Red Cliffs Audubon
Adventures in the Field

quail lake

October 12, 2013

        The first place we stopped was Quail Lake. There were Grebes on the water and at the north end there were Mallards and Ruddy Ducks. However, Ducks were few and far between. The next place was at Sand Hollow State Park. We arrived just in time for the Senior Olympics Paddle Boat Race where people stood up on what looked like surf boards and then paddled their way around a big red rock siting out from the shore. All this activity scared any birds in the area. And with all the people watching came hordes of gnats to fill the air. We then drove around the lake and there were thousands of Coots on the south shore. Literally thousands!  Most of the group walked down to the water line and saw numerous other birds.

        The next place was Springs Pond and we found lots of birds enjoying being next to the Virgin River. It was a beautiful day with great people. Many new comers in our group. Kevin Wheeler was our leader. Itís always a treat to have Kevin because he knows the "Places to Go." Everywhere we went the trees were full of small birds. It was just a great day to go "birding".

        Sorry - no photos for this outing or "birds seen".


Pahranagat National Wildlife Refuge

Pahranagat National Wildlife Refuge
September 14, 2013
     This wildlife refuge is located along a popular migratory route, and provides a critical stop for birds in need of food and water after crossing miles of desert habitat.  The refuge has a series of ponds, riparian and nearby desert habitat that makes for a fun day of birding. 

     Highlights from the trip included an unusual color phase of a western grebe-one that lacked a dark cap.  It wasn't quite albino, but was leucistic, having some grayish color where it should have been black.  We also spotted a red-shouldered hawk, Cassin's vireo, and MacGilllivary's warblers.  Empidonax flycatchers were moving through, challenging the identification skills of our birders.  Just before taking a break for lunch, a group of sandhill cranes flew over.   Thanks to Tom Richardson for providing these photos:

Red-shouldered Hawk

Belted Kingfisher


Northern Harrier

Please join us for our next field trip!


birders pointing

July 13, 2013

        Going on a Cruise is a popular thing to do in our world today, so how about cruising to beautiful Pine Park?  This cruise wouldn't be in a ship over water . . . but driving to bodies of water like ponds, reservoirs and riparian areas that attract all kinds of wild life.  We did this for our July Field Trip with Red Cliffs Audubon.   What a great trip.  Where else could you see beautiful pastures with grazing cattle?  Where else could you see startling white mountains and figures of every shape and size?  Where else could you sit under a hundred foot Ponderosa Pine and hear the soft babble of a stream flowing by and soak up wonderful fresh air?  All this, with a great variety of bird life.  I think you could call it a "Birder's Heaven".   A dozen happy people following our leader Kevin Wheeler, were loving every minute of it. 

        Birds seen were:  Common Raven (31), Northern Mockingbird, Western Scrub Jay, Pinyon Jay, Blue Grosbeak, Black-headed Grosbeak, Lazuli Bunting, Graceís Warbler, Yellow Warbler, Yellow-breasted Chat, Plumbeous Vireo, House Wren, Canyon Wren, Brewerís Blackbird, Great Blue Heron, Cinnamon Teal, Brown-headed Cowbird, Lark Sparrow, Chipping Sparrow, House Sparrow, Song Sparrow, European Starling, American Robin, Pygmy Nuthatch, White-breasted Nuthatch, Gray Flycatcher, Western Wood-Pewee, Red-tailed Hawk, Cooperís Hawk, American Kestrel, Mourning Dove, Eurasian Collared Dove, Western Kingbird, Wild Turkey, Western Bluebird, Mountain Chickadee, Northern Flicker, Hairy Woodpecker, Bullockís Oriole, Killdeer, Cliff Swallow, Barn Swallow, Sayís Phoebe, Black Phoebe, Spotted Towhee, Western Meadowlark, Great-tailed Grackle, Turkey Vulture, House Finch, Sharp-shinned Hawk, Pie-billed Grebe, Mute Swan, Canada Geese, Stellerís Jay, and Rough-winged Swallow.

Cedar Breaks by Tom Richardson

June 15, 2013

       When you live in triple-digit weather, take the time to climb a mountain to higher elevations. The Red Cliffs Audubon did just that! We took a Field Trip to Cedar Breaks National Monument. Itís a whole different world at 10,000 feet. We brought along jackets, hats, and determination to have "the best day ever." We started at the Visitor Center where we were told what caused the beautiful colors and weird shapes found there. We wandered through the campground trying to coax each bird to come sit for us while we looked, talked, and enjoyed the moment. Some did and some didnít. How fortunate for the Field Trip to have Steve, Justin, and Daphnia to ask questions and tell us each bird, plant, and uncanny shape seen along our way. It was hard to leave the cool green meadows and the pleasant smelling air.

