Lytle Ranch Preserve
April 15, 2012
The weather was less than delightful this morning but it produced some wonderful sightings! Many were first-of-season for me, and a few individuals saw life-birds! All in all, it was worth braving the weather. We all missed the guidance and companionship of Kevin Wheeler and wish he could have made it out.
We had two young birders, Bryce and Daniel, who came under the tutiledge of 'Grandpa Wilkins' despite the less than ideal conditions. They were very optimistic and quite enthusiastic about learning and viewing birds. It's great to see youth excited about birding.
We welcomed those who helped with identification,especially with the Empidonax species!
Bird List: (50 species total) 1.Canada Goose- Calling from Virgin River area, BLM Office 2.Mallard- Ivins Reservoir 3.Ring-necked duck- Ivins Reservoir 4.Bufflehead- Ivins Reservoir 5.Common Goldeneye- Ivins Reservoir 6.Wild Turkey- Lytle Ranch 7.Gambel's Quail (V) - Lytle Ranch 8.Pied-billed Grebe- Ivins Reservoir 9.Eared Grebe- Ivins Reservoir 10.Snowy Egret- Ivins Reservoir 11.White-faced Ibis -1 Lytle Ranch Pond 12.Turkey Vulture ~12 - Lytle Ranch 13.Swainson's Hawk- 2 in Ivins, 5 at Lytle ranch 14.Red-tailed hawk- road to Lytle Ranch 15.American Kestrel- Lytle Ranch 16.American Coot- Ivins Reservoir 17.Willet- Ivins Reservoir 18.Eurasian Collared Dove- Ivins 19.Anna's Hummingbird- Lytle Ranch 20.Costa's Hummingbird (doing U-shaped dive)- Lytle Ranch 21.Ladder-backed Woodpecker- Lytle Ranch 22.Western wood-pewee- Lytle ranch 23.Western type Flycatcher (most likely Cordilleran)- Lytle Ranch 24.Say's Phoebe- Ivins 25.Western Kingbird- 3 in Ivins, 3 at Lytle ranch 26.Loggerhead Shrike- Road to Lytle 27.Common Raven- Ivins 28.Violet-green swallow 100, Ivins Reservoir 29.Northern Rough-winged Swallow- 3 at Lytle Ranch, 100 at Ivins Reservoir 30.Verdin- Lytle Ranch 31.Cactus Wren- Highway 91 at turnoff 32.Bewick's Wren- Lytle Ranch 33.Ruby-Crowned Kinglet- Lytle Ranch 34.American Robin- Lytle Ranch 35.American Pipit- Lytle Ranch 36.Phainopepla- Lytle Ranch 37.Lucy's Warbler- Lytle Ranch 38.Yellow-rumped warbler- Lytle Ranch 39.Green-tailed Towhee- Lytle Ranch 40.Chipping Sparrow- Lytle Ranch 41.Brewer's Sparrow- Lytle Ranch 42.Lark Sparrow- Lytle Ranch 43.Black-throated sparrow- Lytle Ranch 44.Song Sparrow (V)- Lytle Ranch 45.Lincoln's Sparrow- Lytle Ranch 46.White-crowned sparrow- Lytle Ranch 47.Red-winged Blackbird- Ivins Reservoir 48.Brewer's Blackbird- Lytle Ranch 49.Great-tailed Grackle- Ivins Reservoir 50.Lesser Goldfinch- Lytle Ranch
Just a few photos below. Thanks to all who participated. (Dan Trujillo, Field Trip Leader)
Birders braving the weather for the wonders of Lytle
Swainson's Hawks on a pole
Yes, Virginia, Southern Utah does get snow!
Road to Lytle scenery
Little Lytle Pond
More road to Lytle scenery
Generations of birders at Ivins Reservoir
Parowan Gap - Sage Grouse
March 10, 2012
This was a cold but beautiful day to see Sage Grouse. Yes, they were there, but it took a good eye and binoculars to find them. Strutting, challenging, and sometimes fighting. Along with the Sage Grouse we saw a Golden Eagle fly overhead and about 10 Ravens. In between the sage brush were Antelope going to destinations unknown. The sunrise and the Sage Grouse made us realize that this planet earth is decorated and run by a higher power than mere man. It was a wonderful day to be alive and enjoying the outdoors.
