Utah County Birders Newsletter
September 2011

Contents   
    September Meeting
   
Upcoming Field Trips
    President's Message
    Hummingbird Nest
    Bird of the Month
   
Field Trip Report - Nebo Loop
   
Field Trip Report - Antelope Island
   
Field Trip Report -Provo Airport
   
Field Trip Report - River & Swede Lanes
   
Backyard Bird of the Month
    August Hotline Highlights
   


SEPTEMBER MEETING:

Thursday, September 8th.
7:00 pm, Bean Museum, BYU

Robbie Knight & Keeli Marvel will be giving a presentation on Wildlife Management at the
Dugway Proving Ground
. They will discuss their Eagle Management Program and other ongoing projects.
 


FIELD TRIPS:

Beginning birders are welcome.

Saturday, September 10th: 7am-2pm (return time flexible). For all those who missed the trip in August, or want an excuse to go again - Keeli Marvel will lead a trip to Antelope Island. We'll spend time on the causeway and visit Garr Ranch to look for migrant shorebirds and warblers.  We will meet at 7:00 am at the park and ride off the American Fork Main Street exit of I-15. (Exit 278-the northwest corner of I-15and Pioneer Crossing next to the Value Motel).

Saturday, September 24th: Bryan Shirley will lead a half day field trip to look for migrant shorebirds and warblers around the south end of Utah Lake. Meet at the Sam's Club in East Bay at 7:00am.



We are actively recruiting people to lead local half-day field trips, any time, any place.  If you would like to lead a field trip or if you have any ideas for this yearís field trips, please contact Keeli Marvel at - keeli.marvel@gmail.com
. 
 
 



President's Message

by Bryan Shirley, UCB President

Odds & Ends

So I admit that I am drawing a blank, so there may not be a lot to my article this month, but here goes.

First of all, a couple of days ago I received an email from Ned Hill, our past president, who is currently serving as a mission president of the Romania, Bucharest Mission. Ned said that he has been extremely busy and has little time for birding (no new lifers yet), but enjoys seeing the White Storks roosting and nesting in all the villages. He wanted me to tell you all hello.

Now an update about the Short-tailed Albatross chick on Midway I wrote about in the April newsletter. It may be old news now, but I had a busy summer and just heard this recently so I thought I would pass it along. After surviving a couple of huge storms and a tsunami that covered most of the island, the chick fledged and is somewhere out at sea now. This is from the Fish and Wildlife Service press release:
  Anticipating its fledging, the chick was banded on June 8. The bands will help biologists track this extremely rare and endangered seabird to learn where it will one day go to nest. Most albatross return to the island where they were hatched. On June 11, the bird was seen wandering from its nest area to the shoreline as the instinct to fly and paddle out to sea became stronger. It continued to walk and flap near the shoreline, as well as paddle in the near-shore waters to strengthen its wings and legs.

The chick's first swim in the ocean lasted 15 minutes. It walked into the lapping waters, paddled out 50 meters, submerged its head for a quick look, sipped some sea water, and then practiced flapping before paddling back to the shore. The chick was last seen the evening of June 15. By June 17 it was gone, most likely headed in a northwesterly direction to the rich and productive waters near Hokkaido, Japan, perhaps to join others of its kind.

Hopefully the chick is doing well and will be back to Midway to breed someday. Here is a link to the rest of the article, along with some photos and video: http://www.fws.gov/refuges/news/TheFlightAlbatross_06212011.html

Here in Utah migration is picking up. Some species, like the phalaropes, have already peaked and are getting fewer in number. Others are yet to arrive. Both Nashville & Townsends Warblers were reported this week and there are starting to be some decent mixed flocks of birds headed south. September is a great month to bird in Utah. Our club has a couple of field trips planned that should be fun, but even if you donít make it to those get out there and enjoy migration.
 


Grandma, it's a hummingbird nest!
by Alona Huffaker

My ten year old granddaughter, Jeslyn, was trying to start the lawn mower and said something flew around her. She thought she heard a bee, but looked again and it was a hummingbird! She saw it go into it's nest, right above her head. She showed some of us and we got to watch it finish building its nest, then sit to incubate it's egg. The nest (about the size of half a small lemon) was located about 8 feet above my driveway--lots of people got to watch it. We tried to be really careful and not disturb the little mom, so she would stay with the task.

