25 July 2021

Archive for July, 2021

Singers

Friday, July 23rd, 2021
Spotted Towhee (singing), East Millcreek, Salt Lake City, Utah, 23 July 2021.
Spotted Towhee (singing).

Enjoyed yet another hike with dog this morning—albeit the most muggy one I can recall. Last evening’s rain had soaked in and/or dried up overnight, but the atmosphere held traces of the rare, welcome wetness. Didn’t at all mind the sweat it drew from my pores.

Not a lot of bird action—mostly because fewer birds are vocalizing. Yep, it’s that time of year: having left the nest, youngsters must be fed and kept track of; hawks (and dogs and humans) are about; the territorial imperative is less important than simply finding food and surviving. No need to make a lot of noise.

I heard only three singing towhees, and maybe four singing buntings. (Compare that to spring!) Counted only six of each species. Before long, both will have abandoned their songs entirely, resorting only to subtle chips and chatters.

Still, the singers will be back next April and May.

Grandeur Peak Area List
Beginning at 6:55 a.m. (7:55 MDT), I hiked a few hundred feet up a mountain.

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

Elsewhere

14. Eurasian Collared-dove
15. House Sparrow (v)
16. California Quail

Mammals

Rock Squirrel
Red Squirrel

Surprises

Thursday, July 22nd, 2021
Black-headed Grosbeak, East Millcreek, Salt Lake City, Utah, 22 July 2021.
Black-headed Grosbeak.

Ever day while out hiking, we encounter at least a few surprises, dog and I. This morning—in a warm, dry (mostly) overcast—we encountered several:

• a random Red-tailed Hawk soaring over the elementary school below us;
• a random grosbeak flitting up to an exposes perch between us and the hawk;
• several sildent buntings popping up, males and females and juvies;
• three towhees only, and identified only by their voices;
• a surprise tanager (young male) appearing in a tree in front of us;
• the surprising discovery, when he turned his head, that the tanager had only one eye;
• the surprise appearance of a motionless gopher snake stretched out right next to the trail on our return.

I’m sure there were more, but those are the ones that stand out as I write on the evening of this day—after a surprise late-afternoon thundershower showed up and soaked our thirsty landscape.

Grandeur Peak Area List
Beginning at 6:42 a.m. (7:42 MDT), I hiked a few hundred feet up a mountain.

1. American Robin*
2. Rock Pigeon*
3. Mourning Dove
4. Woodhouse’s Scrub-jay
5. Black-capped Chickadee
6. Lazuli Bunting
7. Black-chinned Hummingbird*
8. Black-billed Magpie*
9. Black-headed Grosbeak
10. House Finch**
11. Red-tailed Hawk
12. Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
13. Spotted Towhee
14. Lesser Goldfinch**
15. Western Tanager

Elsewhere

16. House Sparrow
17. California Quail

Mammals

Rock Squirrel

Reptiles

Great Basin Gopher Snake

Rainless

Wednesday, July 21st, 2021
Mourning Dove, East Millcreek, Salt Lake City, Utah, 21 July 2021.
Mourning Dove.

When Jack and I hit the trail this morning, I saw faint curtains streaming from the clouds in the sky and thought, rain. And maybe a little rain did fall out there in the basin under those faint curtains, but none fell on me and my dog.

We had a good hike, though—17 species, most in a while. Got a glimpse of a tanager and three Black-throated Gray Warblers and another coop. Back home in hot, sunny afternoon, a monarch in the garden.

My first rainless experience. Kinda makes you think and wish and hope.

Grandeur Peak Area List
Beginning at 6:55 a.m. (7:55 MDT), I hiked a few hundred feet up a mountain.

1. Black-capped Chickadee (v)
2. Lazuli Bunting
3. House Finch*
4. Woodhouse’s Scrub-jay*
5. Black-chinned Hummingbird
6. Cooper’s Hawk
7. Mourning Dove*
8. Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
9. Black-billed Magpie**
10. Rock Pigeon
11. American Robin*
12. Western Tanager
13. Lesser Goldfinch
14. Spotted Towhee (v)
15. Warbling Vireo (v)
16. Pine Siskin
17. Black-throated Gray Warbler

Elsewhere

18. Eurasian Collared-dove
19. House Sparrow (v)
20. California Quail

Mammals

Mountain Cottontail
Rock Squirrel

 
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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