and found what I'm certain was the Neotropic as it was significantly smaller than the other double crested. After a few minutes it flew off by itself toward Millrace Pond a mile away. I then ran into Rich ...and we drove to Millrace where we found Bryant Olsen who had picked it up and gotten photos. It left just 5 minutes before we arrived.
   --Along with the Neo I saw: 6 Double Crested, 2 Ruddy Ducks, 4 Hooded Mergansers, 11 Common Merganser, 6 Goldenye, 9 Lesser Scaup, 2 Ring Neck, 3 Redhead, 4 Canvasback, 20+ Mallards, many Canadians

Rich Young (25 Feb 2013) - Today at Willow Pond was a fantastic day! This was the first time a Neotropic Cormorant has been reported for this body of water! I was fortunate in that the 3 DCCOs were still there; and the NECO obligingly positioned itself in a group photo!

Rich Young (24 Feb 2013) - Willow Pond has been one of my study sites along the Murray/Jordan River Parkway, UT. since 2009; and I've collected some cool and varied birds there. Today was special, with a lone Tundra Swan dropping in, during which time I got some nifty images.

Jeff Cooper (18 Feb 2013) - I walked north on the Jordan River Pkwy Trail tonight from 10000 S toward Sandy Pond and slightly beyond. I found one male and two female BARROW'S GOLDENEYEs as well as male and female GREATER SCAUP...

Norm Jenson (12 Feb 2013) - Lee Kay was a bust but at Lake Park Gail's sharp eyes found a Glaucous Gull right in the middle of the small pond out the west end of Lake Park.  It was a lovely way to finish a delightful day of birding.

Rich Young (11 Feb 2013) - 1st Spring Common Merganser Male, Sandy Pond.

Rich Young (8 Feb 2013) - [Holladay] - White-throated Sparrow alive and well at Big Cottonwood Park.

Rich Young (6 Feb 2013) - [Sandy Pond] - Yesterday, amidst the fog and gray skies, I encountered a battle between 2 Great Blue Herons, when a smaller newcomer flew in to the area occupied by a ‘resident’ bird!

Bryant Olsen (4 Feb 2013) - This afternoon I heard and then saw a NORTHERN PYGMY OWL along the way to Doughnut Fall up Big Cottonwood Canyon. It was low in an aspen tree, directly over the road just above the doughnut falls trailhead. The owl was so tame, it let me stand right below it,10 feet away, and hardly even acknowledge my presence. ... I did see a huge mixed flock of MOUNTAIN CHICKADEES and RED-BREASTED NUTHATCHES, but try as I may I could not find a Golden-crowned Kinglet amongst them. No finches what so ever, which is odd. But I did see a beautiful STELLAR'S JAY.


Bryan Shirley (28 Feb 20913)- There's a couple hundred Bohemian Waxwings eating Russian olives at Goshen Warm Springs

Norm Jensen (26 Feb 2013) - Sandhill Cranes, west of 4800 W about 5500 S in county.

Bryan Shirley (25 Feb 2013) - GREATER SCAUP at Salem pond. Lots of Lesser Scaup, Canvasback, Common Goldeneye, and other ducks.

Eric Huish (19 Feb 2013) - I was just at Grove Creek Canyon in Pleasant Grove where I saw a WINTER WREN (1:00 pm, Feb 20th). The wren was in the bushes (skunkbrush) right near the picnic tables next to the parking area at the mouth of the canyon. It was moving around a lot (or there may have been two birds). Grove Creek Canyon is at the East end of Grove Creek Dr (500 North) in Pleasant Grove, Utah County.

Eric Huish (15 Feb 2013) - Early this morning (7:20 am, Feb 15) there were 3 Sandhill Cranes in a field just off Boat Harbor Dr in West Provo. They were Northeast of the Provo River Parkway Oxbow parking lot. ....  I walked a short distance along the Provo River Parkway downstream from the Oxbow parking lot and saw a Barn Owl fly from the trees and hunt out over the field for a few minutes (7:30 am). Stopped at River Lane this evening.  There was a Clark's Grebe at the end of River Lane, where the river enters the lake.  There were also a few Bald Eagles on River Lane and a Prairie Falcon on a power pole next to the road on my way out to River Lane. 

Jeff Cooper (8 Feb 2013) - I got a call from Eric Peterson yesterday after he found a bird he knew I was trying to add to my year list--Northern Pygmy Owl. I joined him near Aspen Grove and observed the bird for a while. Watching it heave and cast a pellet was a unique experience. (posted in Birding In Utah)

Bryan Shirley (4 Feb 2013) - A few Bohemian Waxwings at Goshen Warm Springs. Spring Lake has 34 Canvasbacks and 2 Goldeneye - 1 Common and 1 Barrows.

Milton Moody (4 Feb 2013) - Yesterday at about noon I saw about 20 Bohemian Waxwings with about 12 Cedars about 100 yards down the path going west along the stream at Kuhni's Wetlands.

Keeli Marvel (1 Feb 2013) - [American Fork] - Just pulled up outside my house and I could hear waxwings. I grabbed my binoculars, and sure enough, there were at least 20 Bohemian Waxwings in the neighbor's tree. They were keeping company with a dozen or so Cedar Waxwings, and a handful of American Robins and Starlings. Ten minutes later the majority of the flock took off heading east. Glad they decided to pay a visit!


Oliver Hansen (18 Feb 2013) - On the way home from a meeting in Tooele there was a beautiful adult male Golden Eagle posing on a telephone pole near the Deseret Peak complex.

WASHINGTON COUNTY (28 Feb 2012) - Spotted a immature Golden-crowned Sparrow at Ivins Res. at 5:40pm while sitting at the picnic table. Is this odd for it to be so far from the pacific coast.

Rick Fridell (18 Feb 2013) - Yesterday (02/18) I visited Lytle Ranch for a couple hours. I spent most of my time watching the sparrows around the milo field. I was surprised to see FOUR Harris's Sparrows among the many White-crowns; they were most often viewed at the southwest corner of the field near the small trailer. .....I was surprised to see an immature White-throated Sparrow in the area. Other noteworthy birds at Lytle included a singing Anna's Hummingbird, a Townsend's Solitaire, and a couple Golden-crowned Kinglets and Brown Creepers. I didn't see the Yellow-bellied Sapsucker or any owls, but I didn't spend much time looking either as there was a lot of construction activity. Also, there were a couple Sage Thrashers on the Beaver Dam Slope along the road to Lytle.


Connie McManus (10 Feb 2013) - [Park City] - Yesterday (Sat.02/09) I had 2 NORTHERN FLICKERS visit my yard at the same time. There was a DOWNY WOODPECKER, the SHARP-SHINNED HAWK (a regular) and some REDWING BLACK BIRDS.


Joel Beyer (8 Feb 2013) - We headed to Powder Mountain Ski Resort. At least 60 Rosy-Finches were at the feeder, all Gray-crowned or Hepburn's, plus one Black Rosy-Finch.


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