23 October 2020

The Unexpected

Tuesday, August 4th, 2020
Ruffed Grouse, East Millcreek, Salt Lake City, Utah, 04 August 2020.
Ruffed Grouse.
Plumbeous Vireo, East Millcreek, Salt Lake City, Utah, 04 August 2020.
Plumbeous Vireo.

This morning was chilly compared to recent mornings. Right away, as dog and I started up the switchback, birds began to make themselves apparent. The usual suspects mostly (albeit not singing so much as they used to), until we got to the shade of Coyote Canyon, when things got exciting.

First were the wing-trills of the Broad-tailed Hummingbirds that’ve been following us up the cool valley there in past days. Soon enough I heard heard a short, sweet, subtle warble, which turned out to be a female grosbeak’s. Then I spied my first Warbling Vireo in a few days, a random Yellow Warbler in the leafy maples, then another bird up there I could not quickly ID—apparently a young bird, being fed by a parent. I got a photo, thought, which revealed it to be a Plumbeous Vireo (only my third-ever glimpse of the species).

The short climb was thrillingly birdy. Then, unexpectedly, I happened to notice two Ruffed Grouse in the thick greenery not six feet off the trail. Possibly a female and a young bird. Also unexpectedly, they did not fly—just stood contemplating me as I snapped photos, then moseyed off into the vegetation.

Grandeur Peak Area List
Beginning at 8 a.m., I hiked a few hundred feet up a mountain.

1. Woodhouse’s Scrub-jay
2. Rock Pigeon*
3. Mourning Dove*
4. American Robin
5. Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
6. House Finch**
7. Black-chinned Hummingbird*
8. Black-capped Chickadee
9. Black-billed Magpie (v)
10. Spotted Towhee
11. Pine Siskin (v)
12. Broad-tailed Hummingbird
13. Warbling Vireo
14. Plumbeous Vireo
15. Yellow Warbler
16. Black-headed Grosbeak
17. Ruffed Grouse
18. Lazuli Bunting
19. Lesser Goldfinch** (v)

Elsewhere

20. California Quail
21. Song Sparrow
22. House Sparrow (v)
23. Northern Flicker (v)
24. Eurasian Collared Dove

Mammals

Red Squirrel
Mountain Cottontail

(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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