Saturday, May 12, 2018
Grafton - The ghost town know for the movie" Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid". For birders, Grafton is known as one of the better birding spots in the state of Utah - quiet, green and full of birds in the spring. On Saturday May 12th, 2018, the weather was perfect: blue skies with light clouds, and a little cool. Just exactly the kind of weather that you'd like for a birding trip. Biting bugs were nonexistent and the sun was not that hot.
The day started off a great because as Keith Davis crossed the Virgin River on the freeway bridge headed to the BLM office there were 7 white Great Egrets in flight overhead. Wow, I've never had that type of a visual display with Great Egrets in my whole life. Wish you had been there as there were only eight of us Red Cliff Audubon members. We all enjoyed the trip, but this time we saw no turkeys (one of my personal favorites!) The Spring turkey season was on and the turkey hunters were down along the river. The turkeys must have been well hidden as we did not hear even one shot fired. We finally headed home right at noon and as for me I needed a nap!!
Species seen (32): Eurasian Collared-Dove, Phainopepla, White-crowned Sparrow, Yellow-breasted Chat (call), Chipping Sparrow, Bullock's Oriole, Vermilion Flycatcher, Western Tanager, Cedar Waxwing, Great Blue Heron, Western Kingbird, Violet-green Swallow, European Starling, Black Phoebe, Mallard, Northern Rough-winged Swallow, Mourning Dove, Common Black Hawk, Blue Grosbeak, House Finch, Say's Phoebe, Canyon Wren, Bewick's Wren, Black-headed Grosbeak, Yellow Warbler, Brown-headed Cowbird, Common Raven, Western Bluebird, Turkey Vulture, Western Wood-Pewee, Northern Mockingbird, and Lark Sparrow. (sorry no photos this time)
April 14, 2018
I have made many trips to Lytle Ranch over the years and yesterday was one of the best birding days that I have ever seen there. There were more birds in large numbers than any previous trip and hummingbirds in great numbers. A group of researchers from Germany were using hummingbird feeders to pull in the hummingbirds to pollinate the flowers that are starting to bloom now.
Lesser goldfinches were there in large numbers, there was even an American Goldfinch. There were birds of many species feeding along the ground, but this year I did not see any Wild Turkeys. Lots of Turkey Vultures flew through searching the area. If you're going to visit Lytle Ranch this is the time of year; we had five people in our group and we all had a great day. Eddie came by and took me for a guided tour to the end of the property and explained how the irrigation system worked. He showed me all the work that has been done to protect the fields against flooding down by the Beaver Dam wash.
Wish you had been there - it was a great trip. The comments by visitors were "There are a lot of birds of the kind you expect at Lytle Ranch". My answer to the comments about birds "Well, these birds may be common at Lytle Ranch, but they're not common anywhere else in Southern Utah." What a great day!
Birds seen: Yellow-rumped Warbler, Anna's Hummingbird, Costa's Hummingbird, Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher, Verdin, American Goldfinch, Killdeer, Gambel's Quail, Cooper's Hawk, Red-tailed Hawk, Black Phoebe, Eared Grebe
November 11, 2017
Southern Utah has many great scenic places outdoors. This is an excellent area to go 'birding'. The Red Cliffs Audubon hosted a Beryl Field Trip Saturday, November 11. It was a great place to meet new people and show them what St. George has to offer. We left the St. George BLM parking lot at 7:00 am and traveled to Enterprise, Utah to meet any others coming a different way. Then our leader Cordell Peterson took the group on to Beryl, Utah to see the many Raptors of the area. I think the Raptors knew we were coming because they were all there to greet us.
Birds seen: Golden Eagle, Ferruginous Hawk, Red-tailed Hawk, Northern Harrier, Prairie Falcon, Loggerhead Shrike, Meadowlark, Horned Lark, Starling, Eurasian Collared-Dove, Snow Goose, Blue-winged Teal, Western Grebe, Killdeer, American Pipit, American Wigeon, Northern Shoveler, Ring-billed Gull, White-crown Sparrow, House Sparrow and Mallard Duck. On the trip back Keith and Paul saw a flock of Turkeys in a pasture near Veyo.
Please join us next time (sorry, no pictures from this field trip.)
October 14, 2017
It was a perfect day. . . perfect weather . . . lots of birds . . . lots of great people with us . . . and like my Grandma always said . . . "A good time was had by all." With all that going for this field trip, who wouldn't have a good time?
Birds Seen: 24:
Lots and lots of White-crowned Sparrows, Canyon Wren, Spotted Towhee, Northern Flicker, Red-winged Blackbirds, Gambel's Quail, many Ravens, at least 39 Canada Geese, Yellow-rumped Warblers, Great Blue Heron, Western Bluebirds, Brown Creeper, Red-naped Sapsucker, Mallard Ducks, 41 Wild Turkeys, Bewick's Wren, Dark-eyed Juncos, Lots of House Finches, Red-tailed Hawks, Sharp-shinned Hawk, American Kestrel, Song Sparrows, a Lincoln Sparrow we think, and 3 Say's Phoebes. Here are a few photos from Marilyn Davis (MD) & Charles Gorgen (CG):
Take me home... (MD)
Red-tailin' it. (CG)
Wait! Here's one. (MD)
Rocky terrain. (MD)
It's a flock of.... (MD)
Canada Geese! (CG)
Birds everywhere. Can you hear them? (MD)
Frame it. Gorgeous! (MD)
White-crowned Sparrow. (CG)
Bring friends. (CG)
They should make a movie here. They did! (MD)
Preserving the past for the future. (MD)
Fall colors. (MD)
Flicker just a thinkin'. (CG)
Yellow-rumped Warbler. (CG)
Red-naped Sapsucker. (CG)
Bewick's Wren. (CG)
Close up. (CG)
Blue sky - bluebird. (CG)
Turkeys - hoping you'll join them next time - but
not for dinner. (MD)
Pine Park Field Trip
September 16, 2017
Pine Park is a unique place to visit. It is far from the maddening crowd. It is a spectacular natural wonder, well off the beaten path in southwestern Utah that many locals are not even aware of. Pine Park, located within the Dixie National Forest, is a geologic wonder waiting to be discovered. People of the Red Cliffs Audubon Field Trip found it magnificent, different from any place they had been, and even had birds waiting to be discovered.
Birds seen: Turkey Vultures, Red-tailed Hawk, Woodhouse’s Scrub Jay, American Crow, Say’s Phoebe, Black Phoebe, Common Raven, Sharp-shinned Hawk, Sage Sparrow, Chipping Sparrow, Mallard, Robin and House Finch.
And . . . we saw three Wild Horses standing in the middle of the road. We all stopped a ways back to get a good look. They must have been the ones that got away from the round-up last week for they were pretty tired and beat up from running through sage brush, bushes and trees getting away from the helicopter rounding them up.
We all took lots and lots of pictures of the beautiful scenery and unusual white hills and hoodoos.