phil jeffrey:: Utah/Wyoming/Colorado, July 2007 trip report
Photographically, because I was carrying conference-associated junk, I took the lightweight combo of the Digital Rebel XTi (usefully 10 mpixels) and my 300mm f4 with a 1.4x attached. I packed my venerable 20-35 f2.8 wide-angle lens but didn't use it much. Mostly I was birding or sitting through conference sessions on Radiation Damage or drinking beer at the poster sessions.
"Dirt birds" on the trip were probably Swallows - there was an abundance of Barn Swallows in any and every suitable habitat including high altitude. There were also many Bank Swallows in the lowlands, numerous Cliff Swallows, and Violet-green Swallows in the mountains. I did not knowingly see a Northern Rough-winged, although with the juvenile Bank Swallows around it would be easy to write off the former as the latter. I had some luck (Black Rosy-Finch), some well-earned life birds (Black Swift, Sage Sparrow) and some dips (Dusky/Blue Grouse). Other lifers (basically all the owls) were pretty much not pursued on this trip because of lack of energy or motivation.
Bold species are life birds. Underlined species are Better View Desired birds.
|Pied-billed Grebe||Bear River NWR|
|Eared Grebe||Antelope Island, Bear River NWR|
|Western Grebe||Bear River NWR|
|Clark's Grebe||Bear River NWR|
|American White Pelican||Bear River NWR|
|Double-crested Cormorant||Bear River NWR, Antelope Island|
|Great Blue Heron||Bear River NWR|
|Snowy Egret||Bear River NWR|
|Cattle Egret||Salt Lake agricultural|
|Black-crowned Night-Heron||Bear River NWR|
|White-faced Ibis||Bear River NWR, Antelope Island|
|Canada Goose||Bear River NWR|
|Gadwall||Bear River NWR|
|Cinnamon Teal||Bear River NWR|
|Northern Shoveler||Bear River NWR|
|American Wigeon||Bear River NWR|
|Green-winged Teal||(probable only)|
|Ruddy Duck||Bear River NWR|
|Northern Harrier||Bear River NWR|
|Swainson's Hawk||Bear River NWR, near airport|
|Ferruginous Hawk||(probable distant glimpse in WY)|
|Golden Eagle||CO: deserts on western slope|
|Peregrine Falcon||CO: Ouray; UT: Bridal Veil Falls|
|Prairie Falcon||(probable in WY)|
|Ring-necked Pheasant||Bear River NWR entrance road|
|Sandhill Crane||Bear River NWR|
|Black-necked Stilt||Antelope Island, Bear River NWR|
|American Avocet||Antelope Island, Bear River NWR|
|Greater Yellowlegs||Bear River NWR|
|Lesser Yellowlegs||Bear River NWR|
|(Western) Willet||Antelope Island|
|Spotted Sandpiper||Bear River NWR|
|Solitary Sandpiper||Bear River NWR|
|Long-billed Curlew||Antelope Island|
|Marbled Godwit||Bear River NWR|
|Western Sandpiper||Bear River NWR|
|Baird's Sandpiper||Antelope Island|
|Long-billed Dowitcher||Bear River NWR|
|Wilson's Phalarope||Antelope Island, Bear River NWR, massive numbers|
|Red-necked Phalarope||Antelope Island, Bear River NWR, good numbers|
|Franklin's Gull||Salt Lake|
|Ring-billed Gull||Salt Lake|
|California Gull||Salt Lake|
|Black Tern||Bear River NWR|
|Forster's Tern||Salt Lake|
|Caspian Tern||Bear River NWR|
|Common Nighthawk||various montane during day !|
|Black Swift||CO: Ouray; not seen in UT at Bridal Veil Falls|
|Black-chinned Hummingbird||Mill Creek Cyn|
|Rufous Hummingbird||CO: Ouray; UT: Silver Lake|
|Red-naped Sapsucker||Brighton/Silver Lake|
|American Three-toed Woodpecker||Mirror Lake|
|Olive-sided Flycatcher||Brighton/Silver Lake|
|Western Wood-Pewee||various montane|
|Gray Flycatcher||WY: Flaming Gorge NRA|
|Say's Phoebe||CO: Coloardo National Monument|
|Ash-throated Flycatcher||CO: Colorado National Monument|
|Western Kingbird||espec Bear River NWR|
|Warbling Vireo||Brighton/Silver Lake in Aspens|
|Western Scrub-Jay||WY: Flaming Gorge NRA; CO: various|
|Pinyon Jay||nr Scipio|
|Clark's Nutcracker||Black Cyn of the Gunnison|
|American Crow||lowland (e.g. Ouray CO)|
|Horned Lark||Bear River NWR, White's Valley|
|Purple Martin||SR-39 montane|
|Black-capped Chickadee||montane (less numerous)|
|Juniper Titmouse||CO: Colorado National Monument|
|Bushtit||CO: Black Cyn of the Gunnison|
|Canyon Wren||(heard only at CO Natl Monument, Black Cyn Gunnison)|
|Bewick's Wren||Flaming Gorge NRA sagebrush|
|American Dipper||Bridal Veil Falls nr Provo|
|Western Bluebird||CO: Glade Park at CO National Monument|
|Mountain Bluebird||UT: montane; CO: Glade Park|
|Townsend's Solitaire||CO: Ouray|
|Swainson's Thrush||(probably heard in Mill Creek Cyn)|
|Sage Thrasher||CO: Glade Park; UT: White's Valley|
|Loggerhead Shrike||White's Valley and east of Vernal|
|Virginia's Warbler||Brighton/Silver Lake|
|Yellow Warbler||various riparian|
|Yellow-rumped Warbler||various montane|
|MacGillivray's Warbler||Brighton/Silver Lake|
|Western Tanager||UT: Alpine loop, CO: Ouray|
|Green-tailed Towhee||WY: Flaming Gorge NRA|
|Spotted Towhee||CO: Black Cyn of the Gunnison|
|Lark Sparrow||Bear River NWR, White's Valley|
|Black-throated Sparrow||CO: Colorado National Monument|
|Sage Sparrow||WY: Flaming Gorge NRA|
|Savannah Sparrow||Bear River NWR|
|Lincoln's Sparrow||montane wetter areas|
|Dark-eyed Junco||montane, widespread|
|Yellow-headed Blackbird||Bear River NWR|
|Western Meadowlark||lowland grassland|
|Brewer's Blackbird||lowland riparan|
|Great-tailed Grackle||UT/CO: interstate service plazas|
|Black Rosy-Finch||UT: Bald Mountain|
|Pine Grosbeak||Mirror Lake, Silver Lake - montane|
|Evening Grosbeakk||Ouray CO at Box Cyn|
|Cassin's Finch||numerous in montane|
|Red Crossbill||Brighton/Big Cottonwood Cyn|
|Pine Siskin||numerous in montane|
|House Sparrow||relatively uncommon|
Despite nigh-on 100 degree heat in the lowland areas I decided to make a stop along the Antelope Island Causeway ($9 entrance fee seemed rather excessive) for the first stop. One of the problems getting there was that the exit # off I-15 was wrong in the Utah birding guide (try Antelope Dr at exit 332 instead).
