October 2011 Newsletter
We plan to issue only one hard copy newsletter per year. It will include a complete schedule of field trips, information about the timing and place of our monthly meetings and information about the St. George Winter Bird Festival. The monthly “Events” email will continue and will slowly expand to include more news or other information, as it becomes available to the editor. We expect that this will allow us to get more information to those most interested in our activities in a timely manner, allow us to use more of our money for conservation, education, advocacy, etc., while still keeping all members of the Audubon community in our area aware of our activities.
If you are interested in receiving monthly activity updates, please send an e-mail to email@example.com. Please note that many of our email addresses seem to have become obsolete. So if you were once receiving our email notices, but have not received them recently, please send us your updated email addresses so that we may continue to serve our members.
For all our trips you will need to bring your lunch and snacks and plenty of water. Dress according to the weather and don't forget your hat, binoculars and 2 way radios. Car-pooling is always encouraged, saves gas and more important there are often not enough safe parking places where we stop Talking about birds with other people is half the fun. Watch for details, more info and updates on your e-mail, at our Redcliffs web site and in the newspaper.
Please read our liability waiver regarding future field trips (see our website). This signed form will be required for field trip participation and can be submitted to the field trip guide or a Red Cliffs Audubon representative prior to departure. Thanks for your cooperation. We appreciate it.
October 15, 2011 – Quail Creek Reservoir, Washington Fields
This field trip is planned to see migrating birds, particularly waterfowl and raptors. There should be lots of ducks moving through, as well as gulls, shorebirds, loons, perhaps even the first Bald Eagle of the winter. Leave the St. George BLM at 8:00 AM.
November 12, 2011 - Grafton and Springdale
This trip has become an annual favorite for many. Many of our well-known winter visitors will be in the area, and there may still be a few migrants. We will visit the historical Grafton ghost town, and then we’ll go to Springdale in the heart of majestic Zion Canyon. Highlights from the past have been sparrows, woodpeckers, and the appropriately labeled Canyon Wren. Meet at the St. George BLM office in St. George at 8:00 am, and bring lunch.
December 2011: – There will be no field trips in December, but please join us for any (or all) of the local Christmas Bird Counts.
Cedar CBC -
December 16 - Contact,
Keith Day 435 865-6100
Zion CBC - December 17 - Contact, Claire Crow 435 772-3256 - dial
0 and ask operator for Claire.
St. George CBC - December 26 - Contact, Marilyn Davis 435 673-0996
Silver Reef CBC - December 27 - Contact, Keith Davis 435 673-0996
Watch for more information at our website: http://www.redcliffsaudubon.org
See Utahbirds.org web site for more Utah bird counts.
January 2012: Field Trips will be coordinated with the Winter Bird Festival. Please check the Festival Schedule, and accompany one of the great field trips there.
February 11, 2012 - Local Ponds and strange ducks
This trip will concentrate on hitting local areas, particularly ponds (including a couple golf course ponds) and riparian habitats to look for wintering waterfowl and songbirds. Expect to see several species of waterfowl, possibly including Snow, Ross’s, or Greater White-fronted Gooses, Wood ducks, and several really mixed-up domestics. Leave the St. George BLM at 8:00 am, bring lunch, or we can pick up one along the way.
March 17, 2012 - Greater Sage-Grouse near Panguitch (location may change), Leader: Nicole Frey
This is a favorite annual trip – if you missed it last year, you won’t want to this time! The Greater Sage-Grouse, once a common resident of the sagebrush lands in Utah, is now rare in the state. Watching its lekking behavior as the male struts trying to impress the females is a one-of-a-kind experience. We will be traveling to one of the larger leks nearby to view them. Leader Nicole Frey has been working on Greater Sage-Grouse recovery, and will share with us her knowledge of their behavior and secretive lives. We will leave the St. George BLM office at 4:30 AM (NOTICE THE EARLY TIME: we must arrive at the Lek before sunrise to not disturb the birds.) Bring lunch, and you may want warm clothes.
April 14, 2012 - Lytle Ranch.
This locality is sometimes known as the gem of southern Utah birding. Many specialties can be seen here more regularly than anywhere else in the state, particularly Mojave specialties like Inca and White-winged Doves, Phainopepla, and Roadrunner. Spring migration will be in full swing here right now. Leave the St. George BLM at 7:00 am. Bring lunch.
May 12, 2012 – Cedar Mountain
Although we’ve birded a few spots on Cedar Mountain before, never have we tried to target many of the specialty locations in one trip. We’ll be going over the top of the Mountain (which may still be a bit chilly), and visiting Duck Creek, Navajo Lake, and Panguitch Lake. Leave the St. George BLM at 7:00 am. Bring lunch.
