28 February 2024

The Unexpected

Monday, August 30th, 2021
Nashville Warbler, East Millcreek, Salt Lake City, Utah, 30 August 2021.
Nashville Warbler.

The first bird I heard this morning was a Northern Flicker. First flicker for months, I’d say. Unexpected.

Before long, I spied a quiet bird in a scrub oak: a Rock Wren. First of that species I’ve ever seen that wasn’t perched on a rock. Coincidentally, the next new species I saw was a House Wren. (So few wrens around here, I thought for a while it was the other wren following dog and me around.) Talk about unexpected.

Some time later, I spied a tiny batch of warblers following a vocal pod of chickadees (as warblers are wont to do when roaming). I assumed the first I took a photo of was a Virginia’s Warbler. Only when I looked at the photos later did I notice it was a Nashville Warbler—first in Utah. (At least I assume they have a full yellow belly here as they do back East.) Did not expect that.

Fact is, it was so quiet to start this morning that I sure didn’t expect my species list to reach 15.

Grandeur Peak Area List
At 7:06 a.m. (8:06 MDT), I hiked a few hundred feet up a mountain.

1. Northern Flicker (v)
2. House Finch*
3. Woodhouse’s Scrub-jay
4. Rock Pigeon
5. Eurasian Collared-dove*
6. Red-tailed Hawk
7. Black-chinned Hummingbird
8. Spotted Towhee
9. Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
10. Rock Wren
11. House Wren
12. Black-capped Chickadee
13. Nashville Warbler
14. Orange-crowned Warbler
15. American Goldfinch (v)


16. Black-billed Magpie
17. Lesser Goldfinch


Red Squirrel

(v) Voice only
*Also 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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