21 September 2020

Archive for the ‘Photo’ Category

Rain

Saturday, September 19th, 2020

It wasn’t a lot, but it was rain. The morning started off with a trace of drizzle, then the drizzle abated, and the weather radar showed a rain-free channel for a while—but that rain would likely follow. And afternoon thundershowers were possible.

An overcast filled much of the sky, and I could feel humidity for the first time in a while. Quite a few birds flitted about, and my hike with dog generally gave me the usual thrills. But the most thrilling moment came on our return, when I’d just seen a gang of magpies on the bluff, and the drizzle returned. I heard it before I felt it, but there it was. And then a sparrow popped up and posed.

The drizzle didn’t last very long, but it doesn’t take much to trigger a spark of hope these days.

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

1. House Finch*
2. Black-capped Chickadee
3. Northern Flicker**
4. Pine Siskin
5. Woodhouse’s Scrub-jay**
6. Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
7. Spotted Towhee
8. Lesser Goldfinch*
9. Black-billed Magpie*
10. Chipping Sparrow

Elsewhere

11. Eurasian Collared Dove (v)
12. Song Sparrow (v)
13. California Quail
14. House Sparrow

Mammals

Red Squirrel
Gray Squirrel

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

Dips

Friday, September 18th, 2020
Black-chinned Hummingbird (imm./fem.), East Millcreek, Salt Lake City, Utah, 18 September 2020.
Black-chinned Hummingbird (imm./fem.).

Got a whiff of smoke this morning on my hike with dog. A haze hovered over the basin. The fires in California are alarming, to say the least—as is the local drought. Thought we’d be getting some rain tomorrow, but apparently not. Going on two months without significant rain.

Perhaps that’s why things continue to be quiet up the foothills trails. Mostly the usual suspects this morning, bu also a couple of birds whose calls I didn’t recognize. One in particular—with a semi-harsh, semi-musical chip-note—flitted out of a juniper and showed itself to be warbler-sized with flashes of yellow. Tried to track it down but didn’t see it again. Another little chattery bird, too, I couldn’t sneak up on.

“Dips” in birding lingo usually mean you’ve heard of a rare or interesting sighting and go looking for it but fail to find it—i.e., you “dipped” on the bird. In my mind the same applies in the shorter term: you see or hear something curious but don’t end up getting a good look. Happens a lot.

But also, on occasion, you stumble onto a pretty great sighting without even trying. It all works out in the end, I suppose.

No smoky smell later in the day. I hope at least the West Coast gets a little rain.

Grandeur Peak Area List
Beginning at 8:13 a.m., I hiked a few hundred feet up a mountain.

1. House Finch*
2. Woodhouse’s Scrub-jay
3. Pine Siskin
4. American Robin**
5. Black-chinned Hummingbird
6. Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
7. Spotted Towhee
8. Northern Flicker**
9. Rock Pigeon*
10. Black-capped Chickadee
11. Wood-warbler (sp)
12. Lesser Goldfinch** (v)
13. Black-billed Magpie*
14. Red-tailed Hawk

Elsewhere

15. European Starling
16. American Crow
17. Mourning Dove
18. Song Sparrow

Mammals

Red Squirrel (v)

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

Flickers

Thursday, September 17th, 2020
Northern Flicker, East Millcreek, Salt Lake City, Utah, 17 September 2020.
Northern Flicker (female).

Lately there’ve been a lot of flickers in the neighborhood. You hear them first, then—if you’re lucky (as I was this morning)—you might sneak up and grab a photo.

Pine Siskin, East Millcreek, Salt Lake City, Utah, 17 September 2020.
Pine Siskin.

Today I saw four Northern Flickers (and heard a couple others). Also had a couple of Downy Woodpeckers. Those are the only woodpecker’s I’ve seen here. Which reminds me that I’ve not seen any Utah owls yet—no doubt because they don’t frequent my patch when dog and I got hiking.

Also saw a whole lot of Pine Siskins today all of a sudden. More than a dozen. It’s fun stroll quietly along a deer trail with a sort of secret knowledge that something’s up in the natural world—especially when we can usually hear most other folks we meet on the trail long before they come into view.

(Not that there’s anything wrong with that.)

Grandeur Peak Area List
Beginning at 8:02 a.m., I hiked a few hundred feet up a mountain.

1. Black-billed Magpie* (v)
2. House Finch*
3. Pine Siskin*
4. Black-capped Chickadee**
5. Woodhouse’s Scrub-jay**
6. Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
7. Spotted Towhee
8. Northern Flicker**
9. Downy Woodpecker
10. American Robin
11. Dark-eyed Junco
12. Red-breasted Nuthatch
13. Black-chinned Hummingbird
14. Lesser Goldfinch* (v)
15. Rock Pigeon

Elsewhere

16. California Quail (v)

Mammals

Rock Squirrel
Red Squirrel (v)

(v) Voice only
*Also elsewhere
**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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