24 June 2024

Archive for May, 2020


Sunday, May 31st, 2020
Gnatcatcher on the nest, East Millcreek, Salt Lake City, Utah, 31 May 2020.
Gnatcatcher on the nest.

The magpies have fledged. Pretty sure the scrub-jays, too. Certainly the starlings have. But up on the mountain trails, a few species have yet to build their nests—or have just built them, just laid, or are still incubating eggs (or warming nestlings). Gnatcatchers are still sitting on the nest I found.

I expect the youngsters to start making subtle begging sounds any day now. The adults are surely making plenty of noise when a human and/or a dog come near. Or, heaven forbid, a scrub-jay: Today I watched a tiny Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher dive-bomb a jay that had dared to approach to near its nest. Over and over. It drove that big bird a good hundred feet away, at least.

I admire the feisty little gnatcatchers. Not sure the gnats agree.

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

1. Song Sparrow** (v)
2. Black-headed Grosbeak
3. Rock Pigeon
4. California Quail*
5. European Starling* (v)
6. Lazuli Bunting
7. Woodhouse’s Scrub-jay
8. Black-capped Chickadee
9. Lesser Goldfinch (v)
10. Northern Flicker (v)
11. Black-billed Magpie*
12. Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
13. Spotted Towhee
14. Black-chinned Hummingbird*
15. American Robin*
16. House Finch**
17. Orange-crowned Warbler (v)
18. Warbling Vireo (v)
19. Chipping Sparrow (v)
20. Black-throated Gray Warbler (v)
21. MacGillivray’s Warbler
22. Pine Siskin (v)


23. Mourning Dove (v)


Rock Pigeon

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

Warblers, Revisited

Saturday, May 30th, 2020
MacGillivray’s Warbler, East Millcreek, Salt Lake City, Utah, 30 May 2020.
MacGillivray’s Warbler.
Black-throated Gray Warbler, East Millcreek, Salt Lake City, Utah, 30 May 2020.
Black-throated Gray Warbler.

Today was the first scorcher of the year. Dog and I got to the trailhead a bit late, but already the temperature (in the shade) was well up into the 70s (F). And by the time we returned a couple hours later, the sun had warmed things by at least ten degrees or so.

Still quite a bit of bird activity. Plenty of buntings and towhees and hummingbirds and gnatcatchers. And, along stretch of trail in the shady valley area, the two warblers we see on the regular: MacGillivray’s and black-throated gray. A shoutout to those two guys.

Yep, a scorcher. Still no rattlesnakes, though.

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

1. Song Sparrow** (v)
2. Black-billed Magpie*
3. Lazuli Bunting
4. American Robin*
5. Rock Pigeon
6. Black-headed Grosbeak
7. Pine Siskin (v)
8. Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
9. Spotted Towhee
10. Black-chinned Hummingbird
11. California Quail*
12. Woodhouse’s Scrub-jay
13. House Finch*
14. Warbling Vireo
15. MacGillivray’s Warbler
16. Chipping Sparrow (v)
17. Black-throated Gray Warbler
18. Golden Eagle
19. Sharp-shinned Hawk
20. Black-capped Chickadee** (v)


21. European Starling
22. House Sparrow



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


Friday, May 29th, 2020
California Quail, East Millcreek, Salt Lake City, Utah, 29 May 2020.
California Quail.

Not long after I moved to SLC last summer, I met a little covey of neighbors: Quentin Quail†† and family. I’d never seen a California Quail before, and here were whole families of them, clicking and scrambling, sprinting across the roads, fluttering up onto rooftops and into trees.

Not until this spring, though, did I realize many of them moved up the slopes to have little quails. Nowadays dog and I encounter them all along the trails we hike each morning.

They’re a little skittish, a little talkative—but all in all pretty likable neighbors.

††Quentin Quail was a character in a Chuck Jones cartoon for Merry Melodies released in 1946.

Grandeur Peak Area List
Beginning at 7:30 a.m., I hiked several hundred feet up a mountain.

1. Black-billed Magpie*
2. Lazuli Bunting
3. Song Sparrow** (v)
4. Black-chinned Hummingbird
5. Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
6. Woodhouse’s Scrub-jay
7. Pine Siskin
8. California Quail*
9. Spotted Towhee
10. Black-capped Chickadee**
11. Black-headed Grosbeak
12. American Robin*
13. Lesser Goldfinch** (v)
14. Black-throated Gray Warbler (v)
15. MacGillivray’s Warbler (v)
16. Warbling Vireo
17. Chipping Sparrow (v)
18. House Finch
19. Turkey Vulture


20. Eurasian Collared Dove
21. European Starling
22. House Sparrow
23. Rock Pigeon
24. American Crow


Rock Squirrel

(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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