One day when the mom was gone from the nest for awhile, I lifted a little grandchild up to peek in and she saw one egg. The kids could actually stand on the hood of my car and see the nest. Eventually, we decided the egg had hatched, 'cause the mom was gone for awhile. A few days later, we could see a tiny little beak poking up, a little while longer, we could see more of the beak. Eventually, we could see a bit of the head and as it grew, we could see a little eye, too! (And we didn't have to climb up on the car to see it--just stand in the driveway! It was so fun to see when the Mom would come to feed it--those two long beaks exchanging food! We could tell the baby was getting bigger all the time.

One night there was a family Bar B Que in the yard and about 70 people got to see it's little head! One "ambitious" photographer got chased off by the protective mom!

A couple of days later, I thought it was getting pretty big, and thought I had better keep an eye on it, to see what would happen. I sat up a lawn chair and as I tended grandkids, and read stories to them, I also watched the nest. The little one would sit on the side of the nest and flap it's wings like crazy! Pretty soon the mom came back to feed it and it was like she pushed it and poked it back into the nest, 'cause it went down in for a while, then soon was sitting on the side, flapping again. We got distracted and I heard a hummingbird noise and told the kids, look, there is the mom. My daughter said, no, that's the baby. It had gone about 3 more feet up onto a branch. Mom came back and fed it again, the next time we looked, they were both gone! Good bye little bird, it was great fun to watch you these past few weeks!

 



Bird of the Month

No Bird of the Month this Month.

If you would like to write an article for the Bird of the Month, please contact Oliver Hansen -- 801-378-4771 - byucactus@gmail.com .

Click here for past 'Birds of the Month'.
 

 


Field Trip Report
Nebo Loop - August 6, 2011

View from the top of the Nebo Loop - Photo by Eric Huish

by Eric Huish

Dennis Shirley led this field trip up Payson Canyon and downs Santaquin Canyon.  Our first two stops were at the Jones Ranch Lower Trailhead and at a stop a half mile up canyon from there. 
20 species (+2 other taxa)

Turkey Vulture 1
Broad-tailed Hummingbird 2
Rufous Hummingbird 2
hummingbird sp. 5 I believe one of these was a female Calliope but I'm not 100% confident.
Red-naped Sapsucker 2
Northern Flicker 1 Heard Only
Western Wood-Pewee 1
Empidonax sp. 2
Warbling Vireo 1
Mountain Bluebird 1
American Robin 2
MacGillivray's Warbler 2
Yellow Warbler 1 Heard Only
Chipping Sparrow 6
Lark Sparrow 1
Spotted Towhee 1
Fox Sparrow (Slate-colored) 2
Song Sparrow 1 Heard Only
Lincoln's Sparrow 2
Dark-eyed Junco 3
Black-headed Grosbeak 2
Lazuli Bunting 1
--------------------------

We made a short stop at  the Mt Nebo overlook parking lot (2 parking areas west of the Santaquin Canyon Road) and saw 3 species.

Downy Woodpecker 1
Northern Flicker 1
Olive-sided Flycatcher 1
--------------------------

We then stopped at the Purple Martin nest colony area (about 3.5 miles past the Santaquin Canyon Road turn off).  Young Martins where sitting out on tree branches and Martin parents would come in and feed them.  We got great looks.
6 species (+1 other taxa)

hummingbird sp. 2
Hairy Woodpecker 1
Western Wood-Pewee 2
Purple Martin 10
Tree Swallow 10
Violet-green Swallow 2
Pine Siskin 1
--------------------------

To end the trip we spent 2 1/2 hours around the Nebo Bench Trailhead and then about a mile out on Mona Pole Road.
15 species (+1 other taxa)

Red-tailed Hawk 1
Broad-tailed Hummingbird 2 Heard Only
Rufous Hummingbird 1
hummingbird sp. 1
American Three-toed Woodpecker 3 2 at Nebo Bench Trailhead and one a mile down Mona Pole Rd.
Olive-sided Flycatcher 1
Western Wood-Pewee 3
Steller's Jay 1 Heard Only
Mountain Chickadee 3
Red-breasted Nuthatch 6
Brown Creeper 3
Yellow-rumped Warbler 3
White-crowned Sparrow 1
Dark-eyed Junco (Gray-headed) 1
Cassin's Finch 3
Pine Siskin 4

 


Field Trip Report
Antelope Island - August 13, 2011

AI Causeway -  Photo by Eric Peterson

by Oliver Hansen

 

