Mid-Valley Winter Birding Blitz Species List
Wednesday, January 27, 2021 9:00AM - 1PM
Weather: Light snow
Location: Rock Bottom Ranch, Basalt River, Lake Christine
Today served up some of the best highlights of winter birding in the mid-valley, with four red-tailed hawks and a golden eagle seen in soaring flight and a variety of waterfowl on open water. At Rock Bottom Ranch we enjoyed excellent views of green-winged teal dabbling in the shallow water of the main pond as well as red-winged blackbirds and Steller's jays heard and seen from the field center and the trail along the cattail marsh. We had great views of hooded mergansers on the pond by the field center, including a funny moment when all four mergansers dove in order to swim below a band of ice, popping up in another area of open water. At Basalt River Park, one male lesser scaup provided a rich opportunity to compare it side-by-side with the similar ring-necked duck. We also learned field marks of wigeons, domestic-mallard hybrids, and mallards. We observed two American dippers on the Roaring Fork River and a Wilson's snipe in the ditch along Two Rivers Road. A few of us had time for a brief extension of the outing and spent a half hour at Lake Christine where we saw a male bufflehead, a gadwall, and several Woodhouse's scrub-jays. With 25 species, this was a wonderful day of winter birding and a great way to focus on resident and visiting winter migratory birds. Join us on February 2nd for Morning Birding at Hallam Lake!
~ Rebecca Weiss, ACES Bird Guide
Photo by Mark Fuller