     Birds seen were:  American Robin, Broad-tailed Hummingbird, Brown Creeper, Cassinís Finch, Clarkís Nutcracker, Common Raven, Dark-eyed Junco, Hermit Thrush, House Finch, Lincolnís Sparrow, Mountain Bluebird, Mountain Chickadee, Pine Grosbeak, Pine Siskin, Red-breasted Nuthatch,
Red-shafted Flicker, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Tree Swallow, Vesper Sparrow, Violet-green Swallow, Western Tanager, Western Wood-Pewee, White-breasted Nuthatch, White-crowned Sparrow, White-throated Swift, and Yellow-rumped Warbler

     The next Field Trip is Saturday, July 13, at Pine Park. Hope you can make it. For more information call 435 673-0996.

       Here are some photos taken by Tom Richardson  and Marilyn Davis:

Be on the Lookout!
Beautiful setting - lots of places to look.
Is that a Marmot?
Yes, that's a gorgeous Marmot!
I think I see a Brown Creeper?
Nope. It's just Marilyn with her camera.
Cedar Breaks arch.
Magpie! - No, it's a "Branch Bird".
Cedar Breaks trail - what lies ahead?
Wow! It's a Western Tanager. Tom zooms in.
You little weasel!
Something's humming - yes, a Broad-tailed!
No one can run away from the camera if you shoot from behind.
Cedar Breaks should be framed.
It's a Swainson's Thrush - they have a beautiful song.
The Mountain Bluebird of happiness.

If Marilyn takes one more picture from behind, we're jumping!
Where there's great pond, there's a bird somewhere.
A Western Wood-Pewee.

Look, the oldest thing on Earth. No, wait, that's Marilyn next to
the oldest thing on Earth - a Bristlecone Pine

Come with us next time!



Grafton, Rockville, and Springdale
May 11, 2013

        Spring is the best time to see a million birds and hear a zillion bird songs. Spring offers super duper field trips. One of those super duper trips was to Grafton, Rockville, and Springdale. Our vehicles just couldn't get there soon enough . . . but finally we turned off Hwy 9 to Grafton. Red mountains and green open pastures . . . we were definitely 'in the country' with our first stop at the old Grafton Cemetery. Birds were everywhere, and Kevin Wheeler found them for us, showing off and taking advantage of the weather, the habitat, and Spring.

        After that it was on to Grafton, the large trees along the road, and the riparian area by the Virgin River. The habitat was thick and tall and some of us had to call out to find those ahead. It was like being in a beautiful green jungle. To make the trip complete we traveled back through the Rockville fields and there we spotted a Vermilion Flycatcher and his honey. Then on to Springdale and the Springdale Pond area. Mosquitoes were out, but we found that if we moved fast, they couldnít keep up with us. Here is a list of birds seen:

        Grafton/Rockville: Cooper's Hawk, Black-chinned Hummingbird, Phainopepla, Rock Wren, Say's Phoebe, Lark Sparrow, Brown-headed Cowbird, Northern Rough-winged Swallow, Yellow Warbler, Spotted Towhee, Western Kingbird, Western Bluebird, White-crowned Sparrow, Bewick's Wren, Summer Tanager, Pine Siskin, Black-headed Grosbeak, House Finch, Mourning Dove, Osprey, Turkey Vulture, Ash-throated Flycatcher, Canada Goose, Common Raven, Lucy's Warbler, Yellow-breasted Chat, American Robin, Western Meadowlark, Song Sparrow, Black-throated Sparrow, Vermillion Flycatcher.

        Springdale Pond and surrounding area: American Robin, Mallard, Black Phoebe, Black-capped Chickadee, Summer Tanager, Lesser Goldfinch, Chipping Sparrow, Bullock's Oriole, Hairy Woodpecker, Northern Rough-winged Swallow, White-throated Swift, European Starling, Yellow-breasted Chat, Phainopepla.
One birder went up to Kolob on the way home and saw: Lewis's Woodpecker (about 2 miles from the Lava Point junction) and Bald Eagle, Mallard, and Eared Grebe at Kolob Reservoir.  Here are some of the photos from the trip supplied by Tom Richardson and Marilyn Davis:

On to Past Field Trips  >>>>

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