The Birds Seen at the
2014 Best of Show - Artist Brad Gray Grade 7-9, Orion Jr. High Ogden, UT
16th Annual Great Salt Lake Bird Festival May 15-19, 2014
Thanks to our volunteers (hosts, field trip leaders, speakers, drivers, and committee members). We could not offer this Festival without you! Thanks to Tim Boucher for sharing your expertise and experiences with us!
Check out Festival Field Trip lists at - http://ebird.org/ebird/hotspots
Recap of our 24 hour bird event: The Big Stay at Farmington Bay
We achieved our goal of besting our Big Stay at Farmington Bay numbers for
both species and attendance during this year's Great Salt Lake Bird Festival.
Including other field trip attendees, we had appx 320 guests on the hill. I'm
grateful to everyone that stopped by for an excellent bird party. This event is
as much a social gathering as it is bird watching. I tried my best to spend time
with each person.
The number of species was an exciting 105! (Last year was 88, and
92 in 2012.)
This year the raptors stole the show and provided many 'oohs' and 'awes'
throughout the event. The best action was a pair of Peregrine Falcon
simultaneously making kills, and a closeup male Northern Harrier in dazzling
display flight. The small falcon fight was stunning as well. I didn't get to see
the distant Prairie Falcon and saw one of two displaying Swainson's Hawk. Both
Golden Eagle and Bald Eagle made brief appearances. The resident Red-tailed Hawk
was a constant at the eagle snags. We didn't see any accipiter species.
We saw a WHIMBREL for the third year in a row making it the ongoing banner
rare bird of the event. Many Sora were calling the entire 24 hours and one flew
over the hill at sunrise. Lots of Great Blue Heron, Black-crowned Night-Heron,
Snowy Egret and a pair of Great Egret & Cattle Egret. We didn't have to look
far to see any wading birds.
A pair of Solitary Sandpiper were seen at Glover Ponds (thanks for the tip
Paul L.) and at least one Common Tern were the other rare-ish species.
Canada Goose, Forster's Tern, Eared Grebe, White-faced Ibis, American
Avocet, Black-necked Stilt and Long-billed Dowitcher were seen in abundance. I
was happy to see a pair of closeup Wilson's Warbler at dawn. Some birders from
the Carolina's got great views of their lifer Long-billed Curlew.
We had close calls with Black Tern and Red Knot, but they didn't make the
list. I also saw a Bobolink before the official start time (for the third year
in a row).
Finally, we could see my favorite bird, Barn Owl poking it's head out of
it's nest box the entire day.
The full list can be viewed here: http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S18436718
My special thanks goes to Jerry and Sherry Liguori for helping with the
raptors and entertaining us with zany banter, Ron Dudley and Mia McPherson for
showing up early morning when they could have been out getting great photos.
(They each added a new bird to the board as well), Bryant Olsen who graciously
hiked all over the complex to seek out and ID many distant birds, Brandon and
Sydney Elwood for their endless enthusiasm, a young birder from California named
Davis Garner for keeping me company and finding many birds (he'll be a local
hotshot birder once he begins his studies at BYU), Suzi Holt and kids for
spending much of the evening with us, the handful of Ubirders who checked in
(thanks Stephanie, Tim, Rahul, and the DeChellis's), and most importantly - my
wife DeMerce for putting up with me and much much more. I hope I didn't forget
Thanks also to the State of Utah for granting special permits, and the
Great Salt Lake Bird Festival planning committee for keeping the Big Stay at
Farmington Bay on the program.
The Big Stay at Farmington Bay provided a book's worth bird stories and
countless anecdotes. I hope to share some with you the next time we meet in the
Enjoy your enjoys,
Previous speakers include: Tim Boucher, Kevin T. Karlson, Greg Miller, Bill Thompson III, Bill Fenimore, Scott Weidensaul, Bruce Thompson, Rosalie Winard, Ron Rohrbaugh, Denny Olson, Arthur Morris, John Acorn, Al Batt, Kent Clegg, Pete Dunne, Kenn Kaufman, Terry Tempest Williams, Ella Sorensen, Michael O. Leavitt
Contact Davis County Community & Economic Development or call 801-451-3286 for more information.
Save the Date: May 14-18, 2015