Saturday morning at about 8:30 am, several Utah Co. and Salt Lake Co.birders met at the antelope island entrance gate for what turned out to be a beautiful summer morning field trip. We consolidated into about 4-5 vehicles and worked our way down the causeway towards the island. There were hundreds of thousands of birds. The consisted of mostly swallows, gulls, avocets, stilts, and phalaropes. Occasional willets and curlews were also seen. Nothing out of the ordinary, although several people were able to see some red-necked phalaropes for the first time. We swung by the visitor center to check out the chuckars and the local burrowing owl family. There were 2 great horned owls at the Buffalo corrals (no barn owls). We then spent about 45 minutes near a few miles down the road to Garr ranch and got some great looks at grasshopper sparrows and a few blue grosbeaks. We then worked our way back down the causeway and saw pretty much the same as before.

All in all, a great day of birding even though there were no rarities and a pretty slim showing of fall migrants. Thanks to all those that drove, helped newer birders, and big high-five to Bryan Shirley for leading the trip. I enjoyed the company of the Salt Lake crew and hope we can do more field trips together.

Oliver Hansen

Species lists for the 4 locations are below. There were a few more species seen at several of the locations that I did not see and are therefore not on the lists below.

__________________
Antelope Island SP--Causeway, Davis, US-UT
Aug 13, 2011 8:30 AM - 9:30 AM
Protocol: Traveling
7.0 mile(s)
Comments: UCB + SLC Antelope Island birding trip.
22 species (+2 other taxa)

Pied-billed Grebe X
Eared Grebe X
White-faced Ibis X
Northern Harrier X
Killdeer X
Black-necked Stilt X
American Avocet X
Willet X
Long-billed Curlew X
Marbled Godwit X
Short-billed/Long-billed Dowitcher X
Wilson's Phalarope X
Red-necked Phalarope X
Franklin's Gull X
Ring-billed Gull X
California Gull X
Mourning Dove X
Northern Rough-winged Swallow X
Tree Swallow X
Bank Swallow X
Barn Swallow X
swallow sp. X
Yellow-headed Blackbird X
House Sparrow X
___________________________________
Antelope Island SP--Visitor Center Area, Davis, US-UT
Aug 13, 2011 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Protocol: Stationary
Comments: UCB + SLC Antelope Island Field Trip. Vicinity of Burrowing owl site and Buffalo Corral.
8 species (+3 other taxa)
Chukar X
gull sp. X
Great Horned Owl 2 @ Buffalo Corral
Burrowing Owl 6
hummingbird sp. X
Black-billed Magpie 3
Common Raven 3
Tree Swallow X
Barn Swallow X
swallow sp. X
Rock Wren X
__________________________
Antelope Island SP--Road to Garr Ranch, Davis, US-UT
Aug 13, 2011 11:00 AM - 11:45 AM
Protocol: Stationary
Comments: UCB + SLC Antelope Island Field Trip - A few miles down the road to Garr ranch.
20 species (+3 other taxa)

Double-crested Cormorant 1
White-faced Ibis X
Northern Harrier 1
Red-tailed Hawk 2
Killdeer X
Black-necked Stilt X
American Avocet X
Willet X
gull sp. X
Mourning Dove X
hummingbird sp. X
Western Wood-Pewee 1
Western Kingbird 1
Eastern Kingbird 2
Common Raven 3
Tree Swallow X
swallow sp. X
Grasshopper Sparrow 4
Blue Grosbeak 2
Western Meadowlark X
Yellow-headed Blackbird X
Brewer's Blackbird X
Brown-headed Cowbird X
______________________________________
Antelope Island SP--Causeway, Davis, US-UT
Aug 13, 2011 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
Protocol: Traveling
7.0 mile(s)
Comments: UCB + SLC Field trip on the way out.
20 species (+1 other taxa)

Pied-billed Grebe X
Eared Grebe X
American White Pelican 25
White-faced Ibis X
Killdeer X
Black-necked Stilt X
American Avocet X
Spotted Sandpiper X
Willet X
Long-billed Curlew X
Wilson's Phalarope X
Red-necked Phalarope X
Franklin's Gull X
Ring-billed Gull X
California Gull X
Northern Rough-winged Swallow X
Tree Swallow X
Bank Swallow X
Barn Swallow X
swallow sp. X
Yellow-headed Blackbird X
This report was generated automatically by eBird v2 (http://ebird.org)

 