June 16, 2012 - Oak Grove
When St. George gets too hot, we all get out! We’ll head to the high country at Oak Grove Campground below scenic Pine Valley Mountain. We should find good mountain-loving species, including Hermit Thrush, MacGillavray’s Warbler, White-breasted Nuthatch, and Brown Creeper. Meet at the St. George BLM office in St. George at 7:00 am, and bring lunch.
July 14, 2011 - Pine Park
It’ll be too hot to do anything in St. George, this time of year, so we’ll head for the hills. Pine Park will provide a cool retreat in the ponderosas to watch for local higher elevation birds, including Grace’s Warbler, Red Crossbill, Western Tanager, Mountain Bluebird, and Pinyon Jay. We will eat a picnic lunch in the cool shade. Leave the St. George BLM at 7:00 am. Bring a potluck item to share, and your own cups/plates/utensils.
If you have additional field trip ideas, want to lead a trip (or more), please let me know.
Contact Field Trip Coordinator Kevin Wheeler at firstname.lastname@example.org
Red Cliffs Audubon Meetings
The Red Cliffs Audubon meets on the 2nd Wednesday of each month at 7:00 PM at the Tonaquint Nature Center 1851 S. Dixie Drive in St. George, UT from September through May. Everyone is invited to these events - you don't have to be an Audubon Member. For more information, including the current month's program, see our website www.redcliffsaudubon.org or call Marilyn Davis 435 673-0996.
Meetings will be held the second
Wednesday of every month of the year at 5:45 p.m. at the Tonaquint Nature Center.
St. George Winter Bird Festival
Everything is right on schedule for the 2012 St. George Winter Bird Festival, January 26, 27, 28. Beginning and experienced birders attending the 8th Annual St. George Winter Bird Festival will enjoy 4 days of fun and education. The Festival is the annual “Community Outreach Program” of the Red Cliffs Chapter of the National Audubon Society. The Red Cliffs Audubon has been serving St. George and Southwestern Utah for over 14 years. Our members are active in providing birding experiences for all those that are interested in learning more about birds, our area ecology and feature presentations on birding and related nature subjects. Our meetings are held at the Tonaquint Nature Center on the second Wednesday of the month. Field trips to Southwest Utah birding sites are one Saturday of each month – September through July. The chapter is dedicated to outreach to local schools and organizations, encouraging students and citizens to become more aware of the unique area we live in. Join us at our monthly events and take part in our activities.
Birdwatching has become a hobby and a well-enjoyed activity and the annual St. George Winter Bird Festival will have something of interest to all - presentations, field trips and workshops. Our leaders and presenters are eager to share their experiences, knowledge and enthusiasm for birding! It is centered around the Tonaquint Park & Nature Center where you will find the daytime activities on Friday and Saturday. Special presentations on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings are at various locations. Activities are free except for the Banquet (fee $20)
Field trips are on Friday, Saturday and Sunday! Trips are free - visit Southwest Utah’s - reservoirs, riparian areas, forests, and desert. All trips depart from the Tonaquint Parking Lot and we carpool to designated areas - liability releases are required for trips. With over 375 species on the Washing County bird checklist, this is a great place to bird. St. George has three nearby Utah State Parks and Zion National Park is less than an hour away. St. George’s warmer Winter months attract migrating waterfowl that stopover in our lakes and reservoirs and raptors find this is a good place for the cold months.
Highlights of the Festival
Bird Photo Contest – Enter your bird photos in our 4th Annual Contest! Fun! Prizes! Free!
Thursday Night Kick-Off Presentation – Rick Fridell on “Wintering Birds of Washington County”
Friday Night Presentation Lynn Chamberlain of the DWR will give a presentation "Camera Outdoors: Wonders of the Wild" on Friday, January 28th at the Eccles Center, DSC
Saturday Night Banquet Keynote
Parish, Condor Field
Project Supervisor for the
Kid’s Workshops – Building Bird houses and Feeders and the new Junior Birder Program
Live Bird Exhibits – with Hawkwatch Int’l and Southwest Wildlife Foundation
Sales of Birding Merchandise – T-Shirts, Caps, Pins, Note Cards, Books and more!
Field Trips to great Birding areas!
To view and print a festival brochure, schedule of events, posters and photo contest forms go to www.redcliffsaudubon.org. For further information contact the Festival Chairman, Marilyn Davis at 435-673-0996 or e-mail at email@example.com. You don’t want to miss this exciting event sponsored by numerous businesses and organizations! Make your plans today to join us for a wonderful birding event in St. George!
