All Photos posted on this blog unless otherwise noted were taken by me with my Canon Rebel XTI using a 300 mm zoom lens

Friday, April 26, 2013

A New Life Bird Red-throated Loon and Pesky Woodpeckers bring in Pesky Starlings

Today was a good day because I added another bird to my life list. There has been a Red-throated Loon reported at Lee Kay Ponds in Salt Lake City just south of the City dump. Today my brother in law Frank and I went to search for it. We were rewarded and got several good looks at it from my spotting scope. It was too far out in the pond to get a picture.

Every spring the Northern Flickers start drumming on the sides of our office building. I am told that they feel or hear the sound of electricity in the walls of the building and peck at them thinking they are insects. Every year they punch many holes in the building.
You can see where this area has been patched before and now there is a new hole in the building.
But the holes don't go unused every year several families of European Starlings set up housekeeping in the holes.
Several years ago a well meaning young lady came to me distraught because there was a poor baby bird on the ground and wanted me to take care of it. I was quite certain that the bird was a Starling and my first reaction was to wring it's neck, but I have a reputation to keep as the go to guy in our building when it comes to birds and that would have destroyed my reputation. Sure enough it was a young starling just too big for the nest but not quite ready to fly. I have watched mother birds continue to feed and watch over babies that leave the nest before honing their flying skills. Help this poor baby bird was her plea. So I caught the bird and got the maintenance guy to let me on the roof and I placed the bird back in it's nest. I was a hero. After work when I left for  the the day the baby was back on the ground and mother was watching over it.
This bird seems to be the watchman on the tower keeping us safe from all kinds of calamities.
On a more positive note American Kestrels also nest in some of the holes. Unfortunately I don't have pictures of the Kestrels.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

New Life Bird and an Odd Bird

Every spring the field east across the road from Glover's Pond floods and some nice birds show up.
Today I got a new life bird The Ross's Goose and an unusual Duck a Cinnamon Teal Blue-winged Teal cross.

It may seem odd that I have been birding for about 15 years and just now adding the Ross's Goose to my life list, but it is true, today was my first sighting of a Ross's Goose. We don't often see Snow Geese or Ross's Geese in our area on the Wasatch Front. They do Migrate through Central Utah in March, in fact the city of Delta has a Goose Festival each March when they migrate through in the thousands. Unfortunately I have not been able to go to Delta to see the festival. I have seen Snow geese a few times mingled with Canada Geese, just like this Ross's Goose that is hanging out with Canada Geese. It is always good to add a new bird to my life list.

Is it a Blue-winged Cinnamon Teal or a Cinnamon Blue-winged Teal? This bird was reported on the Utah Birders list serve the other day. I knew I would be at Farmington Bay today so I went looking for it. Fortunately the guy who reported it Shyloh Robinson was there and pointed it out to me and I was able to get a few pictures of this Cinnamon Teal Blue-winged Teal Cross..
Here is a shot with it side by side with a Cinnamon Teal Drake
Some other birds seen today

There were a lot of Canada Geese and Gadwalls
There were also Northern Shovelers 
And American Wigeon
This tolerant Muskrat posed for along time for me. Usually they take off when I try to take a picture but this one was more interested in eating than what I was doing. 
It was good to get out, there are always surprises in nature.

Monday, April 1, 2013

April 2013 Bird of the Month Killdeer

The Killdeer is a handsome Plover that can be found in several different habitats. Though it is a shore bird and can be found on the shores of lakes and ponds it can also be found on grassy areas of parks and golf courses, fields, and parking lots. Killdeer are common at Farmington Bay and on the shore of the Great Salt Lake. 
Killdeer are permanent residents of the Great Salt Lake Wetlands. One of the first pictures I ever took of a bird was in January 1977 having just returned from 2 years in the philippines I went with my dad to Farmington Bay to take pictures. I took a picture on a cold and foggy day of a very cold and lonely looking Killdeer in a small pond. It was a great picture that hung in my KFC restaurant for many years. I have long ago left KFC and lost the picture but not the memory of that day.

Killdeer often nest on the gravel shoulder of the Nature Center Parking Lot
Speckled Eggs in a gravel nest
Always running along the parking lot calling Kill-Deer, Kill Deer getting very nervous if anyone or anything gets close tho their nest they will try to lure you away from the nest.
They will fake a broken wing making themselves look like easy prey distracting predators way from the nest.
Wading feeding on aquatic invertebrates.
Searching for insects in grassy areas.