Chukar on Antelope Island, UT, 02/17/07

And, yes, these guys really were that easy near the Visitor Center of Antelope Island, one of my favorite places in Utah in winter. This was my first time with no snow on the island.

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This is the view looking back from barren AI towards Ogden.

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Other notable birds seen:

– White-throated Sparrow, Peregrine Falcon (Willard Bay SP campground)

– Long-tailed Duck (2 females off the AI causeway)

– Red Crossbill (Alta ski resort)

A Southern CA trip (02/10-02/11/07)

Saturday 02/10/07, I ventured around Santa Barabara. Here the highlights:

– Lucy’s Warbler & Painted Redstart at UCSB

– Black-throated Green Warbler (Stowe Crow Park)

– Tropical Kingbird (at Devereaux Slough)

– 80+ Black Skimmers at Santa Barbara beach

There were a few misses though: Orchard Oriole, Zone-tailed Hawk, Swamp Sparrow

This Band-tailed Pigeon just didn’t want to flush near the Biltmore in Montecito.

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On 02/11, I stopped by Maricopa to catch my year bird LeConte’s Thrasher. I then proceeded to drive through the Carrizo Plain. 7 Sage Thrashers, lots of Mountain Bluebirds, 2 Ferruginous and 1 Rough-legged Hawk, Lapland Longspur were among the keepers.

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The highlight of the trip though was Mercey Hot Springs. This Say’s Phoebe was just asking for me to take a picture of it.

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Surveying the tamarisks, I counted 25+ Long-eared Owls. After sunset many of them started hooting and when it got dark I could see them fan out across the area. An amazing spectacle!

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