Out on the causeway I stopped at what seemed like a strange dark mass on the water and realized that it was several hundred (probably a few thousand) Wilson's Phalaropes in one flock. Eventually I did manage to find a few Red-necked Phalaropes in there too. There were thousands of phalaropes of one species or the other (mostly Wilson's) in every direction. Also in the general vicinity were (Western) Willet and a single Baird's Sandpiper. Over the other side of the causeway there were Black-necked Stilt and American Avocet. Three species of gulls were present: a few Ring-billed Gull, many Franklin's Gull and several California Gull. At the Visitor Center there was Common Raven headed down-slope, Barn Swallows nesting at the building itself, but no Chukar which allegedly is to be found on the rocks around the center (I was to see a single Chukar on the return trip - it did not appear tame). The return drive along the causeway yielded a Long-billed Curlew and some isolated flocks of Red-necked Phalaropes in addition to the bazillion Wilson's. A few Double-crested Cormorants were milling around, but it was mostly shorebirds and gulls. Notably absent were waterfowl (although I did see a single small flock of Canada Geese on the return trip here).
Then it was up into the mountains via I-84 east of Ogden and SR-167 into Huntsville. On the east side of town I picked up SR-39 (Ogden Canyon?) which winds into the mountains on its way toward Woodruff. Stopping at a few lowland campgrounds and pulloffs I picked up Lazuli Bunting, American Goldfinch and Yellow Warbler. A little way up the canyon three juvenile Grouse/Turkeys crossed the road. These were dark, largely unrecognisable to species, but large enough that they could not be quail and too dark to be pheasant. One growing tail feather appeared to be gray-blue. If you believe Sibley's range maps they pretty much have to have been Dusky (Blue) Grouse but I did not count them. Habitat seemed a little ambiguous - it was not coniferous although there were probably Aspens about.
Taking a side canyon at the Red Rock store the area was broader and riparian and I found Western Meadowlark, Brewers Blackbird, Brown-headed Cowbird, Black-billed Magpie. As SR-39 wound into the hills there was Mountain Bluebird along the road. I took a side road signed for "Dry Bread Pond" and found Tree and Violet-green Swallows, Purple Martin, Chipping Sparrow, Northern Flicker, Red-tailed Hawk, Turkey Vulture. Further on a broad gravel pullout near the gated section of the road yielded Cassin's Finch and nearby an Accipiter sp. (Cooper's, probably).
Recent posts on the UT list had indicated that Monte Cristo Campground was a useful spot. The USFS signs post that ANY use of a camping spot requires the fee ($14) so since the campground was fairly empty I parked at the bathrooms and wandered around a little. A very few campsites were occupied and I encountered nobody while walking the loops although I always avoid peeking toward occupied camp locations. Audubon's Yellow-rumped Warbler, Mountain Chickadee, Western Wood-Pewee, Broad-tailed Hummingbird (and a probable male Calliope), White-crowned and Chipping Sparrows, Northern Flicker and a silent Empidonax sp were around. On this trip I saw a variety of worn, mostly silent, Empidonax sp that I declined to try and identify as to species - (Cordilleran, Dusky and Hammond's being the usual suspects).
Downslope from Monte Cristo the road went into sagebrush country that proved largely unproductive at the stops I tried (apart from a Cliff Swallow colony) and then dropped into the river valley at Woodruff where some probable Western Bluebirds were on the wires (not ID'd conclusively at 65mph but....). Heading south into WY I passed a possible Prairie Falcon along (WY) SR-89 - this is probably on or near the Deseret Ranch area that is used by many tours as a birding destination - but the road is fairly busy without convenient pulloffs.
In Evanston WY, remarking at the lack of a cell phone signal, I also noted that there were storms brewing over the "Mirror Lake scenic byway" (SR-150) for Mirror Lake and Bald Mountain. Given the weather and the advancing time I decided to skip that part of the day's itinierary and proceed via I-80 and US-40 to Heber City where I took US-189 to Bridal Veil Falls for an evening's scouting for Black Swift. Like all too many roads in UT there were signs for road construction - there was construction on I-84, I-80, I-15, US-189 and Lord knows how many other roads in UT during this trip, although I did not encounter any pathological delays in my direction - I saw some, however, not least of all on eastbound I-80 just west of Evanston.
At Bridal Veil Falls in Provo Cyn along US-189, there was American Dipper, various Swallows, White-throated Swift but
despite staying until sundown there was no evidence of Black Swift. Compared to Ouray (see later) the viewing conditions
are much less than optimal since the falls (and nesting sites) are quite a bit above you so you're looking at dark swifts of
two types from below in mixed lighting.
Stayed overnight near Provo at the Motel 6 in Lehi, which was rather decent as Motel 6's go with an internal corridor and relatively recent construction. About 240 miles for the day.
Hot air balloon rising over Heber City
I continued up-canyon on US-189 to Heber City (a pleasant town where I stopped to pick up breakfast), and then to Kamas and SR-150 - the Mirror Lake scenic byway. Ascending from Kamas, I stopped at a variety of intermediate points finding Common Nighthawk (two calling and displaying in daylight), Western Tanager, Northern Flicker, American Goldfinch, Broad-tailed Hummingbird and a few birds that made tantalizing vocalizations from deep cover.
Further up in more montane conditions, Trial Lake campground wasn't particularly active with Violet-Green Swallow and some Yellow-rumped Warblers but there were Lincoln's Sparrow, Cassin's Finch, Pine Siskin across from entrance road. A small group of fly-over birds were probably Red Crossbills. Common Raven called from the ridge.
