Utah County Birders Newsletter


         June 2022 

    Monthly Meeting
Upcoming Field Trips
    President's Message
    Bird of the Month 
    Field Trip Reports



UCB June Meeting

Thursday, June 9th , 7pm

We will meet for a bird walk and eBird live demonstration at Northlake Park in Lehi (https://goo.gl/maps/Uu3mUAXJYjv6LzSV8) on the North Shore of Utah Lake. From there we may walk down to Loch Lomond Pond and bird along the shoreline and/or the trail.

If you want help learning how to log a birding trip on your smart phone, bring your phone with eBird installed and we can go through the steps as we bird along the shoreline trail.

FIELD TRIPS:  (Please bring walkie talkies set to 5-0)

       June 3-4 2022
   Washington County

Friday we will meet at 6 am at the Bluff street McDonald's in St. George.
We will drive out to Lytle Ranch. We will spend a lot of time there. Please bring a lunch and water. After that we will see if we have time to go to the Gunlock area to look for Common Blackhawk, go to Snow Canyon and Tonaquint Nature Park.

Saturday we will meet at the Hurricane Walmart at 7 am. From there we will go straight up Kolob Terrace to Lava Point Lookout to look for California Condors. We will walk around the area there looking for birds, then drive around to a few other good spots.
If we have time we will check out Dalton Wash for Rufous-crowned Sparrows and hit Grafton. Plan on lunch that day as well.
Remember to book your hotels ASAP.

On your drive down Thursday please stop in Iron County to get your 22 species. My favorite spot is the trail along the river that goes up Cedar Canyon-Lower (aka Canyon trail) its a ebird hotspot, i also like Canyon Park. I would think you could find all 22 species in a few hours there.

      Friday, June 17, 2022
   Nebo Bench Trailhead Fieldtrip

June 17th 2022 at 7:30 am
Meet at Payson Canyon Kiwanis Park
We will drive up the Nebo Loop to the Trailhead and walk down the trail to the water trough. There is usually a lot of activity there. You can bring a stool or camp chair. We will also stop at Rock Springs on the way down.


President's Message - June 2022


            by Machelle Johnson


As you know we are looking for people to volunteer for positions on our board. We are looking for a President and President Elect for 2023-2024. Responsibilities of the president are to work with other board members in keeping the club running. We have monthly meetings and field trips, we have a web site, Facebook page, a Newsletter and email group.  The president contributes an article to the monthly newsletter so there is not a lot of time involved in this position, other than the meetings and field trips.

     Other positions on the board are program coordinator who arranges the monthly meetings, a field trip coordinator who plans the monthly field trips, a publicity coordinator who keeps up the Facebook page and sends out information emails, a Bird of the Month newsletter article coordinator who arranges for someone to write an article each month, a treasurer, and a webmaster. The webmaster puts in the most time for this club. Milt Moody has held that position for around 20 years. He is looking for someone who would like to help with the various aspects of the web site and newsletter. Experience with websites would be helpful for anyone interested in helping with that. Otherwise, no experience is necessary for any position. If you are a birder, you have experience! Right now we would like to fill President and President Elect and have someone help with the website. If you are interested in the other positions please email me about it. We would like to have this in place towards the end of the year and make announcements at our January dinner meeting.

Please email me directly with any questions or especially if you are interested in being more involved with the group by being on the board.



The 2022 Birding Challenge

Prinout with the details
(PDF file)





   American Woodcock
(Scolopax minor

by Bryan Shirley

I just got back from a trip to Ohio and I wanted to write about one of the birds I saw there – Woodcocks. I have only seen then in Ohio when I have been there in the spring and every time has been exactly the same – some kind birder asks if we have seen the woodcock and then takes us over to where it is hiding on the ground. Even with somebody showing us the bird a few feet away they are never easy to see because they are so well camouflaged. This trip was the same. We had a bird about a foot off the paved trail with birders, bikers, joggers, etc going by and nobody ever noticed this bird until somebody pointed it out to us (and even then it took a while for everyone to see it!)

American Woodcock 
by Bryan Shirley  ©Bryan Shirley

Woodcocks are in the family Scolopacidae along with the sandpipers and snipes. There are 6 Woodcock species in the world and they make up a sub-family known as Scolopacinae. In North America we have one species, the American Woodcock. They are found only in the eastern USA and Canada. In the northern parts of their range they are migratory and winter in SE USA, while in the southern portions of their range they are more sedentary. They are the smallest of the 6 species of woodcock and are similar in size to a Wilson’s Snipe. They have short primary feathers that make for short, rounded wings. They have a long bill that they use to probe for insects and earthworms. Unlike snipe, woodcocks are normally found in woodlands and brushy areas.
In the spring the males have an elaborate flight display, but it can be difficult to observe since it is performed after dark. The males call from the ground (sounds somewhat similar to a common nighthawk), then make a high pitched chirping sound while performing the flight display. Males will breed with multiple females and do not assist in nest building or raising the chicks. Many people believe that the female will carry newborn chicks with its feet in flight, but this has never been proven and is likely not true.

