31 August 2008

The Lifer Before the Storm

I birded around Cache County with Craig Faulhaber today. We started up Deep Canyon in the Wellsville range. Craig Fosdick had seen several Nashville Warblers here last week, and that is a species I had not seen yet in the county. In fact, I'd never seen one before anywhere. Birding was very slow here with a total of eight species in about an hour and a half of hiking, but we did see one Nashville Warbler, a first for both of us.

We next went to the Logan Wetlands, where there were hundreds or maybe even thousands of Franklin's Gulls but nothing unexpected or new for the year. Shorebirds were sparse, with a few Killdeer, a Black-necked Stilt, and a dowitcher that I assume was a Long-billed. On the road to the south of the Logan Landfill, we saw and heard three Blue Grosbeaks, one adult male and two females/immatures. Blue Grosbeaks have been seen several times along this road this year, and the presence of multiple females/immatures may indicate that they successfully bred here. Cache County is further north than their typical breeding range.

We finished for the day at Rendezvous Park and the Logan River Golf Course trail, which was almost eerily quiet. There was a storm approaching and the birds seemed to be hunkered down in preparation. After about a half hour of birding here, and only four bird species, the storm hit and the high winds started knocking branches off the trees. Fearing for our lives (photo at left), we hurried back to the car and ended the day's birding just as the rain starting coming down.

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