Alpine lake in Uintah range
Just over the pass at Bald Mountain I hiked up from the parking lot over the top of the ridge (Dark-eyed Junco, Cassin's Finch) then on to the edge of cliffs where a male Black Rosy-Finch hopped cooperatively over the tundra giving good views for a few minutes. Juvenile Rock Wrens chased each other around the rocks, Red-breasted Nuthatch flew by, and a Hummingbird sp (migrating Rufous?) gave fleeting looks. The hike was initially quite strenuous, mainly because I am large and unfit and from sea level (and this was only day 2 at altitude).
Down off the pass to Mirror Lake there were many people at the campsite but fewer at the trailhead. Just a little up the road from the trailhead were adult and juvenile Three-toed Woodpeckers, a fly-by Pine Grosbeak, lots more Pine Siskins and Dark-eyed Juncos, Audubon's Yellow-rumped Warbler, a flyover probable Clark's Nutcracker, American Flicker, and Ruby-crowned Kinglet. I didn't even get more than 50 yards from the trailhead lot seeing all those species for over an hour. Lots of mysterious species chipped and buzzed from cover, and I was unaccustomed to the western bird vocalizations.
Leaving Mirror Lake I flew out of the hills into WY pausing to see my first ever male Moose cross the road and American Kestrel in the sagebrush further down into the valley. I continued my trend of missing Prairie Falcon the entire trip. On through Evanston (WY) and then north via WY-89 toward Woodruff I stopped at a roadside "wildlife viewing area" to find it down at the heels, with the interpretive sign completely worn off. Nearby, where there was no convenient pulloff I caught sight of what probably was a distant Ferruginous Hawk. WY-89 is not the sort of road to stop on the tarmac staring at birds, however. On through Woodruff I retraced my route via SR-39, pausing at the Cliff Swallow colony, pausing again to avoid a young Moose (and adult female) in the road (Moose #2 and #3 ever) and returned to to Monte Cristo Campground where activity was quieter than the previous day save for yet another female+young Moose but White-crowned Sparrow, and Western-Wood Pewee were around. Up until the previous day I had seen precisely zero moose in my life. That afternoon I saw five in three locations. The rest of the trip ? none.
Back down the other side of the pass on SR-39 (Turkey Vulture and glimpse of a large Accpiter) I went on to Ogden and then Bear River NWR. Incredibly the flashy visitor center did not stock Golden Eagle passes although in retrospect this was probably just as well since I had forgotten I had a valid one (!!) purchased in TX in November. Along the frequently rough and sometimes dirt road to the refuge were Northern Harrier, Killdeer, Caspian Tern, Cattle Egret, Sandhill Crane and numerous Western Kingbirds with a few Eastern Kingbirds mixed in. There were many many swallows in the wetter areas (Barn, Cliff, Bank). Out on the auto tour there were nervous White-faced Ibis, American White Pelican, Snowy Egret, Great Blue Heron, Black-crowned Night Heron, Great Eget, American Avocet and Black-necked Stilt. It was notable how nervous many of these birds were - Ibis I've come to expect, but Great Blue Herons flew at the mere sight of the car. Either the Mustang looks/sounds dangerous, or these birds are being hunted here or nearby. Other species around here were Yellow-headed Blackbird, Red-winged Blackbird, Spotted Sandpiper, Solitary Sandpiper (1, apparently unusual for the reserve), Greater Yellowlegs, Wilson's Phalarope, Long-billed Dowitcher, Marbled Godwit, Pied-billed/Clark's/Western Grebes and a Double-crested Cormorant. Light was imperfect for photography due to a cloud cast by wildfires to the south, but since most stuff was too skittish to approach it was somewhat of a moot point. Most ducks were in eclipse so given the light and their distance I demurred on splitting Blue-winged and Cinnamon Teal at a distance in eclipse plumage. A species count reported on the Utah list for 7/19 showed MUCH greater numbers for some species than I saw, suggesting that they were quite a lot more diligent than I am about searching the farthest reaches of the impoundments or that morning is far more productive.
Nevertheless, I still suspect it's not ideal for photography because of skittishness and also that the road is too narrow to pull off at arbitrary points - they have designated parking areas which are rarely going to correspond to the precise location of a photographic possibility, and you can't camp out on the auto tour if someone is behind you.
On the road out of the refuge toward I-15 a Swainsons Hawk perched cooperatively. I was too tired to look for
Western Screech-Owl in the evening in Ogden, and also lacked definitive directions.
Overnight in Ogden at another Motel 6, safe and clean but a little more run down than the one in Lehi the night before. About 300 miles.
Dropping out of Mill Creek Canyon I went further south to Big Cottonwood Cyn (exit 6 off I-215, follow signs for SR-190) and eschewing any intermediate stops (already many cars parked along the roadside) I went straight up to Brighton and the Silver Lake boardwalk. There, as expected, the parking lot was full and the lay public were out in force. Nevertheless the lake trail was moderately birdy: Lincoln's Sparrow, Dark-eyed Junco, Audubon's Yellow-rumped Warbler, Red-naped Sapsucker, MacGillivray's Warbler, Violet-green and Cliff Swallow, Common Raven and a single Red Crossbill across from the Brighton Store and Cafe (good lunch). There were also multiple Pine Siskins, a single Mountain Chickadee and juveniles of most of the species. A very worn Empidonax sp. didn't give me the urge to try and ID it based on plumage alone, and it was silent. It's pretty good territory for Hammond's up there, I would think, but Dusky is also likely.
After lunch I headed down the canyon and after some messing around in downtown Salt Lake City checked into the conference hotel (Shilo Inn) and returned the rental car to the airport. About 150 miles (total 690).
Reception at conference in evening. Overnight SLC at conference.
Heading back toward US-119 the entrance to the Archery Range was also productive - Gray Flycatcher (ID'd by the downward tail flick and habitat), Brewer's Sparrow, possible Vesper Sparrow and Bewick's Wren.
I then took US-119 south to Vernal UT (slow over passes in the Uintah Mtns) to start the long drive to Ouray CO, then US-40 to Dinosaur CO. Along US-40 I saw perched Golden Eagle and a Loggerhead Shrike on the wires. From Dinosour I went to Grand Junction via Rangeley and over another mountain pass on CO-139 . At Grand Junction I took US-50 and US-550 south to Ouray via Delta and Montrose. The storms were gathering as I approached Ouray and it was raining when I got to Box Canyon Falls. Not auspicious.
