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Report: Skipper Bay Trail, Utah County

posted by Jeff Bilsky at
on Monday, December 27, 2010 

Today after work, I headed over towards the Utah Lake State Park and hiked along the Skipper Bay Trail. Just over a mile hike on a paved path, this is a great spot to explore to catch a snapshot of what birds use the area around the Utah Lake. It is lined with farm fields to the East and the Lake to the West.

During the winter this is a great place to look for raptors and I wasn't disappointed today. I watched an American Kestrel take a mouse and begin eating it while it was still alive. Suddenly, a Sharp-Shinned Hawk was on the scene, attempting to steal the prize. Behind the Sharpie, a Black-billed Magpie. It was an interesting and memorable scene watching the Kestrel fly off being pursued by these two would-be scavengers.

Further down the trail, were a couple more Sharpies and out in the fields an adult Bald Eagle surveyed the entire scene. The most prevalent species by far were the numerous Red-winged Blackbirds that continued to fly past the entire hour I was there, heading North to a presumed evening roost along the lake. Skipper Bay is always a great spot. The pictures in this post were taken there today. Complete e-bird list is below.

Location: Skipper Bay Trail
Observation date: 12/27/10
Notes: Walked back and forth up skipper bay trail. The entire time large flocks of blackbirds were flying over, heading north to a presumed nighttime roost. While an approximation, I believe based on my rough counts that 12,000 is the MINIMUM number I saw.
Number of species: 21

Canada Goose 18
Mallard 15
Ring-necked Pheasant 1
Bald Eagle 1
Northern Harrier 1
Sharp-shinned Hawk 3
American Kestrel 1
Ring-billed Gull 4
Downy Woodpecker 1
Northern Flicker 2
Black-billed Magpie 16
Black-capped Chickadee 4
Marsh Wren 9
American Robin 35
European Starling 200
Song Sparrow 12
White-crowned Sparrow 16
Dark-eyed Junco 5
Red-winged Blackbird 12000
American Goldfinch 8
House Sparrow 13

This report was generated automatically by eBird v2(http://ebird.org)

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