22 July 2024

Archive for April, 2020


Thursday, April 30th, 2020
Chipping Sparrow, East Millcreek, Salt Lake City, Utah, 30 April 2020.
Chipping Sparrow.

On this warm (70-ish (F)), overcast morning, I encountered many birds—both resident and migrating through—and most noteworthy were the sparrows.

Two were towhees (spotted and green-tailed), and two were, well, regular sparrows (chipping and Brewer’s). One of each group were only my second sightings (green-tailed and Brewer’s).

Besides the two resident chippies I know of, I spotted a few moving throgh this morning, in a small flock that included at least one Brewer’s Sparrow. They were staying low in the scrub, flitting into and out of the branches. The Green-tailed Towhee was perched low in a small tree a few hundred feet up the mountainside.

(I also learned today that Lazuli Buntings sing a whole bunch of variations of their basic song.)

Grandeur Peak Area List
Beginning at 9:00 a.m., I hiked several hundred feet up a mountain.

1. American Robin* (v)
2. Song Sparrow* (v)
3. Black-billed Magpie* (v)
4. House Finch*
5. Spotted Towhee
6. Black-capped Chickadee
7. Chipping Sparrow
8. Brewer’s Sparrow†
9. Lazuli Bunting
10. Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
11. Sharp-shinned Hawk
12. Pine Siskin (v)
13. California Quail*
14. Broad-tailed Hummingbird
15. Virginia’s Warbler
16. Black-throated Gray Warbler (v)
17. Townsend’s Solitaire (v)
18. Red-breasted Nuthatch (v)
19. Green-tailed Towhee
20. Lesser Goldfinch** (v)
21. Woodhouse’s Scrub-jay (v)


22. Eurasian Collared Dove



(v) Voice only
*Also elsewhere

**Voice only elsewhere
†First-of-year bird

A Treasure

Wednesday, April 29th, 2020
Townsend’s Solitaire, East Millcreek, Salt Lake City, Utah, 29 April 2020.
Townsend’s Solitaire.

A warmish, cloudless morning with plenty of birds around. A longer hike. Not as busy or surprising as the past couple days—but a treasure nonetheless.

Cassin’s Finch (female), East Millcreek, Salt Lake City, Utah, 29 April 2020.
Cassin’s Finch (female).

Encountered a Townsend’s Solitaire right away. Lots of buntings about. Gnatcatchers. Warblers (though not as many as yesterday). I managed to learn the voice of the Virginia’s Warbler (after at first mistaking it as a Nashville’s yesterday).

Most noteworthy was my discovery of a female Cassin’s Finch—which I first heard calling and though it some kind of vireo (a call that helped me make the ID). Now I must see if I can hunt up a male.

Pretty fun spring migration so far.

Grandeur Peak Area List
Beginning at 8:00 a.m., I hiked about 1,200 feet up a mountain.

1. American Robin*
2. Spotted Towhee
3. House Finch**
4. Black-billed Magpie*
5. Townsend’s Solitaire
6. Northern Flicker** (v)
7. Woodhouse’s Scrub-jay
8. Red-breasted Nuthatch
9. Lazuli Bunting
10. Cassin’s Finch†‡
11. Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
12. Black-capped Chickadee**
13. Pine Siskin (v)
14. Virginia’s Warbler
15. Black-throated Gray Warbler (v)
16. Chipping Sparrow (v)
17. Chukar (v)
18. Hermit Thrush
19. Lesser Goldfinch** (v)
20. Orange-crowned Warbler
21. Cooper’s Hawk
22. Song Sparrow (v)


24. House Sparrow (v)
25. California Quail



(v) Voice only
*Also elsewhere

**Voice only elsewhere
†First-of-year bird

Short & Sweet

Tuesday, April 28th, 2020
Lazuli Buning (male), East Millcreek, Salt Lake City, Utah, 28 April 2020.
Lazuli Buning (male).
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, East Millcreek, Salt Lake City, Utah, 28 April 2020.
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher.

It was hard for me to choose a high point of this morning’s short, extraordinarily sweet hike with dog. We were late to hit the trail, and left early because of errands that needed running. But, dang, did the birds put on a show.

Several first-of-year birds, a “lifer” subspecies—and at one point early on, from where I stood, I took decent photos of four bird species.

I was most excited, however, to solve a puzzle that’d been plaguing me for a week or more: what bird was making that faint, cricket-sounding call as it flew swiftly, intermittently, and (apparently) invisibly above us on our morning hikes? I’d been referring to it as “that cricket bird,” thinking the sound a vocalization. But this morning I finally caught sight of the source of the sound—a tiny hummingbird zipping away overhead.

Ah-ha! But which?

For some reason, I decided aloud that it must be a broad-winged hummer. And when I finally got home and looked it up, I was right! In fact, the Cornell Lab’s All About Birds website describes this wing-trill as having “a cricketlike quality to it.” Puzzle solved! (And what a relief!)

(Although I’ve marked today’s as a “first-of-year” sighting, the hummer has been hanging around for a week or more.)

Grandeur Peak Area List
Beginning at 8:30 a.m., I hiked several hundred feet up a mountain.

1. Spotted Towhee**
2. Song Sparrow* (v)
3. American Robin*
4. Black-billed Magpie*
5. Black-capped Chickadee**
6. House Finch**
7. Woodhouse’s Scrub-jay
8. Northern Flicker**
9. Black-throated Gray Warbler
10. Lazuli Bunting
11. Northern Mockingbird†
12. Chipping Sparrow
13. Pine Siskin (v)
14. Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
15. Sharp-shinned Hawk
16. Hermit Thrush†
17. Broad-tailed Hummingbird†
18. Virginia’s Warbler†‡
19. Chukar (v)
20. Red-breasted Nuthatch (v)
21. California Quail
22.Yellow-rumped Warbler (Audubon’s subspecies)†‡
23. Tree Swallow†


24. Eurasian Collared Dove
25. House Sparrow
26. Rock Pigeon
27. Lesser Goldfinch (v)



(v) Voice only
*Also elsewhere

**Voice only elsewhere
†First-of-year bird

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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