Utah County Birders Newsletter
UCB at Farmington Bay - February 12, 2005 photo by Eric Huish
On Saturday the 12th of February a group of around 12 Utah County Birders participated in a field trip to Farmington Bay and Antelope Island. We left from Orem bright and early in three cars and progressed to north of Salt Lake City when our caravan was stopped by the closure of I-15 (we later found out there had been a 16 car pileup which closed the freeway for several hours). On the way up we saw from the cars: Rock Pigeons, and European Starlings to start off our list for the day. We proceeded to Glover lane where we saw :
Northern Shoveler, Ring-necked Duck, Common Goldeneye, Mallard, Northern Pintail, Red-winged Blackbird, and Northern Harrier.
We then proceeded to Farmington Bay where we saw: Bald Eagle, White-crowned Sparrow, California Gull, Canada Goose, Herring Gull (those with the pink feet and the red mark on the lower bill), Ring-billed Gull (smaller gull), American Pipit, Pine Siskin, American Goldfinch, American Tree Sparrow (a lifer for at least one of our Utah County Birders), Downey Woodpecker, and on the way out at a house we saw House Finch, House Sparrow, Yellow-headed Blackbird, Dark-eyed Junco, and the ever hard to find American Magpie (right!).
Our next stop was the Kaysville ponds where we saw hardly anything, an American Kestrel, and a four-legged varmint (Muskrat) swimming in the pond. The next stop was Antelope Island where just entering the park we saw a Japanese Green Pheasant off to the north. Other species seen on the causeway or near the visitors center included:
Western Meadowlark, Killdeer, California Gull, American Goldfinch, Horned Lark, Raven, Eared Grebe (way off to the south in the Great Salt Lake), Loggerhead Shrike, Chuckar, White-crowned Sparrow, Red-wing Blackbird, Ruddy Duck, Great Blue Heron.
Our last stop was Lee Kay Ponds where we saw: Mallards, C. Gulls, C. Goldeneye, Common Merganser, Ruddy Duck, Herring Gull, Kestrel, and Northern Flicker.
UCB at Alta - February 26, 2005 photo by Eric Huish
All in all it was a nice field trip where by my count we saw about 38 different species, not a bad total for a mid winter outing.
Field Trip Report
Feb 26 - Alta, Salt Lake Cemetery and City Creek Canyon
by LeIla Ogden
Eleven birders (Tuula Rose, Milt Moody, Bonnie Williams, Leila Ogden, Eric Huish, Brady Heward, Robert Brown, Aaron and Shauna Smith, Wade Miller and Leena Rogers) started from Orem Center Street park & ride at 7:00 a.m. for Alta. We forgot how cold it was going to be up there so we didn't stay long. Just long enough to get our 2 target birds (Black Rosy -Finch, and Gray-crowned Rosy-Finch at feeders) plus Clarks Nutcracker, Mountain Chickadees, Pine Siskin, Red-breasted Nuthatch, and flicker.
We then zig-zagged around Salt Lake City Streets looking for Pomera's Harris Sparrow. We didn't find him, but saw lots of Cedar Waxwings, Rock Pigeons, Downy Woodpecker, goldfinch, Black-capped Chickadee, Mourning Dove, junco, House Finch, California Quail and robins.
At the Salt Lake Cemetery we found our Golden-crowned Kinglet (several) Brown Creeper (several), and several other species. We then went to City Creek Canyon looking for the Winter Wren. Again we missed it, but the mile or so gradual hike was wonderful. Sun was shining---looked and felt like Spring---and we saw a few new birds for the list: Song Sparrow, A frantic-flying and squawking Belted Kingfisher, Townsend Solitaire, Coopers Hawk and two red-tails flying circles in the sky.
A great outing. And we were home before 2 p.m.
February 1st started out with a bang in my back yard. Every time I walked by my basement window there were lots of birds at my feeders and in the trees. I spent a lot of time looking out the window. The day started out with a Brown Creeper and ended with 3 Cedar Waxwings. By the end of the day I had counted 19 species. I have wondered what I missed when I left my rocking chair. One good thing, the Sharpie didn’t come around for lunch that day.
~ Bonnie Williams
Driving along the west side of the Airport Dike I spotted two good birds in the same small tree right next to the road. One was a kestrel lunching on a mouse, the other was a shrike obviously also interested in the mouse, because it was moving from branch to branch, inching closer to the kestrel. While I was checking the shrike closer, hoping for a northern (it was not), both birds were spooked and flew. The kestrel ended up at the top of the next tree about 30 yards away, but the shrike came right back to the first tree, quickly hopping down to the bottom branches to check the ground. I checked the ground too, and sure enough, there was the mouse (most of it anyway), which the shrike quickly retrieved. The catch was just about as big as the opportunistic catcher and I watched it struggle as it dragged the mouse into safety under fallen branches for a tasty lunch, possibly dinner too.
We would like to try to have a monthly ‘Random Observations’ column in the newsletter. If you have a random observation you would like to share please send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ornithological Society Update
Membership in the UOS is not designed just for academic ornithologists and students, but is open to all people who are interested in birds, activity, research, behaviors, etc. The UOS conducts 2-3 field trips per year to search out rare or uncommon birds for those who may have trouble finding them on our own. It also sponsors and coordinates a major conference each year for participants to learn more about birds. One valuable aspect of these seminars is that the participants get to go on some great field trips led by birders who are intimately familiar with the specific locations where the conferences are held. For instance, late last summer the conference was held in Cedar City.
The conference this year will be in Logan, hosted by the Ornithology Dept. at USU. The folks there are lining up some good field trips to the Amalga Barrens, Logan wetlands, and other important places for us to see and experience. It would be helpful if many of the state’s active birders would support the UOS by becoming members. Memberships are based on the calendar year, so that the dues for 2005 are now due.
- Regular dues are only $10 per year (Most people do this one)
- Student dues - $5 per year (Please get a signature from a professor or teacher)
- Contributing dues - $15 per year
- Supporting dues - $25 per year
- Sustaining dues - $50 per year
- Life dues - $200 for the rest of a person’s life.
Send dues for membership and any other requests for information to:
1654 W. Trailside Road
Farmington, Utah 84025
E-mail - email@example.com
Include name, address, phone number and e-mail address. The UOS does not sell or otherwise disclose membership information without a member’s consent.
Backyard Bird of the
Steve Carr - Holladay
Golden Eagle - Two soaring about 1/4 mile away.
KC Childs - Orem
Wade Covert - Provo
Northern Flicker - fun to watch and hear.
Eric Huish - Pleasant Grove
Bald Eagle - Soaring in circles over the neighborhood.
Milt Moody - Provo
Sharp-shinned Hawk - Not subtle - two feet from feeders.
Cheryl Peterson - Provo
Bruce Robinson - West Jordan
Northern Flicker - 4, same tree, same time.
Tuula Rose - Provo
Mourning Dove - Sitting in a tree, cooing for company.
Dennis Shirley - Elk Ridge
Cassin's Finch - Two females frequenting feeders [White-throated Sparrow still here!]
Mark Stackhouse - San Blas, Nayarit, Mexico
Magnificent Frigatebird - white "raindrops" revealed about 100 overhead.
Reed Stone - Provo
Sharp-shined Hawk - patient, stealthy, agile and fierce!!!
Alton Thygerson - Provo
Mourning Dove - first visitor appeared on February 26.
Bonnie Williams - Mapleton
Ruby-crowned Kinglet - Comes most every day to my new Peanutbutter feeder.
Backyard Bird of the Month is a new monthly column. We would like you to share your favorite backyard bird each month. Please send your favorite bird at the end of the month to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 360-8777. If you would like a reminder at the end of the month e-mail the above address.