24 June 2024

Archive for February, 2020

In the Air Somewhere

Wednesday, February 26th, 2020
Canada Geese circling SLC, East Millcreek, Salt Lake City, 26 February 2020.
Canada Geese circling SLC.
Golden Eagle, East Millcreek, Salt Lake City, 26 February 2020.
Golden Eagle.

A morning much like yesterday—but with a wild assortment of birds. Two raptors, quail, a thrush, corvids, etc. Seemed like the craziest things would show up at random intervals.

E.g., a flock of geese sweeping by my view from the house, just after a Cooper’s hawk flew over.

Lots of singing birds, lots of movement. Spring is in the air somewhere.

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

1. Lesser Goldfinch** (v)
2. Woodhouse’s Scrub-jay**
3. House Finch*
4. Black-capped Chickadee
5. Black-billed Magpie*
6. Dark-eyed Junco*
7. Northern Flicker
8. Golden Eagle
9. Song Sparrow* (v)
10. American Robin*
11. Cooper’s Hawk*
12. California Quail
13. Pine Siskin (v)

Elsewhere

14. Canada Goose
15. Rock Pigeon
16. House Sparrow (v)

Mammals

Rocky Mountain Elk
Mule Deer

(v) Voice only
*Also elsewhere

**Voice only elsewhere

Memorable Day

Tuesday, February 25th, 2020
Steller’s Jay, East Millcreek, Salt Lake City, Utah, 25 February 2020.
First glimpse of Steller’s Jay.
Northern flicker (red-shafted male), East Millcreek, Salt Lake City, Utah, 25 February 2020.
Northern flicker (red-shafted male).

A day much like yesterday, but with fewer clouds. And a lifer.

Twenties (F) in the shade, warmer in the sun. No elk, a few deer, juncos, a pair of accipiters, a cooperative flicker, a random towhee. But about midway through my hike with dog, I heard a somewhat odd call, followed it with my eyes, and saw a bird light on the tip of a juniper quite a distance away. A flash of blue. Turned my camera that way just as it flew. Managed only one halfway decent photo.

But through the viewfinder I saw what looked like it might be the elusive Steller’s Jay. (Elusive, at least, for me. Been keeping my eye peeled for weeks and months.) I had to wait to see what the photo might show.

Welp, sure enough, the ID was clear: dark head, blue body, crest, white mark on crest. A Steller’s for sure.

I’d call this a memorable day.

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

1. Song Sparrow (v)
2. Woodhouse’s Scrub-jay**
3. Black-capped Chickadee
4. Dark-eyed Junco
5. Black-billed Magpie*
6. Sharp-shinned Hawk
7. Northern Flicker**
8. House Finch* (v)
9. Steller’s Jay†
10. Pine Siskin (v)
11. Cooper’s Hawk
12. Spotted Towhee

Elsewhere

13. Eurasian Collared Dove
14. Lesser Goldfinch (v)

Mammals

Mule Deer

(v) Voice only
*Also elsewhere

**Voice only elsewhere

Juncos

Monday, February 24th, 2020
Dark-eyed Junco, East Millcreek, Salt Lake City, Utah, 24 February 2020.
Dark-eyed Junco.

I’m pretty sure the collective name for a flock of juncos is “a shitload.”

It was a mostly cloudy morning, sub-freezing still, with a breeze. Chilly, for sure. There were a bunch of elk lollygagging up the bowl a ways, but we spied no deer. A good list of the usual bird species—including a shitload of Dark-eyed Juncos.

I can’t really estimate how many there were. As is their habit, they stayed hidden among the scrub oak branches and amid tufts of yellow grass. But there were a lot. Scores, at least.

A shitload.

This afternoon mostly cloudy became mostly sunny. No precipitation until the weekend, looks like.

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

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

Elsewhere

10. Eurasian Collared Dove
11. Rock Pigeon

Mammals

Rocky Mountain Elk

(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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