We got back last night from a very enjoyable 8 days in Nevada and Utah. The main purpose of the trip was to visit family but I also managed to fit in some hours of birding here and there.
I'll do a quick overview of the trip now and then will do some more detailed posts when I've had time to sort through my photos.
We started our trip by flying to Las Vegas, where I fitted in a morning visit to the Henderson Bird Preserve, an old sewage plant. The site consists of a series of ponds and is surprisingly attractive.
Among the many species of birds I saw there were Western Grebes and American Avocets, not birds you usually associate with deserts.
After that we drove up to stay with relatives in the hills above Cedar City,Utah. Their yard attracted several bird species, including three species of hummingbirds.
We fitted in a family trip to Cedar Breaks, where the scenery was spectacular.
Wildflowers were blooming everywhere.
As usual there, I found the birding disappointing. However, I spent a fun 15 minutes sitting in the middle of a flock of very active Dark-eyed Juncos.
We traveled up to Salt Lake City for the weekend. Most of one day was spent in City Creek Canyon, where I searched (in vain) for American Dippers in the rushing waters.
Before we left Salt Lake City on Monday, I did an early morning trip up Big Cottonwood Canyon to Brighton. My main target bird here was Steller's Jay - and I saw several as soon as I stepped out of the car.
I had another, even more exciting, sighting here but I'll get to that in a later post.
On our way back to Vegas, we spent a night in Hurricane, at the entrance to Zion National Park. Before our flight from Las Vegas on Tuesday, we rounded off our vacation with a visit to another sewage plant in Nevada: the Henderson Wetlands.