Field Trip Report
Provo Airport Dike - August 20, 2011

Provo Airport Dike - Photo by Eric Huish

by Eric Huish 

On August 20th seven Utah County birders met at 6:30 a.m. for a morning drive around the Provo Airport Dike. It was a beautiful morning. A couple of people in the group got to see a Nighthawk while waiting for the rest of us to show up. We started at the east side of the dike and walked down the gated road on the east side that heads out into the flooded filed to the east. Highlights down this road were Clark's Grebes with fluffy baby grebes on their back, a Wilson's Snipe that quickly hid in the grass, Black-necked Stilts, Greater Yellowlegs, a Great Blue Heron, a family of Sandhill Cranes, a Belted Kingfisher and an Osprey flew over carrying a fish. We heard a strange bird song and when we found it it turned out to be a Song Sparrow singing. This Song Sparrow did NOT sound like a Song Sparrow. It sounded like it was trying hard to imitate a Marsh Wren, very weird. Another fun sighting was a Pied-billed Grebe diving in water that was only a few inches deep. Pied-billeds are speedy under water. As it shot through the grass and weeds it was leaving a big wake on the water's surface.

Continuing around the dike road we saw a Sage Thrasher, Kestrels, heard a Broad-tailed Hummingbird, and saw a couple of young Swainson's Hawks on Center Street at the North end of the dike loop. There were thousands of swallows around the loop but we were only able to pick out 3 species; Northern Rough-winged Swallow, Bank Swallow and Barn Swallow. It was getting hot and the bird activity was already slowing down when we left at 9:30 a.m.

Our full list: Canada Goose 1, Mallard 15, Pied-billed Grebe 1, Western Grebe 1, Clark's Grebe 6 - One parent was carrying young on its back, Great Blue Heron 1, White-faced Ibis 12, Osprey 1, Swainson's Hawk 2, American Kestrel 3, American Coot 11, Sandhill Crane 3, Killdeer 14, Black-necked Stilt 10, Greater Yellowlegs 2, Wilson's Snipe 1, gull sp. 10, Mourning Dove 1, Common Nighthawk 1, Black-chinned Hummingbird 3, Broad-tailed Hummingbird 1, hummingbird sp. 2, Belted Kingfisher 1, Western Kingbird 10, Eastern Kingbird 6, Black-billed Magpie 1, Northern Rough-winged Swallow 200, Bank Swallow 200, Barn Swallow 100, swallow sp. 1000, Marsh Wren 9, American Robin 2, Sage Thrasher 1, European Starling 17, Yellow Warbler 6, Song Sparrow 7, Red-winged Blackbird 8, Yellow-headed Blackbird 25, Bullock's Oriole 1, House Finch 5, American Goldfinch 1, House Sparrow 3.


Field Trip Report
River and Swede Lanes - August 27, 2011

by Keeli Marvel

 

Four Utah County Birders met on Saturday, Aug 27th for a field trip to River and Swede Lanes. We started the field trip on Swede Lane where we saw huge numbers of White-faced Ibis, gulls (mostly Ring-billed) and Killdeer feeding the fields along the road. Further down Swede Lane we saw our first Blue Grosbeak (my favorite bird of the trip), which was keeping company with and being pestered by a flycatcher (we think Western Wood-Pewee) that kept following it around a tree they were both perched in. Further down the road near the end of Swede Lane, we got another highlight bird for the trip- a Solitary Sandpiper feeding in a puddle in the road. The road is now passable all the way to the end, but didn't look like it had been drivable for long unless you were in a boat.

We saw Yellow Warblers, Gray Catbirds, American Goldfinches, various swallow species and Marsh Wrens on both River and Swede Lanes. On River Lane, highlights were a female Western Tanager, a Green-tailed Towhee, a MacGillivray's Warbler, a Nashville Warbler, a Swainson's Hawk, a Caspian Tern and a pair of Eastern Kingbirds. On our drive back to the freeway, we spotted twenty or so Cattle Egrets in a field on the north side of SR 77 (West Springville). Total species count for the trip: 60 species. Not too shabby for a nice morning out birding.
 

 


Backyard Bird of the Month
August 2011

Eric Huish - Pleasant Grove
Rufous Hummingbird - I always wait all summer for a Rufous to show up.

Bruce Robinson -
Dusky Flycatcher - Spent about an hour in our yard then headed south.

Steve Carr - Holladay
Bullock's Oriole - Enjoying the hummingbird feeders.


Send your backyard bird of the month to Cheryl Peterson (375-1914 or cherylpeterson@gmail.com) by the end of each month.