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Will be in Park City in August, any tip?

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Old Tuesday 30th March 2010, 17:22   #1
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Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Ann Arbor, Michigan
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Will be in Park City in August, any tip?

I will be in Park City in August, with a 1 year old baby, while my wife is attending a conference. Any tip where to go birding? I remember there is quite a nice network of trails, but I would appreciate any good tip to see the local specialties. I don't think I will have a car, though, so I will have to use local transportation..
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Old Monday 9th August 2010, 21:11   #2
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Summer Birding Report - Uinta Mtns & SLC

Spent 6 days in Utah from July 28. Mixed birding and family vacation.

Spent 4 nights in this campground, next to Lost Lake on the Mirror Lake Scenic Highway. Birding in the campground produced:
Red Crossbill
Brewer's Sparrow
Gray Jay
Pine Siskin
Clark's Nutcracker
Dark-eyed Junco
Common Raven
Pine Grosbeak
Mountain Chickadee
American Robin
Brown-headed Cowbird
Chipping Sparrow
White-crowned Sparrow
Lincoln’s Sparrow
American Pipit
Hermit Thrush

Spent an hour at Mirror Lake but it was crowded. Saw only:
American Pipits, Clark's Nutcrackers and White-crowned Sparrows.

Several miles along this road produced only a Turkey Vulture and three Lazuli Buntings.
On the way back to the Mirror Lake Scenic Highway we stopped on the S Basin Road at a YMCA camp; only a few hundred yards from the Scenic Highway. This area had:
MacGillivray's Warbler
Yellow Warblers
Lazuli Bunting
Red-naped Sapsucker
Olive-sided Flycatcher

We spent an hour (at noon on August 1st) at the Rock Cliff Nature Center, part of Jordanelle State Park. Unfortunately, the wetlands (and most of the river) had largely dried up because of drought. We saw only:
American Robin
Lesser Goldfinch
Yellow Warblers
Common Nighthawks.
This would be a great site if there weren't a drought!

On the way up Big Cottonwood Canyon we stopped for lunch at the lodge. The deck was too busy with people for many birds but a few came to the feeders:
Black-chinned Hummingbird
Pine Siskins
Outside the lodge spotted a House Wren and several Tree Swallows.

The lake had shrunk a lot since our last visit, and the path around it was crowded with visitors. We saw:
Red-breasted Nuthatch
Black-chinned Hummingbird
Black-headed Grosbeak
Tree Swallows
Cliff Swallows
White-crowned Sparrows

The best sightings were at a house with several feeders - on Wasatch street, which is immediately to the left of the main store/cafe (looking to the store/cafe from the front).
Cassin's Finch
Hairy Woodpecker
Black-headed Grosbeak
Pine Siskins
White-crowned Sparrows
Dark-eyed Juncos
Black-chinned Hummingbird

Only had 7:00-9:00 a.m. there on August 2nd.

The causeway had:
Canada Goose
Double-crested Cormorants
Franklin's Gull
California Gull
Black-necked Stilts
Long-billed Curlew
American Avocet
Red-necked Phalarope
Eared Grebe
Yellow-headed Blackbirds
Barn Swallows
I would probably have seen Western Grebes and other birds if I'd had a scope!

The road from the causeway to Garr Ranch had:
Lark Sparrow
Western Meadowlark
Sage Thrasher
Ring-necked Pheasant
American Pipits
Common Ravens
Northern Harriers
American Kestrel
B-h Cowbirds
Also: Two antelope, 20+ bison and a coyote.

Garr Ranch was closed until 9:00 a.m. and so I wasn't able to look there for Burrowing Owls, Warblers, Flycatchers, etc.

These are up at the U. of Utah. Fantastic landscaping and flowers. Lots of birds here last year (May) but few this August. We spent 90 minutes walking around and saw only:
California Quail
Black-capped Chickadee
Warbling Vireos
Black-billed Magpie
Western Tanager
Black-chinned Hummingbird
American Robin.

We saw around 65 species but that was in maybe 16-18 hours of birding. So not very good.
We somehow missed Steller's and Western Scrub Jays. The only raptors we saw were one N Harrier and one Am Kestrel. Didn't see any herons or egrets, and the only ducks around were Mallards.
If I could have stayed 2-3 hours at Antelope Island (and gotten into Garr Ranch there), I think I could have boosted my trip list quite a bit.

Trip report and photos are on my blog. Enter "Utah" in the blog's search field.

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