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St. George Trip Recap

posted by Jeff Bilsky at
on Sunday, February 13, 2011 

Carl Ingwell and I decided to get out of Salt Lake and head to warmer weather down in Southern Utah last weekend (2/5-2/6). We have a great camping site on the Beaver Dam Slope that we visit from time to time.

The first night, we were greeted by a vocal Great Horned Owl and howling coyotes. A fire, some whiskey, the stars and the sounds of the night; there's a magic to being out there.

The birding was relatively slow throughout the weekend in terms of what is possible in such a unique habitat, but we still picked up some the area specialities. Saturday morning the Cactus Wrens were quite noisy on the slope. A drive to Lytle Ranch and we picked up Verdin, Western Bluebirds, and Ladder-backed Woodpecker. The ranch was closed so we were only able to briefly bird from the main road. Due to recent flood damage it is not looking likely to be open to the public again any time soon.

We visited a lot of the St. George area hot spots. Other highlights included a flock of geese at the SR-9 Sewage Ponds that included 3 Ross's and 6 Snow Geese. Quail Creek Reservoir had a Common Loon and the Red Cliff's Campground had a presumed female Anna's Hummingbird. Any inquiries about any of these sightings or a complete list, let me know and I'd be happy to share.

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Blogger Tim Avery said...

Sad to see the wash getting beaten up more each year. These winter floods wreak havoc on what's left of the cottonwoods and willows. IT also changes the course of the river occasionally. I have seen the river running 3 slightly different routes along the ranch in the past years because of flooding. It will be interesting to see what it looks like in the spring when everything greens up and the snow melt hits the wash.

February 14, 2011 at 10:39 AM  
Blogger Jose n' Analee said...

Thanks for the post. We were there just last week and wondering about good spots in the St. George area. Too bad I read your post after the fact. We also planned on going to the Lytle Ranch. Called just before we headed out and we were bummed it was closed. We still enjoyed several areas including Tonaquint Park, Mathis Park, Springs Pond, Pioneer Park, and Washington fields. I added 13 lifers, not a huge feat since I've only been birding for a year. It was a great time.

February 24, 2011 at 10:41 PM  
Blogger Jeff Bilsky said...

@Jose - I just posted a map of the St. George area and suggested hot spots. This should help for any future trips. The area is so prolific. When I went down there for the first time in April of 2008 I had 29 lifers in a single weekend. Congrats on the 13 lifers and catching the birding bug. Hope you're able to get back down there again soon!

February 25, 2011 at 10:54 AM  

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