20 October 2020

Archive for July, 2020

Life Goes On

Friday, July 31st, 2020
Broad-tailed Hummingbird (male), East Millcreek, Salt Lake City, UTah, 31 July 2020.
Broad-tailed Hummingbird (male).

Broad-tailed Hummingbirds have not been cooperative when it comes to posing for photos—until today.

I’ve caught glimpses of these high-elevation hummers in Coyote Canyon—the cool, shady valley that dog and I ascend each morning—as they zip around hunting tiny insects among the proliferous bigtooth maple leaves. But the light is dim, and hummingbirds are active, and I sort of gave up.

Today, though, there a few (or more) were making those cricket-like sounds with their wings above us as, so I stopped to watch and listen, and a male decided to perch right in front of me. (I rarely see males, either, since they’re basically chauvinist pigs who sleep around and the leave the nest-building, chick-rearing, and youngster-feeding to females.)

Male Black-throated Gray Warbler feeding fledgling, East Millcreek, Salt Lake City, UTah, 31 July 2020.
Male Black-throated Gray Warbler feeding fledgling.

Felt good to grab that photo.

In contrast, just beyond the hummers, I happened upon a male Black-throated Gray Warbler bring a small lacy-winged insect to a begging fledgling.

And so life goes on despite it all.

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

1. Black-chinned Hummingbird
2. Mourning Dove
3. House Finch**
4. Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
5. American Robin*
6. Eastern Towhee
7. Black-headed Grosbeak
8. Lazuli Bunting
9. Black-capped Chickadee
10. Red-breasted Nuthatch
11. Pine Siskin
12. Broad-tailed Hummingbird
13. Cooper’s Hawk
14. Black-throated Gray Warbler
15. Woodhouse’s Scrub-jay
16. Lesser Goldfinch** (v)

Elsewhere

17. Eurasian Collared Dove (v)

Mammals

Mountain Cottontail

(v) Voice only
*Also elsewhere

**Voice only elsewhere

Quietude, Part 2

Thursday, July 30th, 2020
Woodhouse’s Scrub-jay, East Millcreek, Salt Lake City, Utah, 30 July 2020.
Woodhouse’s Scrub-jay.

Even quieter this morning. Warmer, breezier, and quieter. Took longer to count more than a handful of species—and the numbers didn’t come until the sun topped the ridge.

Fewer individual birds than yesterday, but lots of juvies still. Saw a warbler I couldn’t ID before it flew. [I think it might’ve been an orange-crowned.] Lots of buntings and towhees still—but few singing.

Nothing rare or thrilling maybe, but Captain Jack and I loved it anyway. Plus, I got a portrait of a scrub-jay.

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

1. Rock Pigeon*
2. Woodhouse’s Scrub-jay
3. Black-capped Chickadee**
4. Mourning Dove
5. House Finch**
6. Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
7. Black-chinned Hummingbird
8. Spotted Towhee
9. Lazuli Bunting
10. American Robin
11. Warbler (sp.)
12. Pine Siskin (v)
13. Lesser Goldfinch**

Elsewhere

14. Black-billed Magpie
15. Eurasian Collared Dove
16. House Sparrow

(v) Voice only
*Also elsewhere

**Voice only elsewhere

Quietude

Wednesday, July 29th, 2020
American Robin (juvie), East Millcreek, Salt Lake City, Utah, 29 July 2020.
American Robin (juvie).

This morning’s hike up the cool, shady foothills began quietly. It took a good fifteen minutes before I had a half-dozen bird species on my (mental) list. Feathered things did begin to flit and flutter, but mostly hidden by vegetation or in swift flight from one place to another. Time to lay low, apparently. The final count (thirteen) was the lowest I can remember.

One of a pair of tanagers, East Millcreek, Salt Lake City, Utah, 29 July 2020.
One of a pair of tanagers.

Still, things were interesting—plenty of young buntings and towhees and robins. (In fact, all that hidden chipping and subtle vocalizing made for a challenging birding excursion.) No outlandish sightings, true.

But lucky thirteen turned out to be another pair of tanagers in the tanager.

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

1. Black-capped Chickadee (v)
2. American Robin
3. Woodhouse’s Scrub-jay
4. Mourning Dove
5. Lazuli Bunting
6. Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
7. Black-chinned Hummingbird
8. House Finch**
9. Rock Pigeon*
10. Spotted Towhee
11. Pine Siskin (v)
12. Black-headed Grosbeak (v)
13. Western Tanager

Elsewhere

14. Black-billed Magpie
15. House Sparrow
16. Red-tailed Hawk

Mammals

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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