24 November 2020

Archive for the ‘Observations’ Category

Li’l Owl

Friday, November 20th, 2020
Northern Pygmy Owl, East Millcreek, Salt Lake City, Utah, 20 November 2020.
Northern Pygmy Owl.

The temperature dipped last night, so dog and I enjoyed a brisk, bracing hike. The usually species, mostly—including a young Mountain Cottontail—but my first batch of juncos sparked my interest. They seemed a little more upset with our approach than usual (usually they flit away). I tried to keep track, hoping for a photo.

Saw movement in a juniper ahead of us, pointed my camera in that direction, and saw a cool-looking unfamiliar bird. Some kind of very small hawk or owl. My first Utah owl. I had no idea what it was. I thought perhaps a saw-whet (which species I’ve heard but not seen in person), but the tail seemed too long. Got a bunch of pics and figured I’d look it up when we got back home.

Which I did. My first-ever Northern Pygmy Owl. A tiny terror.

Been a while since I’ve had a lifer. I’ve saved the memory of its sighting for recall in the future.

Grandeur Peak Area List
Beginning at 8:17 a.m. (MST), I hiked a few hundred feet up a mountain.

1. House Finch**
2. Woodhouse’s Scrub-jay
3. American Goldfinch (v)
4. Black-billed Magpie*
5. Spotted Towhee
6. Northern Flicker** (v)
7. Pine Siskin (v)
8. Black-capped Chickadee
9. Downy Woodpecker
10. Juniper Titmouse (v)
11. Dark-eyed Junco
12. Northern Pygmy Owl‡

Elsewhere

13. House Sparrow
14. European Starling
15. Mourning Dove

Mammals

Mountain Cottontail
Red Squirrel (v)

(v) Voice only
*Also elsewhere
**Voice only elsewhere
‡Lifer

Good Hike

Thursday, November 19th, 2020
Black-capped Chickadee, East Millcreek, Salt Lake City, Utah, 19 November 2020.
Black-capped Chickadee.
Good hike, East Millcreek, Salt Lake City, Utah, 19 November 2020.
Good hike.

Calm today, and chilly. Birds were active again—and the towhees were out again.

Not many photo ops (in fact, most birds on my list were heard, not seen), but a nice variety. Most interesting, arguably, were the geese I heard while down in Coyote Canyon, where I had only a glimpse of a sliver of sky. (All I can say for sure is there were more than one.)

The sky was nice, though, as was the company of the best dog of all time.

Grandeur Peak Area List
Beginning at 8:16 a.m. (MST), I hiked a few hundred feet up a mountain.

1. Black-capped Chickadee**
2. Northern Flicker** (v)
3. Spotted Towhee
4. American Robin** (v)
5. American Goldfinch (v)
6. Woodhouse’s Scrub-jay
7. Black-billed Magpie**
8. Pine Siskin (v)
9. House Finch*
10. Ruby-crowned Kinglet (v)
12. Canada Goose (v)
13. Red-breasted Nuthatch (v)
14. Song Sparrow** (v)

Elsewhere

15. Rock Pigeon
16. Mourning Dove

(v) Voice only
*Also elsewhere
**Voice only elsewhere

Warm, Windy Day

Wednesday, November 18th, 2020
Bald Eagle, East Millcreek, Salt Lake City, Utah, 18 November 2020.
Bald Eagle.
American Robin, East Millcreek, Salt Lake City, Utah, 18 November 2020.
American Robin.

It blew all night, whistling through the door jam, and it was blowing still this morning when dog and I headed up the switchback. I could tell from the loud voice of the wind that today’s would be a short list. Many more leaves flew than birds.

I heard a few as we got underway, saw a few wind-blown robins, spied a solitary Bald Eagle soaring above the ridge. And we flushed a good-sized flock of grouse in a little scrubby vale. They looked like maybe ruffed, but I couldn’t be sure as they sailed up and across Coyote Canyon.

Few birds in the neighborhood, too, on this warm and windy day.

Grandeur Peak Area List
Beginning at 8:30 a.m. (MST), I hiked a few hundred feet up a mountain.

1. House Finch** (v)
2. Black-billed Magpie
3. Black-capped Chickadee
4. American Robin
5. Dark-eyed Junco (v)
6. Bald Eagle
7. Woodhouse’s Scrub-jay
8. Grouse (sp)

(v) Voice only
**Voice only elsewhere

 
Bird Report is a (sometimes intermittent) record of the birds I encounter while hiking, see while driving, or spy outside my window. —Brian Willson



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