A mostly overcast morning for a change. Rather warm, with just a touch of humidity made evident by some moistness on my arms. A good hike with dog.
Most impressive to start with was a cooperative female Black-headed Grosbeak who perched with a wasp in her beak for a good long time while I angled for a photo. I suspect there’re nestlings nearby, and she didn’t want Jack or me (or any other threatening critter) to follow her to that important place. (Just a wild-ass guess.)
Otherwise, saw a Cooper’s Hawk zip by, then heard another at the nest above the gully give a cry in expectation. I’m imagining they have nestlings, too. Maybe.
Back home, the magpie nestlings keep hollering at their exhausted-looking parents. One male (I assume) youngster constantly pesters his smaller mom (I assume) to put the food directly in his mouth, like she used to.
Also saw an adult with a good-sized mouse (or other rodent), dead in its beak. Magpies are omnivorous corvids, after all.
Grandeur Peak Area List Beginning at 7:16 a.m. (8:16 MDT), I hiked a few hundred feet up a mountain.
We had a nice hike this morning, Captain Jack and I. Early, but not too early. Warm, but not too warm. (In fact, the air stirred nice and cool and sweet in the shady green places.) Still just the resident birds about, plus a flyover by four Cliff Swallows. Buntings and towhees, many finches. Gnatcatchers.
Magpies and robins and doves in the neighborhood. Temps didn’t reach 100° (F), though—only 98° or 99°.
Grandeur Peak Area List Beginning at 7:05 a.m. (8:05 MDT), I hiked a few hundred feet up a mountain.
Cool and breezy and quiet on the trails with Jack this morning. Cloudless still, droughty still, and not as many birds as last year at this time (other, perhaps, than a whole bunch of House Finches). I did catch a glimpse of a vireo and heard the call of a hawk. Still, a lovely, not-too-hot hike.
Back at the house, meanwhile—like yesterday—things were hopping: many quail, a calling flicker, doves and sparrows and starlings. The highlight in afternoon: a female Bullock’s Oriole catching spiders in the roses.
Supposed to reach 100° (F) tomorrow.
Grandeur Peak Area List Beginning at 7:24 a.m. (8:24 MDT), I hiked a few hundred feet up a mountain.