At Ouray during the storm/rain: 4 BLACK SWIFT on nests in very dark conditions but nevertheless pretty good views, male Western Tanager, juvenile Townsend's Solitaire, Empidonax sp (Cordilleran?), Violet-green Swallow, Rufous and Broad-tailed Hummingbirds, Dark-eyed Junco, Pine Siskin, Cassin's Finch, Mountain and Black-capped Chickadees. A while after I got there the water started to churn brown from a flash flood from heavy rain in the mountains. American Crow was in the parking lot. Box Cyn Falls are open 8am-8pm, and the fee is a quite modest $3. There's some lodging in Ouray (probably generally expensive) which is popular on weekends, and also some on Montrose 35 miles to the north. The trail to the falls is short and there were a few species in the garden area at the falls. The hummingbirds were at the feeders.
Down out of Ouray, I headed back north to Montrose and lacking available hotel reservations in Grand Junction I scavenged a motel there (actually the same motel I stayed at during my April 2004 trip - still with the For Sale sign up). I went to the Black Cyn of the Gunnison in rain at sunset, looking for Dusky Grouse walking the western end of the road once the rain started to clear. Most active were Spotted Towhee, also Western Scrub-Jay, Bushtit, Hairy Woodpecker. Finally as it got to dark to ID anything I left the park and headed back to the motel.
Black Canyon of the Gunnison at sunset after a stormy evening
Overnight Montrose (Western Inn ?). Probably something like 350 miles.
I decided to turn south and head to Ouray to see if photos were viable and again found Black Swift, Peregrine Falcon, Violet-green Swallow, Broad-tailed and a very pugnacious Rufous Hummingbird, the same juvenile Townsend's Solitaire, Evening Grosbeak, Cassin's Finch, Pine Siskin, and both species of Chickadees at the feeders. I got one predictably crappy picture of Black Swift at 0.5 second exposure within the canyon. Nevertheless the 1,000 mile round trip was worth it because these views were better than anything I was going to get at Provo. Over the parking lot a Black-ish Swift circled high above, looking chunkier than a White-throated Swift but I left its ID unresolved. The same species were at the feeder again, along with a nice extra of a single male Evening Grosbeak.
Black Swift on the nest at Box Canyon Falls, Ouray
After Ouray I turned north up US-550 and US-50 to Grand Junction and Colorado National Monument mainly to look for Sage Thrasher and Western Bluebird. Stopping at Devil's Kitchen just after the eastern entry portal it was noon and baking hot and dry but I nevertheless turned up Ash-throated Flycatcher, Juniper Titmouse, Black-throated Sparrow, Say's Phoebe, Gnatcatcher, House Finch and heard a Canyon Wren. Calls from the rock walls may have been Chukar but I did not find any.
Not taking any intermediate stops I went straight to the dirt road to Glade Park store and along the local roads there picked up the expected Mountain and Western Bluebirds, Sage Thrasher, and Western Scrub-Jay. This seems to be a pretty reliable spot for those sort of species, since I've turned them up every time I've been there.
Leaving the western portal of Colorado NM I found Great-tailed Grackle at I-70 at Fruita just before entering the interstate, Golden Eagle west along I-70 heading down into the desert. I followed I-70 through dramatic desert scenery in UT before taking US-50 from Salina toward Scipio. (In principal Rt-6 could be quicker as a route to Salt Lake City). In the broad canyon with Juniper along the upper slopes and sagebrush on the lower ones (and riparian area at the bottom) a flock of 30+ Pinyon Jays drifted across the roads. This was very similar habitat to my first ever flock of Pinyon Jays along CO-141 back in 2004, and mostly the same experience (except the need for a swift U-turn in the Mustang). Other than that, there wasn't much to note between Salina and Salt Lake City.
Great-tailed Grackle was also at a I-15 in Provo but otherwise the rest of the journey to the Motel 6 in Salt Lake City was unremarkable, after putting ~500 miles on the rental car that day. I stayed in a Motel 6 near the airport which was less than desirable and somewhat run down so I moved on after one night (reservation originally made for 2 nights).
Silver Lake at Brighton
Climbing onto higher ground there was a vocal Olive-sided Flycatcher that I eventually put my eyes on as well as Nuthatches and Chickadees, assorted ground-loving rodents, but not a ton of diversity. Having wheezed to the top of the trail I found a Red-naped Sapsucker by the side of the lake, amongst more expected species, and while napping managed a "first" of having a Chipmunk climb up on top of me (what part of "large omnivorous mammal" did it not understand ?). Activity at the lake was relatively limited with a single Mallard, some Cassin's Finches, Chipping Sparrows and Violet-Green and Barn Swallows. I returned down the increasingly-populated trail without adding anything although in one humbling moment a 5 year-old did come close to overtaking me on the way down. This was not, shall we say, the physically strongest day of the trip.
Along the trail around the lake I did find a worn but distinctive Virginia's Warbler amongst the more predictable Audubon's Yellow-rumped and MacGillivray's Warblers.
After Brighton the rest of the areas in that canyon were predictably busy, so I dropped down to the basin floor and went north toward White's Valley. This is a place for Gray Partridge amongst the grassland and in particular the agricultural fields but I struck out here in mid-afternoon. I did find Loggerhead Shrike, a bonanza of Lark Sparrows, a Sage Thrasher, Western Meadowlark but not a great deal else. Nothing partridge-like twitched or called. The Mustang did spook me by stalling twice along this road for no good reason but re-started both times without a hitch.
After baking in White's Valley I returned to Bear River NWR again via a detour to Brigham City for a beverage. Brigham City is pretty quiet on a Sunday afternoon. At Bear River NWR there were largely the same species present, although since the sun was more present on this trip there were less species along the entrance road. I did manage a few more finds on the tour loop, including Western (and I assume Least) Sandpipers and a larger flock of Black Terns. The number of roosting swallows was down over the last visit but I added to my tally of Clark's and Western Grebe photos, especially with many of them carrying young on their backs.
View across the impoundments at Bear River NWR
After checking into the Motel6 in Ogden I took a run to Beus Pond. Took me a while to find that location despite directions because of some roads ending in unpredictable places. Beus Pond is also popular with the rest of humanity, and lies next to a road, so the ambience for detecting calling owls was poor to abysmal even after dusk once the activity started to die down. I gave up around 30 minutes after dusk.
There was a single Chukar along the road to the Visitor Center, the usual swallows nesting under the eaves of the Visitor Center, but relatively little activity other than that. As the sun climbed I headed off Antelope Island and back to Big Cottonwood canyon to attempt pictures of MacGillivray's Warbler at Silver Lake. They were not as cooperative as the previous day so I contented myself with juvenile Yellow-rumped Warbler photos. After Silver Lake I went back down to Salt Lake City, picked up lunch, packed the car, and returned to the airport to end the trip. It was a rather uneventful end to the trip, but I specifically had no plans to whizz around 6 different locations while trying to get back the airport in time. I finally arrive back in Newark around 11:40pm.