       [See past Bird of the Month articles

Field Trip Reports  

Kane Creek

Grand and San Juan County Fieldtrip
                                   20-23 May 2022

                           Text and Photos by Suzi Holt (unless otherwise indicated)

Spotted Towhee & Ash-throated Flycatcher

On Friday May 20th twenty-four Utah County Birders met at the city park in Moab ready for a couple days of birding in Grand and San Juan Counties. We started off getting an American Robin, Violet-green Swallows, Common Raven, Western Kingbirds and Eurasian Collared Doves at the park.

Then went to the Kane Creek OHV parking lot that sits along the Colorado River. We added Western Tanager, Yellow Warbler, Lucy's Warbler, Yellow-breasted Chat, Spotted Towhee, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, Ash-throated Flycatcher, Willow Flycatcher, Western Wood Pewee, Northern Flicker, Turkey Vulture and White-throated Swift.

That put us at 18 species!

                  Western Tanager                                         Yellow Warbler                              Spotted Towhee & Yellow Warbler

                    Yellow-breasted Chat                                Willow Flycatcher                                       White-throated Swift

Cacti -Moab-Grand County

 Tammy L. Northrup gave us each

  ...one of these!!  

From there we went to the Matheson Wetlands Preserve. We quickly added House Finch, Black-headed Grosbeak, Plumbeous Vireo, Olive-sided Flycatcher, Hairy Woodpecker, Black-chinned Hummingbird and Canada Goose. It was a nice walk.

We ate our lunch there and sweet Tammy gave us each a watercolor wild flower magnet.

We got 24 species in Grand County!

         Black-headed Grosbeak                              Olive-sided Flycatcher                                 Black-chinned Hummingbird                      Hairy Woodpecker

Recapture Reservoir-Ken's Lake-San Juan County

Blue-winged Teal

Off we went down the road to Ken's Lake and the start of our San Juan County. There wasn't a whole lot on the lake but we managed Violet-green Swallows, Common Raven, a close flyby of two Great Blue Herons. We also saw a California Gull, Western Grebe, Eared Grebe, Red-breasted Merganser, Mallard and Blue-winged Teal.

At the Maverik in Monticello we added House Sparrow and European Starling.



   Devil's Canyon Campground-San Juan County

Black Throated Gray Warbler  by Lonny Northrup

Grace's Warbler by Lonny Northrup

We finally got to Devil's Canyon Campground and set up camp and had dinner. The Parsons had a great campsite where we saw Black-throated Gray Warbler, Grace's Warbler and a Yellow-rumped Warbler nest. We also saw Chipping Sparrow, Red Crossbill, Cassin's Finch, Pygmy Nuthatch, White-breasted Nuthatch, Gray Flycatcher, Hairy Woodpecker, Red-tailed Hawk and Turkey Vulture.

                             Grace's Warbler                                                   Yellow-rumped Warbler                                                     Red Crossbills                                 

                            Cassin's Finch                                                          Pygmy Nuthatch                                                      White-breasted Nuthatch            

                          Violet-green Swallow                                                            Hairy Woodpecker                                                      Red-tailed Hawk        

Devils canyon campground

 Western Bluebird

In the morning we met everyone else at 8:30.
We just walked around our campsites. We added Virginia's Warbler, American Robin, Western Bluebird, House Wren and Blue-gray Gnatcatcher to our list plus all the other birds from yesterday.

We got in the cars and drove down the dirt road. We saw a dark Woodpecker but couldn't relocate it, darn it was probably our Acorn! We did find a friendly Mountain Chickadee, a unexpected Clark's Nutcracker, Woodhouse's Scrub Jay, Stellar's Jay, Plumbeous Vireo, a flyover of a Western Kingbird and a pair of Dusky Flycatchers on nest duty. We also saw an American Kestrel, Northern Flicker, Broad-tailed Hummingbird, and lots of Mourning Doves. But no Acorn Woodpeckers :-(

                                   House Wren                                                           Clark's Nutcracker                                                       Olive-sided Flycatcher

                      Dusky Flycatcher                                        Dusky Flycatcher Nest  by Lonny Northrup                                   Plumbeous Vireo   

                        Grace's Warbler                                                     (Scarlet Gilia)      

Recapture Reservoir 

 Rock Wren

Canada Goose and his Barnyard Duck

After everyone had at least 22 species some headed home. We decided to make lunch and we hopped in with the Parsons and Northrups, Machelle and Amanda and their parents followed us to Recapture Reservoir. We had our lunch there. It was beautiful and we added Rock Wren, Peregrine Falcon, Red-necked Phalarope, American Coot, White-throated Swift, Ruddy Duck, Canada Geese and a huge Barnyard Duck! Lonny hiked over to take a few shots.


Blanding Ruins-San Juan County 

The Northrups friend had told them about some ruins over by Blanding so we all went over there. It was really neat.
We stopped by the Blanding WTP and found Red-winged Blackbirds, Western Meadowlark with young, Cliff, Barn, Tree and Violet-green Swallows, Clark's Grebe and Redheads. On The way out of town by the cemetery we saw Brewer's Blackbirds and House Finch.

