by Scott Boyle
With the completion of the 1A boys state basketball tournament nearly two weeks ago, the winter sports scene in Utah high schools is in the books.
And Monticello High School results are in as well, in triplicate, one might say.
Continuing a trend started in the fall sports, where both the football and volleyball teams captured third place at their state tournaments, the winter sport Buckaroos also had plenty of trifectas.
It was threes all around for the Bucks, with the wrestling team grappling to a third place team finish. Three Buckaroos claimed the title “state champ” as well, Cole Eldredge, Brandon Musselman and Zac Musselman.
The boys basketball team captured third place also, winning three games. Three starters, Sheldon Black, Makade Maloy, and Everett Hatch join another senior Jens Brewer in playing the last game of their Buckaroo careers. Black was a three-year starter for the Bucks, and was the Bucks leading scorer this year.
In the drill team state competition, the Buckaroo Drill Team finished... you guessed it... third in the 1A competition. The Vaqueras participated in three dances, Military, Dance and Kick, finishing third in all three dances.
And finally, the girls basketball team fought hard, playing three games and lasting in the tournament for three days before being eliminated by the Duchesne Lady Eagles.
Next up for the Buckaroos, Spring sports, including baseball, track and field and boys and girls golf.
Spent the week looking for birds and saw bunches. Took a long-sought-for excursion to the Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge last week.
What an amazing place. We took the 12 mile drive around the Bird Refuge and saw thousands and thousands of birds, including three added to the lifetime list, tundra swan, ring-necked pheasant, and a redhead duck. A trip to the Refuge is well worth the time, but be sure and bring along a spotting scope.
I was a little disappointed that most of the birds were quite a ways a way, beings as the Refuge is so big and access is restricted strictly to the road.
The spotting scope made things better, though often we were looking across large stretches of water. In addition to the three mentioned above, other birds identified were Canada geese, mallards, northern pintails, American green-winged teals, northern shovelers, buffleheads, killdeer, ring-billed and California gulls, American coots, two sandhill cranes, red-winged blackbirds, and plenty of northern harriers.
One sighting that surprised was the site of double-crested cormorants. Thought they were exclusive to the coastline, but nope, there they were, deep in the heart of the Refuge.
We were a little early in the year to see the Refuge in all its splendor. Late March and April are the big migratory months. So a reason to return at a different time of year.
Upon return to good ole San Juan County, Sportshorts spent a morning perusing the stock ponds of “Out East”, identifying a number of birds, including, pintails, green-winged teals, mallards and a flock of 125 canada geese feeding in a wheatfield like a herd of deer. The same geese were spotted in the same place nearly a month ago, so they’ve extended their stay it looks like.
And if you want to see a couple of beautiful birds, take a look in nearly any pond around and you’ll see the amazing green winged teal and the northern pintail, two stunning ducks.
And the song birds are beginning to show around, western scrub jays, pinyon jays, northern flickers, horned larks, western bluebirds, mountain bluebirds, American robins, spotted towhees.
On 12 March, the first meadowlark was herd out in the country. Everywhere one stopped the “Monticello is a pretty little town” chorus floated over the countryside.
Curiously, after an hours worth of trying, no meadowlark was ever sighted, though at least 20-30 were heard. Plus, an American kestrel surveying the land is always a delight to spot. Then # 129 on the lifetime list, the juniper titmouse.
Finally, at the feeder at least eight kinds of birds, juncos, including Oregon, pink-sided, and gray-headed juncos, bundles of finches, American goldfinches, purple finches, house finches, evening grosbeaks, Eurasian doves, pine siskins, and magpies and crows. That’s 41 total in two days efforts. How many have you seen?