Become A Junior Birder
At The Winter Bird Festival
The Junior Birder Program is for kids ages 8 - 12 and will be offered on Saturday, January 28, 1:00 - 3:00 - at the Tonaquint Nature Center. In just two hours kids will learn how to spot birds and to identify them. Kids will be able to recognize different bird beaks, feet, shapes, and why they are built the way they are. Kids will learn about migration and why southern Utah has so many birds pass through or spend the winter here. Kids will also be able to draw their favorite bird. Bird pictures will be exhibited online in Young Artists (redcliffsaudubon.org). Junior Birder Program is free. Kids must register for class at (www.org/birdfestival)
by Mike Small
Here is a brief rundown of some conservation issues in southern Utah and vicinity. Red Cliffs takes a stand on some issues and we were successful in helping to stop the proposed Toquop coal fired electrical generating plant a couple of years ago. We also sign on to statewide issues with the other chapters in this state on occasion through the Utah Audubon Council.
1. Lake Powell Pipeline. This is proposed by the Washington County Water Conservancy District and would pipe approx. 100,000 acre feet of water annually to Washington County from Lake Powell. The estimated cost including interest may exceed two billion dollars. It is unlikely the local citizens can afford this, but the federal government will not fund it. The State of Utah may, but would risk its current excellent bond rating. While some water would also go to Iron and Kane County, the majority (70%) would come to Washington County. Development interests support the proposed pipeline and believe the size of St. George should double or triple. Others want to keep the existing quality of life and do not want to see 600,000 plus people living in Washington County. The Colorado River water is presently over obligated and yet increased demands are expected. Global climate change may cause less precipitation and higher temperatures in this region in the future, meaning less water in the Colorado River to supply the proposed pipeline. Conservation of present water supplies and reasonable growth are the alternatives to this expensive project. A DEIS is expected in about 16 months and be available for public comment.
2. Red Cliffs and Beaver Dam National Conservation Area (NCA) Management Plans. BLM is currently developing the NCA management plans, as well as an amendment to the present transportation plan for BLM administered land in Washington County. The NCAs were created by the 2009 Washington County Lands Bill. A DEIS is expected hopefully in about two months and will be available for public comment.
3. Gypsum mining. There are currently two separate gypsum mining proposals in our local area. The first is inside the St. George city limits in the Ft. Pearce Industrial Park and is on State (SITLA) land. This is an expansion of an existing mine. The second is on BLM land about 6 miles west of the Sun River community and is a new mine. It appears that air quality and access concerns are the main issues.
4. Air Quality. Because we have a population which has a large number of older people, plus a number of children, air quality is becoming a major concern. The three main problem areas are ozone, particulate matter, and regional haze. Current air quality monitoring is inadequate, but generally this area is thought to be in overall compliance with current standards. Northern Utah air quality is not in compliance, especially in winter months. Stricter air quality standards on the national level are being suggested. The Reid Gardner coal fired power plant to the west near Moapa, Nevada, is believed to be causing regional haze problems in Zion National Park.
Our chapter has two types of membership. The first is the National Audubon Society. In joining it you receive a National membership card and their magazine. The second is a local membership to our Red Cliffs Chapter only. Chapter dues are $15 for an individual and $30 for a family. National membership costs $20 ($15 for students and seniors.) With the second the money stays here, the first the money goes to National Audubon. To join all you have to do is come to a meeting on the second Wednesday of the month and speak with the membership person or any other person on the board. All are welcome to participate in any of the activities with or without a membership. Sharing enthusiasm for birds and birding is why we are together.
President Bill Hunter
Vice-President Keith Davis
Treasurer Joan Odd
Secretary Steve Eberhard
Webmaster Carol Davis
Newsletter Editor Don Weldon
Membership Chair Charles Odd
Education Chair Marilyn Davis
Program Chair Marilyn Davis
Conservation Chair Mike Small
Fieldtrip Chair Kevin Wheeler
Publicity Chair open
Consultant/Resource Bob Douglas
Christmas Bird Count Marilyn Davis
Utah Council Liaison Mike Small
Special Projects Chair Cordell Peterson
Winter Bird Festival
Committee Director Bill Hubbard
Red Cliffs Audubon needs to have more of its members help out with the activities of
the chapter, so if you are interested in being an officer, a board member or working on one of the committees (Education, Conservation, Field Trips, Publicity) of the Red Cliffs Audubon, please contact Bill Hunter at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Check out our Web Page!
Our Webmaster says we have an average of 440 hits per day.
She thinks the hits went up when we started putting the Young Artists and the Artists and Birds in.
We also have the Photographers section.
There's up to date information on our past and future activities so you can check to see what is going on.
So there is something for most everyone.
And if you have any great birds to report,
e-mail email@example.com …..so it will go on our HOT BIRD list
If you have questions, comments, or suggestions for future issues of the newsletter, please e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or write:
Red Cliffs Audubon
P.O. Box 1225
St. George, UT 84771
Editor: Don Weldon
Red Cliffs Audubon
P.O. Box 1225
St. George, UT 84771