When we got to camp the birds were singing and we added a Spotted Towhee. We enjoyed just resting in the campground listening to birds and finding rocks for the rest of the evening.

Blanding Ruins-San Juan County                                                        Blanding  (plant of the sunflower family)   


Carbon County

 Western Tanager
Green River SP-Emery County

Vesper Sparrow
Emma Park Road-Carbon County

Sunday morning on our way out of the campground we saw a Olive-sided Flycatcher with breakfast! Yum!
It was a great trip!! Our total for the UCB 2 days was 67 Species!! And we completed two more counties!

On our way home a lot of us got our 22 species for Emery County at
the Green River SP. Machelle and Amanda even found a Summer Tanager there. Most finished Carbon County with 22 species as well.

Our group of Mom, Jessie, Amanda, Tatum and I saw 81 species over our 4 day trip! Thanks to everyone who came down. It was so much fun!!


[Even young Tatum got in on all the fun!]

   Tatum at Ken''s Lake-San Juan County                                                                            Devils canyon campground     

Goshen Canyon

Utah County Hotspots Prep Trip
                                   6 May 2022

                           by Suzi Holt

Brown-headed Cowbirds Warm Springs WMA

We met at 7 am in the morning at Walmart in Payson. Our first bird was a Great-tailed Grackle in the parking lot! Yippie!

First stop was Warm Springs WMA. It was pretty birdy there this morning with 27 species. We saw lots of Western Kingbirds, Bullock's Orioles, Cedar Waxwing feasting on the olives, American Kestrel, American Robins, some saw a Yellow-breasted Chat, Mourning Doves, a Sora, heard a Virginia Rail, had Common Yellowthroat, Marsh Wren, Tree Sparrow, Ring-necked Pheasant Yellow-headed and Red-winged Blackbirds, Brown-headed Cowbirds, Yellow Warbler, American Goldfinch, Sandhill Cranes, Snowy Egret, Canada Goose, Mallard, Song Sparrow, European Starling, Black-billed Magpie, Common Raven and a Wilson's Snipe.




    Bullock's Oriole-Warm Springs WMA           Sora Warm Springs WMA Common            Yellowthroat-Warm Springs WMA      American Goldfinch-Warm Springs WMA

Red-necked Phalarope-East Goshen Pond

Northern Mockingbird-Goshen

Brewer's Sparrow-
East Goshen pond

Off next to the "Goshen Ocean" ( East Goshen Pond) for lots of Red-necked Phalarope, Wilson's Phalarope, Gadwall, Northern Shoveler, American Wigeon, a nice flight show by a Willet and Rough-winged Swallow, we also saw Northern Harrier, Red-tailed Hawk, Northern Mockingbird, Horned Lark, Lark Sparrow, Brewer's Sparrow and a Long-billed Curlew., Broad-tailed Hummingbird, Turkey Vulture and Killdeer.  We saw more Northern Mockingbirds in Goshen plus Barn Swallow, House Finch, House Sparrow and Western Meadowlark.

     Golden Eagle-Goshen Canyon                    Lazuli Bunting-Goshen Canyon                   Bushtit-Goshen Canyon

In Goshen Canyon we had a Green-tailed Towhee, Great Blue Heron, Rock Pigeon, Black-chinned and Broad-tailed Hummingbird, Golden Eagle, Blue-gray Gnatcatchers, Bushtit, Cordilleran Flycatcher, European Starling, California Gull, Northern Rough-winged Swallow, Lazuli Bunting and lots of Yellow-breasted Chats!

Yellow-breasted Chat-Goshen Canyon

Bushtit-Goshen Canyon


On our drive through Elberta we added Swainson's Hawks, Brewer's Blackbirds. The heat waves were pretty bad along Elberta Slant Road but we managed a Burrowing Owl and Furruginous Hawk, the Gray Vireos were back and we saw Spotted Towhees, Mountain Bluebirds, Yellow-rumped Warbler, and Black-throated Gray Warbler, Say's Phoebe and a Rock Wren.


                Burrowing Owl                                      Gray Vireo- Elberta Slant                    Chipping Sparrow-Dividend Road

We ate lunch at the Fill-er-up Gas Station and headed into the Tintics. We added Virginia's Warbler and Chipping Sparrow.

Dividend Road

Last stop was Dividend Road. We added Orange-crowned Warbler, more Virginia's and Black-throated Gray Warblers, Warbling and Plumbeous Vireo and lots of Gray Flycatchers! On our way past Goshen Reservoir we saw American White Pelicans, a pair of Redheads and 2 Eurasian Collared Doves in Santaquin.

It was a long but fun day! It's beginning to heat up both in temperature and birds. The trees are slowly leafing out and the company was great! 80 total species!!

Thanks for coming!!

       Virginia's Warbler- East Tintics        Black-throated Gray Warbler-East Tintics       Plumbeous Vireo-Dividend Road             Gray Flycatcher-Dividend Road


Utah County Birders website             
Utah County Birders Board Members             

   If you'd like to write an article for the news newsletter...        
send it to: