Utah County Birders Newsletter
Harold, Milt, Tuula and KC standing in our sit circle - October 8th, 2006
The moat in the morning - view from our circle - October 8th, 2006
Participants: KC Childs, Eric Huish, Harold Clayson, Milton Moody, Tuula Rose.
Location: Provo Airport Dike.
Weather: Sunny, highs in the upper 60s, a little wind in the evening.
Time: 6:30 a.m. - 12:00 and 4:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. 9 ½ hours.
This was our 5th annual Big Sit. KC and I started the count at 6:30 a.m. Our first birds of the day were a couple of Barn Owls flying around our circle while it was still dark. Very Fun. Harold showed up a little to late for the owls but in time for the rush of species at dawn. Milt and Tuula came by a little later in the morning and we all had a great time bird watching and chatting on a very beautiful, sunny day.
We ended the day with a total of 46 species. 9 short of our record. We saw 4 new species we had never before seen during our previous sits... Osprey, Virginia Rail, Bank Swallow and Blue-gray Gnatcatcher. Which puts our 5 year overall list at 92 species. If we could only get all those in one day.
Some sightings of note which we couldn’t count - KC left the circle for a moment and flushed a Common Poorwill off the side of the road very near the circle but we couldn’t see it FROM the circle. Other birds seen nearby but not from the circle were: Loggerhead Shrike, American Robin, Morning Dove and Brewer’s Blackbird. There was also a Red Fox hunting out in the fields around the airport that entertained us for a while.
Our Big Sit is always held on the opening weekend of the duck hunt. Due to higher water levels this year the marshes were again filled with water. At 6:58 the relative silence was broken by hundreds of gun shots and shots were heard persistently throughout the morning. The hunting appeared to be much better than in years past.
One friendly hunter set up right near our sit circle before dawn and again at dusk. He even pointed out a few birds with us after he was done hunting in the morning. He got a few ducks in the morning, nothing we didn’t already have on our list, but in the evening he came back with a Northern Shoveler which we were never able to identify from our circle. Many of the birds he shot in poor light so we were unable to identify them, but we saw most of them fall into the water. So... can we count this shoveler if we most likely saw the duck fall?
(We didn’t count it. If we had been one away from our record we would have.)
Field Trip Report
Provo Airport Dike and Skipper Bay Trail - October 21st, 2006
by Grant K. Jense
Utah County Birders on the Provo Airport Dike - October
Six Utah County Birders met at Sam’s Club parking lot on a clear cool fall
morning. We drove to the Provo Airport Dike were we met three more birders. The
temperature was near freezing, but the birds were quite active. Thirty-nine
species were observed: Pied-billed Grebe, Eared Grebe, Western Grebe, Clark’s
Grebe, Great Blue Heron (freeway exit on south university), Mallard, Northern
Shoveler, Northern Harrier, Sharp-shinned Hawk, American Kestrel, Ring-necked
Pheasant, Virginia Rial, Ring-billed Gull, California Gull, Forster’s Tern,
Mourning Dove, Belated Kingfisher, Northern Flicker, Black-billed Magpie,
Northern Rough-winged Swallow, Barn Swallow, Black-capped Chickadee, Marsh Wren,
Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, American Robin, European Starling,
American Pipit, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Song Sparrow, White-crowned Sparrow,
Dark-eyed Junco, Red-winged Blackbird, Western Meadowlark, Brewer’s Blackbird,
Great-tailed Grackle, House Finch, American Goldfinch and House Sparrow.
By the time we started the walk along Skipper Bay Trail, the temperature had warmed up and the walk was very pleasant. Most of the birds seen were the same at both areas. The highlights of the Skipper Bay Trail were watching a Virginia Rail feeding along the edge of the cattails at the end of the trail and watching five adult and two juvenile Clark’s Grebes. The juvenile grebes were quite small for this late in the year and the adults were calling frequently.
You just can not beat a pleasant walk on a pretty fall morning while watching birds!
Backyard Bird of the
Ned Bixler - Provo
Broad-winged Hawk - Maybe I should say - my favorite bird, in the sky, above my yard. It was hovering very low over my yard.
Steve Carr - Holladay
Sharp-shinned Hawk - several visits in October
Alona Huffaker - Springville
A little flock of Ruby-crowned Kinglets that visited for a couple of days.
Eric Huish - Pleasant Grove
Western Screech-Owl - I sometimes hear them calling during the night.
Milt Moody - Provo
Dark-eyed Juncos coming in for the winter.
Bruce Robinson - West Jordan
House Sparrow - Didn't have much time for birding!!
Reed Stone - Provo
Cedar Waxwings - they love my Pyrocantha and Mt. Ash berries.
Alton Thygerson - Provo
Spotted Towhee - seen two different times on the same day, but haven't seen it since.
Bonnie Williams - Mapleton
Black-billed Magpie - They don’t come around very often.
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.