25 May 2020 Rockport, Maine, USA 

Treading Lightly

Friday, May 15th, 2020
Gnatcatcher on the nest, East Millcreek, Salt Lake City, Utah, 15 May 2020.
Gnatcatcher on the nest.

This morning’s hike with dog, under overcast skies, had a particularly thrilling moment for me: when I discovered the gnatcatcher’s nest unabandoned.

Black-headed Grosbeak, East Millcreek, Salt Lake City, Utah, 15 May 2020.
Black-headed Grosbeak.

I’d found the tiny nest a week or so ago, and for a few days saw (and heard) the birds that built it so carefully—albeit right above a fairly busy tail—tending to and guarding it. Then, a few days ago, nothing. I’d assumed they’d decided having humans pass regularly beneath the nest was unacceptable, and had moved on.

Not so. Because there—still and alert, tail raised high—sat what I assume was the female, warming her eggs.

And henceforth—in some illogical attempt to counterbalance the effects of hard-breathing runners, loud talkers, and over-active dogs—Jack and I will tread even more lightly when passing that particular stretch of trail.

Grandeur Peak Area List
Beginning at 7:45 a.m., I hiked a few hundred feet up a mountain.

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


21. Eurasian Collared Dove
22. European Starling
23. Rock Pigeon
24. House Sparrow
25. Lesser Goldfinch


Mule Deer
Small rodent (sp)

(v) Voice only
*Also elsewhere

**Voice only elsewhere

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Bird Report is an intermittent record of what's outside my window in Rockport, Maine, USA (44°08'N latitude, 69°06'W longitude), and vicinity. —Brian Willson

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