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Bountiful Pond Field Trip Recap

posted by Stephanie Greenwood at
on Saturday, September 28, 2013 

This morning I led a field trip for the GSL Audubon to the Bountiful Pond.  (Official name is actually Bountiful Lake, but we locals call it a pond for some reason.) While we didn't find the (debated) Yellow-bellied Flycatcher that I found on Thursday, we found a number of good birds.

We started out in the orchard area south of the pond.  A number of Yellow-rumped Warblers were putting on a show of flycatching skills.  A few Ruby-crowned Kinglets showed up, as well as a Hammond's Flycatcher.

Hammond's Flycatcher gave us great views

A number of Northern Flickers were seen and heard throughout the trip.  Our first was in the orchard area.  One Chipping Sparrow and several White-Crowned Sparrows gave us out-in-the-open but backlit views.

Chipping Sparrow was hard to see in the backlit conditions

Marsh Wrens were singing all over the place and a little flock of molting goldfinches flew in.  

These molting goldfinches can be confusing to ID.  I'm calling them American Goldfinches due to the more pointed bill and more rounded shape. Although I could be wrong and am open to feedback.

Heading along the west edge of the pond through the trees, we had great views of two Caspian Terns flying over the water. More RC Kinglets put on a show before us, and three Northern Flickers flushed from one tree. A Juvenile Cooper's Hawk flew in right in front of us and hid in the thicket.

One of the members of our group spotted a sleeping Great Horned Owl.  We all whispered ooohs and awes, snapped photos, and marveled in the presence of this large owl. 

A few yards ahead we came to a little grove. I thought I'd pop in and see if there was a Barn Owl in there, as there are commonly Barn Owls reported here.  Instead, I met face-to-face with a Long-eared Owl that surprised me as much as I did him.  We all quietly popped our heads in to the grove to see this awesome bird and then left it to rest. This is the first time I had seen a LEOW at the Pond, and the best view I've ever had!

We circumnavigated the entire pond. The north and east sides of the water were less active, although we did enjoy a Great Blue Heron roosting in a nesting pole. 

Blurry shot of GBH 

Along the east side of the Pond, there are a number of domestic ducks and geese that hang out and beg for food.  Amongst these was one injured Canada Goose that has now become imprinted. He is not afraid of people at all, and is now begging along with the domestics.  I remember seeing this bird out on the water earlier in the ear and thinking that it might look injured.  Unfortunately my hunch was correct.  At least it has survived thus far.  Although if it can't fly and the lake freezes over, it could be in trouble.  
If anyone is interested and able to wrangle the bird and take it to rehab, let me know.  I'd be happy to drive, but I don't have any experience with catching geese and doubt I have the strength on my own to do so. 

We wanted to scope the lake from the east side, but there was hardly anything to be seen on the water.  Since we had hauled it the whole way, we set up the scope and looked at a lone Pied-billed Grebe and also looked at the roosting Heron close up.  
View of the Pond from the east side.  Antelope Island behind.

Along the south side of the pond, another member of our group spotted a couple of terns sitting on some branches out in the middle of the water.  I set up my scope and they "terned" out to be first-year Common Terns. 

The extensive black, not gray, on the nape of the birds, led to this ID.

Back through the orchard, we looked for the Blue-gray Gnatcatcher that I had seen during my pre-trip scouting in the morning, but we did not have luck.  We did, however find a House Wren that came out and gave us good looks. 

Another bird that I saw during my hour-before scouting was a Belted Kingfisher, which we did not see as a group.

Our group: Pomera, Lauren, myself, Ann, and Heather.  DeeDee not pictured, as she was taking the photo. 

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