We headed down into East Canyon and the Jeremy Ranch Road where Jeff Bilsky met up with us to bird along the road. The wind was blowing a little stronger than we would have like but it died down form time to time and the birds perked up when that happened. Along the road we saw and or heard Gray Catbird, Fox Sparrow, Cedar Waxwing, Swainson's Thrush, Mountain Bluebird, and American Goldfinch to name a few. Here before dusk we picked up our first nocturnal species with several COMMON NIGHTHAWKS soaring out of the fields and trees along the road.
We tried for Great Horned Owl here, but the wind wasn't cooperating. We decided to head up into the canyon to a pretty reliable spot for Flammulated Owl. When we got there we were thankfully out of the wind. After a short walk and literally 5 toots from the iPod a FLAMMY started singing from about 10-15 feet away. After getting a glimpse of him flying past he perched nicely on a limb for several minutes allowing everyone great looks--a lifer for several folks on the trip.
Having nailed the target species so quickly we headed back to the cars and further up the canyon to try for a few other species. At our next stop as we got out of the car I looked across the road and spotted a GREAT HORNED OWL perched atop a conifer, the silhouette showing nicely. Most of the groups either saw the bird perched or as it flew off into the forest.
The wind picked up and although we tried for saw-whet and pygmy-owls, and poorwill we struck out on all three. None-the-less it was a great night to be out birding in the beautiful mountains, just minutes form Salt Lake City! Thanks to those who attended, we have added $30 to our donation pool for a local conservation organization as part of our goal to help promote and protect habitat and birds in the state of Utah.
Lastly, please don't ask for specifics on where we saw owls, as I won't share that information to make these Little guys don't get harassed.