20 October 2021

Snowbirds

October 15th, 2021
Rock Wren, East Millcreek, Salt Lake City, Utah, 15 October 2021.
Rock Wren.

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

Elsewhere

16. Townsend’s Solitaire
17. Song Sparrow

(v) Voice only
*Also elsewhere
**Voice only elsewhere

Fleeting Snow

October 14th, 2021
Side-yard Song Sparrow, East Millcreek, Salt Lake City, 14 October 2021.
Side-yard Song Sparrow.

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.

Red-tailed Hawk (calling), East Millcreek, Salt Lake City, Utah, 14 October 2021.
Red-tailed Hawk (calling).

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

Elsewhere

11. Black-billed Magpie
12. Sharp-shinned Hawk
13. Red-tailed Hawk

(v) Voice only
*Also elsewhere
**Voice only elsewhere

Clarity

October 13th, 2021
Cooper’s Hawk (adult fem.), East Millcreek, Salt Lake City, Utah, 13 October 2021.
Cooper’s Hawk (adult fem.).

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.

1. Woodhouse’s Scrub-jay
2. House Finch**
3. Ruby-crowned Kinglet
4. Yellow-rumped Warbler
5. Dark-eyed Junco
6. Rock Pigeon*
7. Red-tailed Hawk
8. Spotted Towhee
9. Townsend’s Solitaire
10. Northern Flicker*
11. Cooper’s Hawk
12. Chipping Sparrow
13. White-crowned Sparrow
14. Black-capped Chickadee
15. Black-billed Magpie* (v)
16. Pine Siskin

Elsewhere

17. Lesser Goldfinch (v)
18. California Gull

Mammals

Red Squirrel

(v) Voice only
*Also elsewhere
**Voice only elsewhere

 
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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