24 June 2024

Leap Year Deer

Saturday, February 29th, 2020
Gang of mule deer, East Millcreek, Salt Lake City, Utah, 29 February 2020.
Gang of mule deer.

This morning was overcast and warm. Like close to 50° (F) warm. The switchback was slippery as f, but neither dog or I fell down. Few birds of note—but plenty of cervids.

First I spied a herd of elk lounging around the bowl above the rim trail. Soon after, I spied a couple tiny humans and dogs hiking waaay up the mountain above the elk. And on our return trip I noticed that the elk had apparently also caught sight of these interlopers (as they descended) and got antsy. The herd turned and hurried back into the bowl—all but two animals, which dashed down the ridge across the gulch from us.

Next thing I know, a gang of about a dozen mule deer appeared on that same ridge, unsure of where to go. Perhaps the interlopers had moved away—but for whatever reason, the deer turned their attention (and ears) in our direction.

I love the photo they gave me.

Grandeur Peak Area List
Beginning at 9:45 a.m., I hiked a few hundred feet up the mountain.

1. Black-billed Magpie*
2. House Finch* (v)
3. Dark-eyed Junco*
4. American Robin** (v)
5. Black-capped Chickadee**
6. Woodhouse’s Scrub-jay*
7. Golden Eagle


8. Song Sparrow (v)
9. European Starling


Rocky Mountain Elk
Mule Deer

(v) Voice only
*Also elsewhere

**Voice only elsewhere

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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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