Bear River NWR: From I-15 take Exit #366 (Brigham City's Forest Street) and travel west to end of road (20 miles). The road is at times dirt and rutted. From http://www.utahbirds.org/counties/boxelder/WhitesValley.htm Description: White's Valley is a remote ranch/farmland/grass and sagebrush covered valley in extreme north-central Utah. Much of the property is private, so please observe the 'No Trespassing' signs. Directions: Take I-15 north and I-84 west. Remain on I-84 when the two roads split and take Ranch Exit 32. Turn right, or north. The pavement ends after .3 miles and the road is gravel thereafter. Continue north. You'll reach Whites Valley after approximately 4 miles. The road zigzags west and north across the valley until it ends at two silos; however, the last half mile is marked, "No Trespassing". Birding: Watch for Burrowing Owls and listen/watch for Grasshopper Sparrows in the first mile or so. Watch along the road and in stubble in the fields for both Gray Partridge and Sharp-tailed Grouse. You might need to walk through brush or sage lining the safflower and wheat fields to find partridge or grouse. Watch over field edges and sagebrush for Short-eared Owls and Northern Harriers. Returning south and east out of the valley, you might consider taking the road that heads east at an intersection at a single silo, through Johnson Canyon. Grasshopper Sparrows have been heard and seen in the grassy field northwest of the Nucor Steel Plant. Continue east on this road and you'll intersect I-15. Specialty Birds: Gray Partridge, Sharp-tailed Grouse, Grasshopper Sparrow, Burrowing Owl, Short-eared Owl, Sage Thrasher, American Pipit (July 9th - Monte Cristo/Route 39 east of SLC) At least one WHITE-WINGED CROSSBILL flew over Monte Cristo Campground in Rich County yesterday morning, calling in flight. Twice in the recent past I believed White-wngs were at Monte Cristo, but the call or view was so brief that I couldn't conclusively rule out other species. I chose not to report the possibility. Yesterday's calling sequence was definitive even though I didn't see the bird. What's wrong with those darn crossbills--why can't they perch sedately at eye level for me?!? We need spruces around here that produce cones at a height of 5' 3" instead of at 60 feet. Calling RED CROSSBILLS also flew over the campground and I saw them flash through patches of sky while I developed a charlie horse in my neck. All the woodpecker families appear to have fledged. It took about an hour of listening to get a sign from a THREE-TOED WOODPECKER; finally one drummed a total of four times and sat patiently on a snag while I watched her. It was the adult female. She was on the slope downhill from campsite 18 on Loop C. That's the first place I saw the male on June 21 and I've seen both adults in that area a couple times. Then she disappeared while I was distracted by an adult male WILLIAMSON'S SAPSUCKER feeding a juvenile female. Other birds present included a vocal Hairy Woodpecker, a Clark's Nutcracker, Western Tanagers, Mountain Chickadees, Brown Creepers, MacGillivray's Warblers, Cassin's Finches and many more good mountain birds. A fun experience was watching a Ruby-crowned Kinglet bug-catch on the ground under the shady spruce; the bird whirled and fluttered across the dry litter toward me until I was looking down on the red slash across its crown and he or she was only 4 feet away. The newly-fledged Red-breasted Nuthatches are super-cute at this time of year, too. I never strayed from of the south end of the campground. The woodpeckers were in the mature Englemann Spruce on the slope sandwiched between Loop A, campsites 4 and 6, and Loop C, campsites 14 and 18. The crossbills flew over the same area. At the east end of this slope you'll find the two Group Use units. Monte Cristo Campground is located on SR-39 at mile 47.7. If you bird the shady spruce slope, know that you'll have lots of company...from mosquitoes. From http://www.nationalgeographic.com/destinations/Bryce_Canyon_National_Park/Utah_Bird_watching_Sites.html Wasatch-Cache National Forest. From Utah 190 (Wasatch Boulevard, closed in winter), which parallels I-215, take 3800 South Street eastward up into Mill Creek Canyon. Several picnic areas are located along the 9 miles [14.5 kilometers] of this road, offering the chance to look for White-throated Swift; Black-chinned and Broad-tailed Hummingbirds; Red-naped Sapsucker; Olive-sided, Dusky, and Cordilleran Flycatchers; Plumbeous and Warbling Vireos; Steller's Jay; Clark�s Nutcracker; Mountain Chickadee; American Dipper (along the creek); Townsend's Solitaire; Swainson's and Hermit Thrushes; Orange-crowned, Virginias, and MacGillivrays Warblers; Western Tanager; Green-tailed Towhee; Song and Lincolns Sparrows; Black-headed Grosbeak; and Cassin�s Finch. Unlikely: Northern Goshawk, Blue Grouse, or Northern Pygmy-Owl, but all are possible. East of Salt Lake City, Utah 150 is known as the Mirror Lake Scenic Byway from Kamas east and north toward Wyoming. Along the way it crosses the Uinta Mountains, the highest east-west range in the lower 48 states. About 26 miles [41.8 kilometers] from Kamas, stop at Trial Lake, at 9,500 feet [2,895.6 meters], to look for mountain birds such as Blue Grouse, Williamson's Sapsucker, Three-toed Woodpecker, Olive-sided and Hammond's Flycatchers, Gray and Steller's Jays, Clark's Nutcracker, Mountain Chickadee, Brown Creeper, Townsend's Solitaire, Pine Grosbeak, Cassin's Finch, Red Crossbill, and Pine Siskin. In 3 miles [4.8 kilometers], at Bald Mountain Pass, turn toward the parking area for the Bald Mountain Trail, known as a good spot to find Black Rosy-Finch. Check rocky slopes, especially around the edges of ice fields and snowbanks, for this little bird, which nests only above timberline. You'll also find American Pipit up here at around 10,700 feet [3,261.4 meters]. The 2-mile [3.2 kilometers] trail to the top of Bald Mountain, at 11,943 feet, offers fabulous views of Uinta peaks and lakes. It's normally walkable only from mid-July to October. In 3 more miles [4.8 kilometers], the Mirror Lake campground and picnic area is another popular birding spot. It is also just plain popular: The parking area here is full nearly every day in summer. After you've birded around the lake and picnic grounds, you can walk a short spur trail that leads to the Highline Trail, passing through meadows where you may find Calliope Hummingbird and Mountain Bluebird, as well as forests of Engelmann spruce and subalpine fir where there's a chance you'll see Blue Grouse, Three-toed Woodpecker, and other woodland birds. Keep an eye out for Northern Goshawk and Golden Eagle soaring overhead. U.S. Highway 189 east of Provo follows the Provo River past Bridal Veil Falls, home of the extremely rare and elusive Black Swift (summer) - especialyl elusive this year. Take the 800 