Onward to Spanish Fork

May 26, 2018

It was a glorious day to go bird watching and we spent hours and saw many, many birds. First we went to my favorite Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge:

1 Mallard
2 Red winged blackbirds
3 European starlings
4 White faced ibises

Field of White faced ibis

5 Barn swallows
6 Yellow headed blackbirds 
7 Western meadowlark
8 Ring necked pheasants

Ring necked pheasant

The Bear River Refuge was drawing down the water in its ponds in order to fight the invasive phragmites. This meant there were overall fewer birds, and many were concentrated in the one large open pond.

9 House sparrows
10 Great tailed grackles
11 Swainson’s hawk
12 Cliff swallows

Cliff swallows on phragmites.

Cliff swallow gang

13 American coot
14 Common ravens
15 Eastern kingbird
16 American white pelicans

Cooperative fishing by American white pelicans

Pelican flight

We were driving slowly around the refuge and I paused when we heard the sound of a Sandhill crane. I’m so glad I stopped when I did because this crane just stepped out from the reeds into the road.

17 Cinnamon teals
18 Long-billed curlew
19 Marsh wrens
20 Sandhill cranes

Sandhill crane

She was calling and calling

_JLS3795 It seemed like she was looking for something _JLS3793

Just when we were ready to move on, there comes the cry of another crane. My deduction from the behaviors is that this was a mated pair and they were looking for their young. It was all too stately, solemn and if I’m right, sad.


21 Canada geese
22 Black crowned night heron
23 Northern shoveler
24 Gadwalls

Gadwalls _JLS3824

25 Caspian tern
26 Western kingbirds
27 Vesper sparrows
28 Black necked stilts

Black necked stilts

29 Killdeer
30 Forsters terns
31 Song sparrow
32 American avocets

American avocet

33 Common yellow throat
34 Clark’s grebes
35 Ruddy ducks
36 Western grebes

Western grebes

37 Franklin’s gulls
38 Pied billed grebes
39 California gulls
40 Great blue herons

Great blue heron

41 Double crested cormorants
42 Redheads
43 Snowy egrets

Snowy egret

We drove into Ogden to find lunch and then drove around Fort Buenaventura. This parking lot has lots of flighty birds including:
1 American robins, 2 Yellow warblers, 3 Black capped chickadees, 4 California quails, 5 Western tanagers, 6 Wilson’s warblers

The California quails were particularly entertaining as they were chasing and eating cottonwood fluff/seeds.

Next we stopped at the hot and very dry Antelope Island where we found several more species:
1 Brewer’s blackbirds, 2 White faced ibises, 3 American avocets, 4 Franklins gulls, 5 Bonapartes gulls, 6 California gulls, 7 Ring billed gulls, 8 Eared grebes, 9 Common ravens, 10 Western meadowlarks, 11 Barn swallows, 12 Willet
13 European starlings, and 14 Burrowing owls.

The Burrowing owls stole the show, they seemed to be everywhere if you knew what to look for.

Burrowing owl

Lastly we drove to our hotel just outside of Spanish Fork. It was a very long day of driving and birding and on the way to the hotel there were, of course a few more species. 1 Mourning doves, 2 House sparrows, 3 California gulls and 4 Common grackles

Grand total of 57 bird species! Oh and a long tailed weasel at the Refuge.

— Jenny & Melinda


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