24 November 2020

Archive for November, 2020

Solitaire

Monday, November 23rd, 2020
Townsend’s Solitaire, East Millcreek, Salt Lake City, Utah, 23 November 2020.
Townsend’s Solitaire.

A pleasant, quick, relatively low-key hike with dog this nippy morning. Quite a few bird species, although not that many individuals. Heard its tapping, then spied my Downy Woodpecker friend (the male), heard the raspy call of a Mountain Chickadee. One moment stood out, though.

We were standing on the bluff overlooking the neighborhood, where sometimes I spot a cool bird or two. Heard a finch, spied a scrub-jay carrying a peanut, heard a Townsend’s Solitaire. Wait—that latter was rather unusual for the residential streets below, but it sure sounded like the sweet, clear, repeated territorial note of the species.

Knowing a solitaire’s tendency to perch in high places, I grabbed my binocs and scanned the treetops in the residential yards far below. There, a slim gray bird. Looked like it might be… Took up my camera and fired off a few shots just as it flew, revealing those telltale white underwing stripes.

A solitaire after all.

Grandeur Peak Area List
Beginning at 8:21 a.m. (MST), I hiked several hundred feet up a mountain.

1. Black-capped Chickadee
2. Black-billed Magpie*
3. House Finch* (v)
4. Spotted Towhee
5. Woodhouse’s Scrub-jay
6. Townsend’s Solitaire
7. Northern Flicker (v)
8. Downy Woodpecker
9. Dark-eyed Junco
10. Lesser Goldfinch** (v)
11. Mountain Chickadee (v)

Elsewhere

12. Eurasian Collared-dove
13. European Starling
14. Rock Pigeon
15. California Gull

Mammals

Red Squirrel (v)

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

A Very Fine Day

Sunday, November 22nd, 2020
Sharp-shinned Hawk, East Millcreek, Salt Lake City, Utah, 22 November 2020.
Sharp-shinned Hawk.
Canyon Wren, East Millcreek, Salt Lake City, Utah, 22 November 2020.
Canyon Wren.

A calm, nearly cloudless morning with chillier temps (20s (F)) than yesterday—and a bunch of nice surprises to discover. The first being a Canyon Wren in the rocky cavity up near the bluff. I heard it first, remembered the call from early spring, and managed even to spy the little energetic bird.

Soon after that sighting, I decided we should climb up to the ridge where the cairn stands—where I’d seen (from a distance) that it’d partly fallen in on account of (I assume) a few very windy days. It’d been a couple-three months, at least. Past time.

And it was a grand climb, a lovely view. I repaired the cairn (more or less), and dog and I ascended a couple hundred feet above it, sat a spell, then came back down (during which descent I heard—then spotted—a couple Chukars) and finally hiked a stretch of our usual trail, for good measure.

Good measure turned out to be a Sharp-shinned Hawk, perched low in the scrub not far away, casting about for voles or juncos until a trail runner jogged by.

All in all a very fine day.

Grandeur Peak Area List
Beginning at 8:20 a.m. (MST), I hiked some 1,200 feet up a mountain.

1. Red-breasted Nuthatch (v)
2. Pine Siskin (v)
3. House Finch* (v)
4. Spotted Towhee
5. American Robin** (v)
6. Woodhouse’s Scrub-jay
7. Canyon Wren
8. Black-capped Chickadee
9. Chukar
10. Dark-eyed Junco
11. Sharp-shinned Hawk
12. Northern Flicker (v)
13. Black-billed Magpie* (v)

Elsewhere

14. American Kestrel

Mammals

Red Squirrel (v)

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

Frosted

Saturday, November 21st, 2020
Black-capped Chickadee, East Millcreek, Salt Lake City, Utah, 21 November 2020.
Black-capped Chickadee.
Juniper Titmouse, East Millcreek, Salt Lake City, Utah, 21 November 2020.
Juniper Titmouse.

A bit nippier than yesterday, nearly calm, mostly cloudless. No exciting sightings (like yesterday’s owl), but a few fun ones—including a surprise Juniper Titmouse, nice close looks at chickadees. Despite frost whitening the trailside rocks and fallen leaves, plenty of towhees, chickadees, and jays.

Also some nice Saturday conversation with a few trail friends—about the only human interaction I get these days (or, frankly, require).

Grandeur Peak Area List
Beginning at 8:21 a.m. (MST), I hiked a few hundred feet up a mountain.

1. Black-capped Chickadee
2. Woodhouse’s Scrub-jay
3. House Finch**
4. Sharp-shinned Hawk
5. Black-billed Magpie*
6. Spotted Towhee
7. Northern Flicker (v)
8. Dark-eyed Junco
9. Downy Woodpecker
10. Juniper Titmouse (v)
11. Lesser Goldfinch

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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