8 July 2020 Rockport, Maine, USA 

Archive for February, 2020

Leap Year Deer

Saturday, February 29th, 2020
Gang of mule deer, East Millcreek, Salt Lake City, Utah, 29 February 2020.
Gang of mule deer.

This morning was overcast and warm. Like close to 50° (F) warm. The switchback was slippery as f, but neither dog or I fell down. Few birds of note—but plenty of cervids.

First I spied a herd of elk lounging around the bowl above the rim trail. Soon after, I spied a couple tiny humans and dogs hiking waaay up the mountain above the elk. And on our return trip I noticed that the elk had apparently also caught sight of these interlopers (as they descended) and got antsy. The herd turned and hurried back into the bowl—all but two animals, which dashed down the ridge across the gulch from us.

Next thing I know, a gang of about a dozen mule deer appeared on that same ridge, unsure of where to go. Perhaps the interlopers had moved away—but for whatever reason, the deer turned their attention (and ears) in our direction.

I love the photo they gave me.

Grandeur Peak Area List
Beginning at 9:45 a.m., I hiked a few hundred feet up the mountain.

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

Elsewhere

8. Song Sparrow (v)
9. European Starling

Mammals

Rocky Mountain Elk
Mule Deer

(v) Voice only
*Also elsewhere

**Voice only elsewhere

Commonest Corvid

Friday, February 28th, 2020
Black-billed Magpie, East Millcreek, Salt Lake City, Utah, 28 February 2020.
Black-billed Magpie.

Around here, it’s hard not to have a certain appreciation for magpies. People complain about their noisy, thievin’ ways—but them’s the ways of most corvids, after all.

I do miss crows—I’ve only heard one or two caws out here in more than six months, whereas hardly a day would go by in Maine without hearing a few dozen—but Black-billed Magpies fill the niche pretty nicely here.

They’re smart. They’re vocal (with a larger vocabulary than crows). They’re smart. Amusing. (I enjoyed watching that pair sneak up and pull on the tail of a Golden Eagle that one day not long ago.) And you can interact with them pretty easily. I think one or two even recognize Jack and me by now.

I’ve seen four corvids along the foothills trail—magpie, scrub-jay, raven, Steller’s jay—and a few crows in town. Might even get to see a pinion jay at some point.

But, to me at least, the commonest corvid here in the high desert has a certain allure.

Grandeur Peak Area List
Beginning at 9:15 a.m., I hiked a few hundred feet up the mountain.

1. Black-billed Magpie*
2. House Finch**
3. Black-capped Chickadee**
4. Song Sparrow*
5. Dark-eyed Junco
6. Woodhouse’s Scrub-jay*
7. Lesser Goldfinch** (v)
8. American Robin*
9. European Starling

Mammals

Rocky Mountain Elk
Mule Deer

(v) Voice only
*Also elsewhere

**Voice only elsewhere

Raven and Solitaire

Friday, February 28th, 2020
Townsend’s Solitaire, East Millcreek, Salt Lake City, Utah, 27 February 2020.
Townsend’s Solitaire.
Common Raven, East Millcreek, Salt Lake City, Utah, 27 February 2020.
Common Raven.

Hardly a cloud in the sky this morning. Warm in the sun, cold in the shade. Wildlife was hard at it, too, with spring just a few weeks away—elk and deer high up the mountainside, assorted bird species along the trail.

Most noteworthy today was a flyover by a pair of ravens and a solitaire hanging around, posing for photos.

(Also a whole bunch of robins.)

Grandeur Peak Area List
Beginning at 9:15 a.m., I hiked a few hundred feet up the mountain.

1. Black-billed Magpie*
2. House Finch*
3. Woodhouse’s Scrub-jay**
4. Black-capped Chickadee**
5. Dark-eyed Junco*
6. American Robin*
7. Common Raven
8. Lesser Goldfinch**
9. Townsend’s Solitaire
10. European Starling
11. Song Sparrow* (v)

Mammals

Rocky Mountain Elk
Mule Deer

(v) Voice only
*Also elsewhere

**Voice only elsewhere

 
Bird Report is an intermittent record of what's outside my window in Rockport, Maine, USA (44°08'N latitude, 69°06'W longitude), and vicinity. —Brian Willson



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