North, Orem exit of I-15 (exit #273) going east on UT 52. After about 4 miles bear left at the US 189 intersection going up Provo Canyon. After about 2 1/2 miles you can turn off at the Bridal Veil Falls/Nunn's Park parking lot to access the Provo River Trail or continue about a half mile to the Bridal Veil Falls overlook which is directly in front of the falls. http://www.utahbirds.org/counties/wasatch/index.html Soapstone Area in Uintahs ? Minimalist trip report from 7/2006 looked promising. Strawberry Valley http://www.utahbirds.org/counties/utahco/locations.htm Payson Cyn Big Cottonwood Canyon The road into Big Cottonwood Canyon takes you east of Salt Lake City into the Wasatch Mountains and up to the Brighton Ski Area. This is a great place to see more streamside songbirds as well as some high elevation birds and spectacular summer wildflowers. From I-215, simply follow the signs to Brighton Ski Area. Turn appears to be at the south-east extreme corner of the I-215 loop. http://www.utah.com/wildlife/bird_watching.htm City Creek Canyon is walking distance from downtown Salt Lake City From the intersection of North Temple and State Street (downtown), head east (on North Temple) to B street. Turn left on B street and follow it up the hill then down into the canyon. Park near the hairpin turn and take any of the several walking/biking trails. The paved trail follows the stream both north (into the mountains) and south (into Memory Grove Park at the edge of downtown). Just a little NW of downtown where I will be staying. I-80/I-15 meet west of this location. Mirror Lake Scenic Byway utah-150 extending east of Kamas and then north to I-80 - might make long but viable loop for return via SR-39. Ends at Evanston WY along I-80 SR-39 east of Ogden towards Woodruff, or via Evanston via WY-89 and UT-16. Antelope Island Causeway (shorebirds) and visitor center (Chukar) and Garr Ranch (passerines). Barn Owl ? South of that: Farmington Bay Waterfowl Management Area WY: Flaming Gorge may have Sage Sparrow but lack specific directions in WY however accessible via I-80 and generally viable for Vernal or Gd Tetons. Tracy Aviary is located at 589 East 1300 South at Liberty Park, 9am-6pm every day. Subject: Re: Black Rosy-Finch - Salt Lake Co From: Dave Hanscom
Date: Mon, 2 Jul 2007 22:50:07 -0600 (MDT) > I cannot remember any reports of rosy-finches from the Wasatch in the > summer despite the apparent good habitat. I thought I had one fly by > when I hiked the Pfiefferhorn last summer, but at the time, it had been > awhile since I'd heard one call so I was hesitant to call it. Anyway, I > definitely had 2 BLACK ROSY-FINCHES in the Devil's Castle area > underneath Sugarloaf Peak at Alta (Salt Lake Co.) yesterday. They > called repeatedly as they flew by. They eventually landed on a snowpatch > about 100 yards away. I've seen them on Mount Superior and also on Timpanogos in the summer. I haven't be up Superior this year, but there were a couple on the Timp snowfield two or three weeks ago. Re: Flammulated Owls in extreme sw. Utah Second were two FLAMMULATED OWLS that were along the road to Kolob Reservoir, because at least near us in e.WA this species is notoriously difficult to observe. The turnoff for the reservoir is off Rt 56 heading in the direction of the Cedar Breaks NM, just past Milt's Restaurant, to the right. About 5 miles up this road, one reaches the top at a ranch with heavy aspen forest all around; just prior to this, there is an open rocky scree area with a few firs right along the road. The birds were here, one of them seen fleetingly by flashlight. Subject: Didn't see Black Swift in Utah Co. Date: Mon, 2 Jul 2007 18:42:25 -0600 Cory Gregory (a friend from out of state) and I tried to find Black Swifts at Bridal Veil Falls and Stewart Falls this week. Both of these are in Utah County near US-189 NE of Orem. On June 30th we spent from 5:15am to 9am watching from the base of Bridal Veil falls. Lots of white-throated swifts, lots of swallows, and a Dipper. No black swifts. On July 1st we spent from 7:45pm to 10pm watching Stewart Falls. No black swifts here either. We also spent half an hour at Bridal Veil Falls on the 29th during the afternoon, and 3 hours at Stewart Falls on the 30th in the afternoon, and didn't see any black swifts then either. Subject: Black Rosy-Finch - Salt Lake Co Date: Mon, 2 Jul 2007 17:12:21 -0600 I cannot remember any reports of rosy-finches from the Wasatch in the summer despite the apparent good habitat. I thought I had one fly by when I hiked the Pfiefferhorn last summer, but at the time, it had been awhile since I'd heard one call so I was hesitant to call it. Anyway, I definitely had 2 BLACK ROSY-FINCHES in the Devil's Castle area underneath Sugarloaf Peak at Alta (Salt Lake Co.) yesterday. They called repeatedly as they flew by. They eventually landed on a snowpatch about 100 yards away. I meant to report this earlier, but I think I had a female Rufous/Allen's hummingbird at Alta on June 16th, which is on the early side for even a male Rufous Hummingbird. I only had a brief look, but the hummingbird was like a female Broad-tailed Hummingbird (there may have been more rufous on the sides than I normally think of for them), but it had a dark patch on the throat. Due to the fading light, I was unable to see the color of this patch. Can female Broad-tailed Hummingbirds show this patch? Also, I think the time of year and flank color would eliminate a young male Broad-tailed Hummingbird? Other birds seen around Alta the past two weekends include a pair of PINE GROSBEAKS working the area around the campground, a flyover adult NORTHERN GOSHAWK on two different occasions, a number of singing LAZULI BUNTINGS (along the hike up to Cecret Lake), pretty high elevation SWAINSON'S THRUSHES singing in the willows at the first switchback on the dirt road that's on the way up to the Cecret Lake Trailhead, MOUNTAIN BLUEBIRDS, ROCK WRENS and VIOLET-GREEN SWALLOWS along the shoulder between Devil's Castleand Sugarloaf Peak, a flock of RED CROSSBILLS foraging in a small patch of cone covered firs in Day's Fork (actually in Big Cottonwood Canyon), and other expected suspects such as YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLERS, CASSIN'S FINCHES, LINCOLN'S, FOX and WHITE-CROWNED SPARROWS. Also, the GRAY CATBIRD was singing last evening in the same location as I heard it a couple weeks ago in Emigration Canyon Yesterday Ned Bixler and I spent the morning and early afternoon chasing birds at Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge and in the Amalga area in Cache valley. Despite it being rather warm, and a bit buggy at BRMBR, we had an enjoyable time and saw quite a few birds. Highlights include: - three short-eared owls, two adults and a juvenile bird each by itself along the road into BRMBR a pair of Wilson's phalarope, still in breeding