30 November 2022

Archive for May, 2021

Warbler Chase

Friday, May 28th, 2021
Black-throated Gray Warbler, East Millcreek, Salt Lake City, Utah, 29 May 2021.
Black-throated Gray Warbler.

On my morning hike with dog this day I heard, at a distance, a warbler’s song I’d never heard before. I felt sure it was a warbler from my years of listening to birds of all kinds: Warblers make sounds from a certain set that other birds don’t seem to have access to. This one sang a series of individual buzzy notes varying in number by one or two. I wondered what its name was.

As we headed down a deer trail in the general direction of the song, it began to fade as the bird moved quickly away and up Coyote Canyon. I figured I’d missed my chance. But up the canyon a ways, I heard again this distinctive song, much nearer, and began to track its source. Took a while, but I finally found it: a Black-throated Gray Warbler.

I’ve heard the voices of many black-throated grays, and all but one sang quite similar buzzy songs—much unlike this bird. (The outlier sang a different, buzzy jumble of notes whose order I can’t remember.) In fact, while chasing the singer of today’s mystery song, I even wondered aloud at one point: “Could it be a black-throated gray?”

But despite the fact that I’d seen the bird—that it wasn’t some strange new species—it was a thrill to add a new bit of information to my meager knowledge of the wondrous Great Outdoors.

Grandeur Peak Area List
Beginning at 7:28 a.m. (8:28 MDT), I hiked a few hundred feet up a mountain.

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

Elsewhere

22. European Starling
23. Eurasian Collared-dove

Mammals

Rock Squirrel

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

Raptors

Thursday, May 27th, 2021
Red-tailed Hawk, East Millcreek, Salt Lake City, Utah, 26 May, 2021.
Red-tailed Hawk.

Cool in the morning, warm in the afternoon. We hiked in morning under a cloudless sky, dog and I, and the sun warmed us up nicely. Few other humans or dogs, but quite a few good birds—e.g., a female Western Tanager.

But most noteworthy might’ve been three raptors: one of the resident Cooper’s Hawks, a pair of Golden Eagles perched high on the ridge (first eagles in a while), and, on our return, a lone soaring Red-Tailed Hawk.

(Lots of little hummingbirds, too.)

Grandeur Peak Area List
Beginning at 7:28 a.m. (8:28 MDT), I hiked a few hundred feet up a mountain.

1. Black-headed Grosbeak (v)
2. Lazuli Bunting
3. Black-capped Chickadee
4. Spotted Towhee
5. Black-chinned Hummingbird
6. Pine Siskin (v)
7. Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
8. House Finch*
9. Western Tanager
10. Chipping Sparrow
11. Black-billed Magpie*
12. Downy Woodpecker
13. Orange-crowned Warbler (v)
14. Mourning Dove
15. Turkey Vulture
16. Warbling Vireo
17. California Quail* (v)
18. Virginia’s Warbler (v)
19. Black-throated Gray Warbler (v)
20. Cooper’s Hawk
21. Golden Eagle
22. Song Sparrow**
23. Red-tailed Hawk

Elsewhere

24. House Sparrow
25. European Starling
26. Eurasian Collared-dove

Mammals

Rock Squirrel
Mountain Cottontail

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

Kestrel

Wednesday, May 26th, 2021
American Kestrel, East Millcreek, Salt Lake City, Utah, 26 May 2021.
American Kestrel.

Cool, fair, little breeze, little birds all over the place. Had fun seeking out a few of the usual hard-to-catch suspects. But today’s first-of-year species was an American Kestrel. Just happened to spot it circling high above us.

Probably had a few better photos, but for some reason this one somehow typifies the fun dog and I had up the mountain this morning.

Grandeur Peak Area List
Beginning at 7:52 a.m. (8:52 MDT), I hiked a few hundred feet up a mountain.

1. Lazuli Bunting
2. Black-headed Grosbeak
3. House Finch**
4. Spotted Towhee
5. Black-chinned Hummingbird
6. American Robin* (v)
7. Lesser Goldfinch** (v)
8. Black-capped Chickadee (v)
9. Pine Siskin
10. Chipping Sparrow
11. Black-billed Magpie*
12. Woodhouse’s Scrub-jay
13. Red-tailed Hawk*
14. Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
15. Rock Pigeon
16. Warbling Vireo (v)
17. Orange-crowned Warbler
18. American Kestrel†

Elsewhere

19. Song Sparrow
20. European Starling
21. Eurasian Collared-dove
22. House Sparrow
23. California Quail (v)

Mammals

Red Squirrel
Rock Squirrel

(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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