Birds seen: Greater Sage-Grouse, Horned Lark, Sage Sparrow, Golden Eagle Raven, Western Meadowlark, Canyon Wren, Say's Phoebe, Great-tailed Grackle, Canada Geese, Mallard, American Coot, Brewer's Blackbird, Eurasian Collared Dove, White-crowned Sparrow, and House Sparrow. Photos of the field trip below:
Where we met (Parowan Gap) to follow our leader to the Sage Grouse Lek.
Inside the Gap - lots and lots of petroglyphs.
A glorious sunrise to make the day beautiful.
People who weren't inside their cars....trying to stay warm.
Sage Grouse, strutting and doing their thing. Look real carefully to see the white that shows.
Please join us for our next field trip - Lytle Ranch!
Field Trip to Local Ponds
February 11, 2012
It’s nice to know talented people to lead Field Trips to see birds; today his name was Rob Dobbs, and what a great trip we had. We started our Field Trip at the pond on Bloomington Hills Dr. People love to stop at the pond and feed whatever is there. Fun for kids, but not so fun when cars are constantly driving past at a ‘good clip’. Next we went to Springs Pond, or as I call it, Paul’s Pond. The name comes naturally because I know Paul Jensen who built the pond at Springs Estate, close to the river. This is a great place for birds. We saw a wide variety of water fowl and enjoyed every minute. Then it was on to Tonaquint Pond. What a great place to see large flocks of Canada Geese flying up and down the Santa Clara River. From there it was over to Stone Bridge to see if the Black-crowned Night Herons were still asleep in the trees. They were. The pond there was full of color, quacks, and flying objects overhead.
The next body of water was Ivins Reservoir. There was even more varieties hanging out on the reservoir that we had not yet seen. The biggest hit at Ivins was when a whole flock of Mallards started swimming toward us (new observers), thinking we had food for them, and we didn’t. Out of the clear blue a child’s voice was heard . . . “Here ducks!”, and immediately they all turned at once, and swam in the opposite direction, knowing that children feed better than adults with binoculars.
The last body of water visited by the entire group was Gunlock Reservoir. It was a great time to be outdoors. The sun was shining, there were nice people to be with, and we had a great leader to point out and help us find 49 bird species.
Birds seen: Canada Goose 33, Snow Goose 1, AmerIcan Wigeon 250, Mallard 100, Northern Shoveler 35, Green-winged Teal 3, Cinnamon Teal 3, Gadwall 4, Redhead 30, Canvasback 3, Ring-necked Duck 2, Bufflehead 11, Common Goldeneye 1, Common Merganser 15, Ruddy Duck 150, Pied-billed Grebe 15, Great Blue Heron 2, Black-crowned Night-Heron 3, Bald Eagle 1, Red-tailed Hawk 2, American Kestrel 3, American Coot 1000, Killdeer 2, Ring-billed Gull 2, Eurasian Collared-Dove 2, Mourning Dove 5, Northern Flicker 3, Say's Phoebe , Loggerhead Shrike 1, Common Raven 3, Verdin 3, Rock Wren 1, Canyon Wren 1, Ruby-crowned Kinglet 4, American Robin 5, Northern Mockingbird 2, Crissal Thrasher 1, European Starling 15, Cedar Waxwing 10, Orange-crowned Warbler 1, Yellow-rumped Warbler 10, Abert’s Towhee 4, Song Sparrow 4, Red-winged Blackbird 8, Great-tailed Grackle 4, House Finch 5, Lesser Goldfinch 3, House Sparrow 15, Pinyon Jay 18.
Please join us on our next field trip. Here are a few photos from this one:
Field Trip to Grafton, Springdale
November 12, 2011
by Marilyn Davis
When Cottonwoods turn yellow, you know it’s time to go ‘up river’. Yellow Cottonwoods herald in a changing of the seasons. The open fields and large trees of Grafton were full of birds. Even though this is known as a ‘ghost town’, it was filled with birds and people. There were people cleaning up property, people driving around, and the birder people. It was a beautiful day. First there was a cool breeze, but eventually we had to take off our jackets and enjoy the warm sunshine.
The birds not stopping at Grafton came on to Springdale. In Springdale we saw several species in one tree, waves of birds, waterfowl, perching birds, and raptors flying overhead. After finding 32 species we stopped for lunch with some of the nicest people I know, and then went own our way home. Wish you were there. Maybe next time.
Birds seen: Mallard, Hooded Merganser, Sharp-shinned Hawk, Cooper’s Hawk, Red-tailed Hawk, Golden Eagle, American Coot, Rock Pigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, Belted Kingfisher, Red-naped Sapsucker, Downy Woodpecker, Hairy Woodpecker, Northern Flicker, Black Phoebe, Say’s Phoebe, Common Raven, Juniper Titmouse, Rock Wren, Bewick’s Wren, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Western Bluebird, Hermit Thrush, American Robin, European Starling, Cedar Waxwing, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Spotted Towhee, Song Sparrow, White-crowned Sparrow, House Finch, Junco.
