26 February 2021

Chukars

Monday, February 22nd, 2021
Chukar in the snow, East Millcreek, Salt Lake City, Utah, 22 February 2021.
Chukar in the snow.

Aside from a friendly trail runner whom we see frequently (albeit briefly), Jack and I were alone with the wildlife this morning. And what wildlife there was.

Townsend’s Solitaire, East Millcreek, Salt Lake City, Utah, 22 February 2021.
Townsend’s Solitaire.

Two solitaires, two cottontails, plenty of corvids acting up, two squirrel species, deer. But the funnest part of the hike (which I missed on video, since I’d forgotten to change my GoPro battery after getting distracted by the second solitaire) were the Chukars.

I heard them first, as is nearly always the case. Sounded like one or two, up toward the ridge. Scanned the outcrops, which I’ve learned they like to call from, but they were awful far away. Crazily, excitingly, once we reached the deer trail, I spotted one. Perhaps the sole calling bird. Then about a half dozen of them swept by as I was watching the first bird.

Saw another, possibly a third. Then a flock of more than 20 rose and flew quickly overhead, southbound, and as they did I could hear the buzzy sweep of their wings.

After the flock disappeared, I heard a Chukar still calling up by the ridge.

Grandeur Peak Area List
Beginning at 8:41 a.m. (MST), I hiked several hundred feet up a mountain.

1. House Finch*
2. Black-capped Chickadee
3. Black-billed Magpie**
4. Woodhouse’s Scrub-jay
5. Townsend’s Solitaire
6. Northern Flicker
7. Juniper Titmouse (v)
8. Chukar
9. Spotted Towhee**
10. Rock Pigeon*
11. Lesser Goldfinch (v)
12. Dark-eyed Junco

Elsewhere

13. American Robin
14. European Starling
15. California Gull
16. Song Sparrow (v)

Mammals

Red Squirrel (v)
Mountain Cottontail
Mule Deer
Rock Squirrel

(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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