plumage, along the Bear River at one of the UP&L recreation pull-over spots in Cache valley Subject: Owling addendum Date: Sun, 1 Jul 2007 00:32:55 -0600 Summit county should be Morgan County Subject: Owling... well sort of. Date: Sun, 1 Jul 2007 00:18:27 -0600 Tonight, Dave Slager, his Buddy Corey (sp?) from Michigan, and I headed out looking for Northern Pygmy-Owl. We started at Millcreek Canyon along the Bowman Fork Trail and headed to a spot where the birds had been heard in the past. We struck out on the owls, but did have 1 COMMON POORWILL singing away. Bowman Fork Trail is the last road on the right (south) side of the road just before the parking area at the top gate. Next we headed to Big Mountain Pass and East Canyon to try again. We had a POORWILL on the Summit County side of the pass, and at a stop further down the canyon we had multiple Flammulated Owl's answering back to the pygmy whistle. Unfortunately we struck out again. Date: Thu, 28 Jun 2007 21:58:37 -0500 We found our lifer Black Rosy Finches at Bald Mountain on our last day of our Utah vacation. We were at Bald Mountain by 7:30 AM and went to the bowl area that has the rock cliffs on the left and the spruce trees on the right with a couple ponds in between. We had to keep reminding ourselves to take Mark Stackhouse's advice and be patient. Although we saw 3 dark birds fly over from the trees to the cliff, it wasn't a positive ID. So we continued to scan the cliffs and the tree tops with spotting scopes, and finally I found one perched on top of a spruce tree that 3 of us got to see before it flew. We had great looks at a male and female Williamson's Sapsucker feeding young at a nest hole, and great looks at another 3 Toed Woodpecker at Mirror Lake. Also found some Bushtits and Brown Creepers. Subject: Black-Hawk and Condor Videos Date: Thu, 28 Jun 2007 17:08:37 -0600 A couple of videos shot through my spotting scope this week... Common Black-Hawk and young: http://youtube.com/watch?v=YpvtxFhmDhM California Condors: http://youtube.com/watch?v=SwlTG0M6NGk Subject: Zone-tailed Hawk, Spotted Owl, etc... Date: Thu, 28 Jun 2007 15:03:58 -0600 Over the past few days I spent some time around Washington and Kane Counties working, and birding. I was able to spend a few hours at Kolob Terrace earlier in the week, and was rewarded with great looks at at least 2 different ZONE-TAILED HAWKS. The birds were seen in several locations: At Kolob Creek Crossing where the creek plunges over the cliffs, and along the road to Lava Point over the pond and fields. Also seen in the area were 12 CALIFORNIA CONDORS, many of which perched within 100' of the road for excellent viewing. The birds when soaring by seemed more numerous than the Turkey Vultures. Subject: our Utah birding vacation From: "Connie Norheim" Date: Tue, 26 Jun 2007 18:24:03 -0500 We're coming towards the end of our birding vacation in Utah, and would like to thank all the people who have been so gracious and helpful in either suggesting places to go for certain birds, or referring us to others. Beus Pond at Ogden for the Western Screech Owl. We did find 3 owlets sitting on a branch directly over our head at 9:15 PM on the east path around the pond, just where she told us they'd be, and we didn't need to use any tapes to call them in. Cars can drive into City Creek Canyon in Salt Lake City for $3 on even days, and we drove all the way to the end and birded. We heard, but never did see, Virginia's Warbler, our second lifer. The 3 Toed Woodpecker at the Monte Criste campground, lifer #4 for Lew. What a lovely campground, we spent several hours there and also saw both the male and femate Williamson's sapsucker there. The road to the Albion Campground is not open (won't open until June 30th we were told), so to go to Secret Lake we had a much longer hike than originally planned, over 5 miles round trip, and no Black rosy Finches to reward us. Over the past couple of weeks I have seen several Scott's Orioles southeast of Vernal. The area is south of US40 east of the the Green River. The area has scattered juniper and the yellow orioles are striking against the deep green of \ the junipers. I left work early today and wanted to get up to Monte Cristo and scout out the woodpeckers and sapsuckers Kris Purdy reported yesterday. My plan was to scout them out and return tomorrow morning,blind up, and get some pictures tomorrow. Kris forgot to mention that one of the American Three-toed Woodpecker nests was within four feet of the restroom about eight feet high. I located the cavity and started taking pictures. I used the rest room as my blind, peeking around the corner. I had the female come in and was feeding the youngster's when two woman walked out of the restroom right into my lap. Kane Co. Last night I camped on a ridge top over looking Stout Canyon and saw a couple unusual things. One of the first birds I saw while scanning down into the canyon was a adult Goshawk perched in a dead tree that I was able to watch in the scope for about 5 minutes. Then while watching Common nighthawks soaring around before sundown a Black Swift flew right in front of me at eye level. I was watching it soar around for a couple minutes when another one joined it. I watched both of them at close range for a couple more minutes until they worked there way to the south out of sight. I didn't know of any nesting spots around there but at this time of year maybe.I thought that was a good way to end the day but the way things were going I figured maybe a Whip-poor-will would start calling as it got dark. As it started to get dark I didn't get the Whip-poor-will ( fat chance ) but almost as good. A Spotted Owl started calling right below me in the canyon. When I got up today it was in the same area calling again. I left Salt Lake around 6:30 this morning for a 250 mile loop up to the Mirror Lake Highway, then to Woodruff/Deseret Ranch, stopping next at Monte Cristo before coming down to I-15 and heading back to Salt Lake. The plan was to tick off the majority of the sub-alpine breeders I hadn?t yet seen this year, and thanks to reports from Kris Purdy, Jack Binch, Colby Neuman, and of course the Beyer's for the initial find of a White-winged Crossbill, I had a good plan and hit the road with it. I made several stops along the Mirror Lake Highway on my way to Bald Mountain. The morning was filled with song and I picked up Golden-crowned Kinglet, and Townsend's Solitaire for the month as well as several other high elevation birds. My first serious stop was at the Washington Lake Group Area, where the Beyer's made their find earlier in the week. As soon as I stepped out of the car I heard what sounded like an AMERICAN THREE-TOED WOODPECKER calling. After searching for a minute or two I found a female near the top of a dead snag. Before I was finished in the area, I ended up seeing 3 ATTW's, including 