The Whitening has come later this winter than last. Only about three inches of snow fell overnight, but it had the effect of thoroughly blanketing the landscape—for a time. Because rising temps and afternoon soon took care of much of it by nightfall.
Heard the usual birds, saw a few. Plenty of animal tracks—three or four being coyotes’. Also spotted a couple deer this morning. No elk yet, though. (My first sightings last year were a week or ten days earlier—I looked it up.) We were first up the trail, dog and I, and alone until near the end of our hike.
The only bird species that decided to pose today was Dark-eyed Junco. Snowbirds don’t mind snow.
Grandeur Peak Area List Beginning at 8:39 a.m. (MST), I hiked several hundred feet up a mountain.
1. House Finch** (v) 2. American Robin (v) 3. Woodhouse’s Scrub-jay (v) 4. Northern Flicker 5. Black-capped Chickadee (v) 6. Dark-eyed Junco 7. Spotted Towhee 8. Black-billed Magpie* (v) 9. Rock Pigeon* 10. Lesser Goldfinch (v)
11. Song Sparrow (v) 12. Eurasian Collared-dove
(v) Voice only *Also elsewhere **Voice only elsewhere
A stout warm breeze greeted dog and me when we emerged into this overcast morning. Also plenty of bird life, now that the nip had gone out of the air.
Not many bothered to pose for photos, though. For much of our hike, my ears made most of the IDs. That is, until we started up little Coyote Canyon, when a little gang of Black-capped Chickadees decided to accompany us. One in particular seemed to like the camera. And they always seem so bright and carefree, the chickadees.
In afternoon, around the house and running errands, I added quite a few nice species—American Crow, California Gull, Canada Goose. Place-name species, they were.
Still my thoughts turns back to those early chickadees.
Grandeur Peak Area List Beginning at 9 a.m. (MST), I hiked several hundred feet up a mountain.