And I don’t mean just juncos (although there were a bunch of those). Today’s nippy. cloudless hike with Captain Jack was a fun one. A cold-and-snowy snap combined with a dwindling photoperiod has kept the migrants moving right along.
Scores of robins today, plus the usual ’rumps, kinglets, and the aforementioned juncos. But also a young sharpy and—last but not least—a solitary Rock Wren. Pretty sure it’s the first of the species I’ve ever seen surrounded by (semi-fresh) snow.
I kinda wish every morning could be like this one. (Not really, but what an inspiration.)
Grandeur Peak Area List At 8:06 a.m. (9:06 MDT), I hiked a few hundred feet up a mountain.
1. American Robin 2. House Finch** 3. Woodhouse’s Scrub-jay (v) 4. Yellow-rumped Warbler 5. Rock Pigeon* 6. Pine Siskin 7. Sharp-shinned Hawk 8. Northern Flicker 9. Lesser Goldfinch (v) 10. Black-billed Magpie* 11. Black-capped Chickadee 12. Ruby-crowned Kinglet 13. White-crowned Sparrow 14. Dark-eyed Junco 15. Rock Wren
16. Townsend’s Solitaire 17. Song Sparrow
(v) Voice only *Also elsewhere **Voice only elsewhere
Awoke to the promise of wet, lightly falling snow—a promise soon kept. Dog and I encountered footprints on the trail but no human or dog or cottontail. However, we did encounter several bird species, including big bunches of robins and yellow-rumps.
What with all those snowflakes in the way, I didn’t expect to end up with any great photos, but was surprised. Still, my favorites came in afternoon, after much of the snow had melted. Thought about leading with the (calling) Red-tailed Hawk—but settled on a portrait of the resident Song Sparrow.
(Hadn’t had pic of the sparrow in a good while.)
Grandeur Peak Area List At 8:03 a.m. (9:03 MDT), I hiked a few hundred feet up a mountain.
1. Spotted Towhee** (v) 2. Woodhouse’s Scrub-jay** (v) 3. House Finch (v) 4. Black-capped Chickadee (v) 5. Yellow-rumped Warbler 6. Rock Pigeon* 7. Pine Siskin 8. White-crowned Sparrow 9. Dark-eyed Junco (v) 10. American Robin
Snowed a tiny bit overnight, and the temperature still hovered right about freezing when dog and I headed up the trail. Nearly cloudless sky, though, so—once the sun topped the ridge—melting commenced.
Meanwhile, we encountered a bunch more migrants, no doubt spurred on by the extra chill.
Many yellow-rumps, quite a few kinglets, a little gang of sparrows, surprisingly few juncos, and a solitary Cooper’s Hawk. (Also a solitaire Townsend’s Solitaire, which was fun to see.)
Sky, chill, migrants—ah, the clarity of a season’s change.
Grandeur Peak Area List At 8:58 a.m. (9:58 MDT), I hiked a few hundred feet up a mountain.