Utah County Birders Newsletter
July 2001

July Meeting:

Wednesday, July 25
Meet at Rock Canyon at 7:00 p.m.
at the Rock Canyon Trail head parking lot. 

Evening bird walk. 

Bring Snacks. 

Key Species: Canyon Wren, Chukar, Coopers Hawk. 

Field Trips:

  --  Sat. July 28


Meet at 6:00 a.m. at the Provo Temple. 
Bring a lunch. 
Key species: Red Crossbill, Clark's Nutcracker, and other mountain species.

  --  Sat. August 4 


Meet at 6:00 a.m. at the Provo Temple, or at 8:00 a.m. at the Upper Provo Falls.
Bring a lunch. 
Key species: Black Rosy-finch, Three-toed Woodpecker, Gray Jay.

  --  Tue. August 14

Location TBA.

Meet at 7:00 a.m. at the Provo Temple. 
Be back early afternoon. 
Key species: Shorebirds.

Changes in the Air
by Dennis Shirley

The Fourth of July has come and gone. As the 4th passed a couple of weeks ago, it reminded me of a Fourth of July a few years back. The week of the Fourth of July is always a big recreation week, so most of us poor State Wildlife Officers have to work. Such was the case on the hot July 4th a couple of years ago when I was patrolling around Utah Lake checking fishermen. 
     As I remember it, I was kind of down because everybody else looked like they were having a good time, and I was not into working that day. But, as I so often do when I'm working, I was keeping my eye out for any unusual or interesting birds. As I went down 4000 West to see if there were fishermen along the Utah Lake shoreline, I glanced out the window and noticed a shorebird out in the wet, grassy field along the road. As I raised my binoculars, I was astounded to see that it was a solitary sandpiper, a bird I had missed during the spring and didn't know if I was going to see it our not that year. I thought this was really unusual to see a shorebird, which I knew didn't nest in the state, already apparently here on its southward migration. So that night, I got out the books and found out that many of the shorebirds, especially males, leave the northern tundra breeding grounds not too long after they have arrived there. 
     Since that time, I have realized that by mid-July, when we think mid- summer birding doldrums are in effect, that the "fall" migration has already begun. I've gone to the reference books and checked, and have found that shorebirds such as both yellowlegs, several sandpipers and plovers, and marbled godwits have their peak numbers pass south through Utah during late July through August. So the other day, again while on patrol, and noticing that this year we have good mudflats on Utah Lake, I started paying attention to what shorebirds were starting to come in. At the gravel shoreline south of the jetties at Lincoln Beach on Thursday, there were five western sandpipers, three snowy plovers, and a Baird's sandpiper, not to mention the usual breeding shorebirds of the area. 
     I also talked with a volunteer who is helping do the shorebird surveys along the Great Salt Lake Shoreline, and he said that just in the last week, flocks of migrating shorebirds have arrived, including western sandpipers, least sandpipers, semipalmated plovers, red-neck phalaropes, and a black- bellied plover or two. He also said there were three trumpeter swans seen at the Layton Marsh. Other non-shorebird migrants are also on their way south. I have had fighting rufous hummingbirds at my feeder for about a week. 
     So don't have the "I-can't-wait-till- fall-migrants-get-here birding blues" because there's already a change in the air.

Robin's View

There's a Disaster in My Mail Box
by Robin Tuck

I wanted to write an article thanking all the birdnet posters for reporting their sightings. I even wanted to thank the new birders among the birdnet posters who get excited about seeing birds I've stopped being excited to see, because they remind me to have fresh eyes every time I go out. I especially wanted to thank Tuula and all the other posters who pointed me to the Williamson's Sapsucker and the Three-toed Woodpecker which I finally did go see.
     I wanted to do all these things, but I am getting tired of the disaster in my e-mail box. Perhaps there's a disaster in your's too. I don't know how it happened. I seem to be on everyone's spam mailing list. Perhaps someone I bought something from sold my e- mail address; times are tough and some companies can't resist another buck from whatever source. Maybe my problem is that I do give out my real e-mail address when I buy things. Some people I know have 'special' spam e-mail accounts that they give out instead of their 'real' account.
     There are a few things I do to cut my spam back, although it doesn't eliminate it. Perhaps you will benefit from some of my actions. I use Microsoft Outlook Express for e- mail. If you use another program, it will have some of the same features. First, I have set up a lot of Local Folders, one for everything I expect to receive on a regular basis. Do this by clicking the right mouse button over the "Local Folders" title, and choose "New Folder". You can put folders inside of folders to group them nicely. If you do not have "Local Folders"displayed on the left side of the screen in Outlook, go to Help to see how to display folders. Next, I have set up a number of message rules to move my incoming mail into the folders I set up. You can get to the "Message Rules" section by clicking"Tools" on the menu and choosing "Mail". Rules work by identifying something unique about the message, such as the word "birdnet" in the Subject line, then performing some action, such as moving the message to my "Birdnet" folder. I set up rules to move all my expected mail out of my inbox into separate folders. This means that spam and unexpected mail shows up in my inbox where I can deal with it. Note that I did not set this up 100 percent correct the first try, but I kept refining it until I was happy with the outcome.
     Now, when I get spam (unwanted e- mail), I "Block the Sender" by highlighting the message title (which displays the message, which I hate), choosing "Message" from the menu, then "Block Sender". This puts the senders e-mail address in a "Blocked Sender" list that all incoming e-mail gets compared against. Matches are automatically placed in the "Deleted Message" folder where I can easily delete them from my computer. The "Blocked Sender" list can be fooled by spam authors altering their e-mail address in some little way, but sometimes, there is something you can do to make it work better. For example, I just received some spam from someone at adwxg@vip.gr which I blocked. Since this same person could bypass my block by simply changing the "adwzg" to "adwzh", and I don't want to receive anything from "vip.gr", I went into the Blocked Sender List (Tools/Message Rules/Blocked Senders List) and modified the senders e-mail address. In this case, I removed the "adwzg@" leaving "vip.gr". This means that anything from "vip.gr" gets blocked. I probably could delete the "vip."as well, blocking all messages from "gr". Normally, "gr" would mean "Greece"and I have no reason to receive any e-mail from anyone there. I did this with "ru" to block all mail coming from Russia, because Russia is a hotbed of hackers. Note that this doesn't work in all cases. I get a lot of spam from people using "hotmail.com" but I have friends who also use hotmail, so I cannot just block everything from it. Be careful. If you don't get some expected e-mail, perhaps you blocked some address you didn't expect.
     There are more tricks to get rid of spam, but they are a little too technical for a bird club newsletter. I really enjoyed seeing the sapsucker and woodpecker, even though it rained in the Uintas. It was a good rain and the mountains were beautiful.