05 July 2008

More Mountains

Today Craig Faulhaber (above) and I hiked from Tony Grove to White Pine Lake. Again, I was in search of some of the many high-mountain birds I am still missing. I was able to pick up one of those, with my first Steller's Jays of the year. This is probably the most common species I had yet to find. We also saw several mountain specialties I had already seen, like Red Crossbills, Olive-sided Flycatchers, Williamson's Sapsuckers, and Clark's Nutcrackers. But the highlight was a single Band-tailed Pigeon (photo below). This species is common further south in Utah but has only been seen in Cache County a few times.

03 July 2008

Glossy Ibis and the Start of Fall?

Today I birded the Logan City Polishing Ponds, part of the wastewater treatment facility, in search of early shorebird migrants. I didn't see any new shorebirds for the year, but I did see the first returning Long-billed Dowitcher and Greater Yellowlegs of the year. (I saw both of these species on their way north to their breeding grounds in the spring.) I can't beleive that they're coming back south aready! The highlight wasn't a shorebird at all, surprisingly, but rather a Glossy Ibis (photo above). This species is usually found along the coast of the eastern U.S. in summer, but a few wander inland once in a while. The summer of 2006 was remarkable for this species in Utah - the first three state records were all recorded within one month, after never having been seen in the state. This species is currently expanding its range, but Utah is still far from where it is to be expected. If accepted, this will only be the fourth record of the species in the state!