24 November 2020

Posts Tagged ‘American crow’

Surprise Raptors

Thursday, October 22nd, 2020
American Kestrel, East Millcreek, Salt Lake City, Utah, 23 October 2020.
Kestrel of the mountains.

Right at the beginning of my (truly active) birding hike with dog this morning, I heard the frantic, unmistakable voice of an American Kestrel and looked up to see two of the little falcons wheeling around in the sky above the trailhead. As I angled for an action shot I never got, one of the birds abruptly, veered rapidly away and down to a perch at the tip of a nearby conifer. Auspicious, that.

The next two hours were full of odd and surprising bird visitations. Most were species I’ve been seeing nearly every day, but one stood out: a lone Osprey—first I’ve seen in more year-plus here in Utah—circling high above us. Migrating, I suspect, because there’ll be cooler days ahead.

If the forecasters are typically accurate, in fact, tomorrow morning’s hike will be the nippiest of the season.

Grandeur Peak Area List
Beginning at 8:45 a.m., I hiked a few hundred feet up a mountain.

1. House Finch*
2. American Kestrel
3. Woodhouse’s Scrub-jay**
4. Spotted Towhee
5. Northern Flicker
6. Pine Siskin
7. Juniper Titmouse
8. White-crowned Sparrow
9. Black-capped Chickadee
10. Black-billed Magpie*
11. American Robin
12. Ruby-crowned Kinglet
13. Dark-eyed Junco
14. Osprey
15. Downy Woodpecker
16. Mourning Dove*

Elsewhere

17. Rock Pigeon
18. American crow

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

Dips

Friday, September 18th, 2020
Black-chinned Hummingbird (imm./fem.), East Millcreek, Salt Lake City, Utah, 18 September 2020.
Black-chinned Hummingbird (imm./fem.).

Got a whiff of smoke this morning on my hike with dog. A haze hovered over the basin. The fires in California are alarming, to say the least—as is the local drought. Thought we’d be getting some rain tomorrow, but apparently not. Going on two months without significant rain.

Perhaps that’s why things continue to be quiet up the foothills trails. Mostly the usual suspects this morning, bu also a couple of birds whose calls I didn’t recognize. One in particular—with a semi-harsh, semi-musical chip-note—flitted out of a juniper and showed itself to be warbler-sized with flashes of yellow. Tried to track it down but didn’t see it again. Another little chattery bird, too, I couldn’t sneak up on.

“Dips” in birding lingo usually mean you’ve heard of a rare or interesting sighting and go looking for it but fail to find it—i.e., you “dipped” on the bird. In my mind the same applies in the shorter term: you see or hear something curious but don’t end up getting a good look. Happens a lot.

But also, on occasion, you stumble onto a pretty great sighting without even trying. It all works out in the end, I suppose.

No smoky smell later in the day. I hope at least the West Coast gets a little rain.

Grandeur Peak Area List
Beginning at 8:13 a.m., I hiked a few hundred feet up a mountain.

1. House Finch*
2. Woodhouse’s Scrub-jay
3. Pine Siskin
4. American Robin**
5. Black-chinned Hummingbird
6. Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
7. Spotted Towhee
8. Northern Flicker**
9. Rock Pigeon*
10. Black-capped Chickadee
11. Wood-warbler (sp)
12. Lesser Goldfinch** (v)
13. Black-billed Magpie*
14. Red-tailed Hawk

Elsewhere

15. European Starling
16. American Crow
17. Mourning Dove
18. Song Sparrow

Mammals

Red Squirrel (v)

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

Midday Hike

Thursday, June 11th, 2020
Scrub jay vs gnatcatcher standoff, East Millcreek, Salt Lake City, Utah, 11 June 2020.
Scrub jay vs gnatcatcher standoff.

A lot happening this morning kept me and Jack from hiking until late morning today. It was bright and warm, but I brought water, and we had a pretty nice time of it—despite the fact that I didn’t manage any decent bird photos.

A good part of the time I spent in the shaded valley trail, where the Warbling Vireos live, trying to get a pic of one of three vireos I saw. Trouble is, they were bothered by the presence of a nearby scrub-jay, so they were all noise and flitty motion, and I couldn’t get a fix. At one point they were joined by a gnatcatcher—I’ve seen little gnatcatchers harassing jays a lot lately—but it didn’t stop and pose, either.

Still, as I say, it was a good ’un. You can kinda tell that summer’s only a week or so away.

Grandeur Peak Area List
Beginning at 11:15 a.m., I hiked a few hundred feet up a mountain.

1. Black-billed Magpie*
2. Song Sparrow* (v)
3. House Finch**
4. American Robin*
5. Lesser Goldfinch** (v)
6. Black-headed Grosbeak
7. Lazuli Bunting
8. Black-chinned Hummingbird
9. Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
10. Black-capped Chickadee (v)
11. Woodhouse’s Scrub-jay
12. Spotted Towhee
13. Black-throated Gray Warbler (v)
14. Warbling Vireo
15. Chipping Sparrow
16. California Quail*
17. Orange-crowned Warbler (v)
18. Pine Siskin (v)

Elsewhere

19. Mourning Dove
20. European Starling
21. Rock Pigeon
22. American Crow
23. House Sparrow
24. Barn Swallow
25. Cliff Swallow

Mammals

None

(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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