2 males. I also had one flock of RED CROSSBILL's fly over while in the area, and a GRAY JAY to make things interesting. I birded a little around the regular campground, but a lot of people were up and milling about, so I moved on. I stopped at the Bald Mountain view area, where nothing much was happening, before continuing up the road to the Bald Mountain Pass, and trailhead. Before I made it that far, about 250 yards before the road to the trailhead I looked over and saw a female PINE GROSBEAK feeding on the ground. I pulled over and took some time to get pictures of it. 2 males could be heard singing to the north of the road. Plenty of RED CROSSBILL's were flying over the area and between stands of spruce. After about 35 minutes a flock of about 20 Red's flew over me, with one immature WHITE-WINGED CROSSBILL calling away, making it stand out against the Red's. I spent some more time lingering around hoping another flock would come over. While I was waiting I heard what I distinctly thought was a White-winged Crossbill singing to the northwest towards the peak. I grabbed my cameras and took off to look for it. Every time I got within about 20 feet I would hear it starting to sing from another spot. After chasing for about 5 trees I gave up and just turned on my recorder to try to capture the song. I will upload and post it later tonight. I spent some time with my scope scanning the snow fields for BLACK ROSY-FINCH, and saw several birds buzzing around , although at the distance, they could have been Pipit's for all I know. Luckily near the pass I had a male fly over from one drift to another, providing great looks. Satisfied with the birds I found I headed to Evanston and then up towards Woodruff. I turned onto the road that winds through Deseret Ranch hoping that a Lark Bunting maybe hanging around somewhere? No such luck. I did have 2 WILSON's PHALAROPE on the ranch, and a surprising GRASSHOPPER SPARROW singing along the road out to the north. In Woodruff I had 2 COMMON GRACKLE, and I made a quick trip back down HWY 89 a couple miles where I had a BLACK TERN, as well as a FORSTER'S TERN and a number of other water birds. Finally, I made my way up towards Monte Cristo Campground making a stop at one of the locations where Kris Purdy had posted about PURPLE MARTINS. I managed to find her tell-tale "pink tape" and along with it, 4 Martins? I next made my way to the location of the WILLIAMSON'S SAPSUCKER nest along HWY 39. I found the male bird and snapped a few shots, before heading to the campground to take a look around. Using Kris's again excellent directions I found the ATTW nest. It sounded like it might have had 2 or 3 chicks begging. Several times the adult female returned to the nest with food. She wouldn?t come in while I was with 30 feet so I went back to my car and drove around the loop about 100 feet off and set up my scope. She came in 2 times in the next 20 minutes and I shot a little bit of video which I will post this evening. From: Kristin Purdy Subject: Three-toed Nest at Monte Cristo A funny thing happened on my way to retrieving my GPS to mark a THREE-TOED WOODPECKER'S location at Monte Cristo Campground in Rich County today--a male WILLIAMSON'S SAPSUCKER flew across my path and landed at the most BEE-YOO-TEE-ful column of sap wells I've ever seen. A Red-breasted Nuthatch also visited the sap wells while I watched. I followed the sapsucker as he transferred to his ant tree and eventually, to the grove of trees where his mate and his nest cavity were located west of SR-39 from the campground. Following him around from sap wells to tree to sap wells to grove must have used up about an hour and a half. But I finally found and marked his nest cavity and then returned to the Three-toed's location. Hopeful listening, watching and aimless wandering produced both the male and female Three-toed flaking big chunks of bark from trees in the two Group Use Units. If you attempt to see these birds flaking bark off the trees, wear a hardhat. Know that they're not flaking chips, they're flaking planks and you could sustain a head injury if one hit you. The female flew to the area of the bathrooms that serve the group picnic areas and fire pits and then disappeared. She was long gone when I unknowingly walked under the nest tree and heard the babies clamoring in the hole five feet over my head. A later Mom's moth delivery caused one of the little ones to be visible in the shadowy depths of the cavity as Mom clinged to the cavity entrance. Audible RED CROSSBILLs flew overhead several times during the morning; I rarely saw them except for a flock of about 20 while I was at the Group Use areas watching the woodpeckers. Other mountain birds included CLARK'S NUTCRACKERS at the gravel pit north of the campground and several times over the campground, many Western Tanagers, Western Wood-pewees, Warbling Vireos, Mountain Chickadees, House Wrens, Hermit Thrushes, MacGillivray's and Yellow-rumped Warblers, Chipping and White-crowned Sparrows, Pine Siskins, Cassin's Finches and Ruby-crowned Kinglets. Another WILLIAMSON'S SAPSUCKER pair is back for at least the third year in the same nest tree north of the campground and adjacent to the gravel pit. Reply for directions. The new pair of Williamson's Sapsuckers that I saw today are on the west side of SR-39 at mile 47.6, which is a tenth of a mile before (west) of the entrance to Monte Cristo Campground. Look for a long strand of pink tape at that spot. From the tape, look west into the trees approximately 35 yards for an aspen snag that's mostly black and brown on the lower third; it also has a strand of pink tape tied around the bole. The nest hole is on the north side of the trunk, 20 feet high, not visible from the road, and just above where the black and brown marks end. But you can get a profile view of both birds entering the cavity; they also use area trees to stage to and from the nest tree. It's good watching, even from the pavement. The Three-toed Woodpeckers are nesting in an aspen RIGHT next to the bathrooms that serve Group Units 1 and 2. Although the campground hasn't placed all the signs for the season yet, try these directions. Enter the campground and follow the signs to Group Unit 2. Just before you reach the group picnic areas and firepits on the right, you'll pass the restrooms on the left--it's a brown building with windows and a green roof and not a pit toilet. The woodpecker's nest tree is at the northeast corner of the building and is only 2 feet away from the eaves. The cavity faces east, which is the men's bathroom side of the building. 6/18 - Clear Creek Canyon, Sevier County: NORTHERN SAW-WHET OWL This bird was heard singing about 3 weeks ago and again this week between 2:00 and 5:00 am. The side canyon is just to the south of the Fremont Indian State Park and Museum, along the Paiute ATV Trail.