Below are a few of the photos from our trip (taken by Marilyn Davis):
Field Trip to Quail Creek Reservoir, Grandpa’s Pond,
and Washington Fields
October 15, 2011
I love it when the seasons change. Maybe because I was so influenced by my Aunt Leona from Maywood, California. My Aunt loved coming to St. George with her husband for the deer hunt, just so she could feel the change of seasons. It was like that when we took our October Field Trip. There was a definite coolness in the air as we looked out over Quail Creek Reservoir, up and down Grandpa’s Pond, and throughout the Washington Fields. There were touches of yellow leaves in the trees and signs of birds grouping together as they considered migrating soon.
Once again our Field Trip Leaders were Kevin, Pam, and Everett Wheeler. We had a really great time.
Birds seen: American Wigeon, Mallard, Greater Scaup, Common Merganser, Red-breasted Merganser, Ruddy Duck, Common Loon, Pied-billed Grebe, Eared Grebe, Western Grebe, American White Pelican, Double-crested Cormorant, Great Blue Heron, Cooper's Hawk, Red-tailed Hawk, American Kestrel, American Coot, Rock Pigeon, Eurasian Collared-Dove, Northern Flicker, Say's Phoebe, Verdin, Rock Wren, Bewick's Wren, Marsh Wren, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Northern Mockingbird, European Starling, Orange-crowned Warbler, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Song Sparrow, White-crowned Sparrow, Great-tailed Grackle, House Finch, House Sparrow. Heard: Western Meadowlark.
Photos from the trip
Scoping out the birds
Blue and Red
I'm pretty sure it's a Red-tail
Scouting Grandpa's Pond
Birds and people
Birders come in all sizes
Pahranagat National Wildlife Refuge
September 17, 2011
Six (ok- 5 ½) intrepid birders set out early this morning for a great field trip to Pahranagat National Wildlife Refuge in Southern Nevada. We left St. George and after an inconvenient run-out-of-gas on I-15 (Sorry!) we were on our way. We got to the refuge and saw lots of birds right away. We walked along the stream south of the North Lake, where we were entertained by many Lesser Goldfinches, and a couple Western Wood-pewees. Then things got really good - on the way back along the stream, we found a female American Redstart. It performed acrobatics in the tall cottonwoods and gave great views to everyone. We looked out on the North Lake, and saw two young pied-billed grebes. Five Sandhill cranes flew over. A Vesper Sparrow perched up for all to study. Part of the group started heading back to the vehicles, and found a dark and white warbler in the cottonwoods in the corner - a Black-throated Blue!!! Before everyone was finished looking at the warbler, a female Vermilion Flycatcher flew out, trying not be be outdone.
We had lunch, and walked along the dike between the North Lake and North Marsh, and got great looks at a little sora strutting around the mud flats, as well as a pair of Western Grebes and two Solitary Sandpipers. Unfortunately, our group had to leave, but stopped at the Lower Lake, where we saw White faced Ibis, American Avocets, and Double-crested Cormorants. A great day - we wish we had this type of birding area closer to home!
Birds seen: Canada Goose, Mallard, Pied-billed Grebe, Western Grebe, Double-crested, Cormorant, Great Blue Heron, Great Egret, White-faced Ibis, Turkey Vulture (in Moapa), Red-tailed Hawk, American Kestrel, Sora, American Coot, Sandhill Crane, American Avocet, Spotted Sandpiper, Solitary Sandpiper, Rock Pigeon (Mesquite), Eurasian Collared Dove , (Glendale), Mourning Dove, Ladder-backed Woodpecker, Western Wood-Pewee, Black Phoebe, Vermilion Flycatcher, Loggerhead Shrike (with a big, green grasshopper), Common Raven, Barn, Swallow, Northern Mockingbird, Orange-crowned Warbler, Yellow Warbler, Black-throated, Blue Warbler, American Redstart, Wilson's Warbler, Chipping Sparrow, Vesper Sparrow, Lincoln's Sparrow, White-crowned Sparrow, Black-headed Grosbeak, Yellow-headed Blackbird, Red-winged Blackbird, Great-tailed Grackle (the tailless variety - Mesquite), House Finch, Lesser Goldfinch, - total 45 species.