29 September 2020

Posts Tagged ‘barn swallow’

Four Downys

Monday, September 14th, 2020
Downy Woodpecker (male), East Millcreek, Salt Lake City, Utah, 14 September 2020.
Downy Woodpecker (male).

Weather-wise, a morning much like the last two or three. Bird-wise, rather inauspicious. I did spot a Green-tailed Towhee (first bird of the hike), but otherwise the usual species, dipped on a couple of species, no great photos.

A highlight was the appearance in the burnt patch by a little pack four male Downy Woodpeckers. Not sure I’ve ever seen such a thing before. Cool.

(Meanwhile, though, I’m alarmed by a report of hundreds of thousands of dead birds found in New Mexico and other places in western states. Perhaps the record wildfires forcing too-early migration, perhaps some mysterious other factor. Whatever the cause, it felt like a kick in the gut.)

Grandeur Peak Area List
Beginning at 8:16 a.m., I hiked a few hundred feet up a mountain.

1. Green-tailed Towhee
2. Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
3. Black-capped Chickadee
4. Mourning Dove
5. Woodhouse’s Scrub-jay
6. Black-chinned Hummingbird
7. Spotted Towhee
8. House Finch*
9. Downy Woodpecker
10. American Robin
11. Broad-tailed Hummingbird
12. Pine Siskin (v)
13. Black-billed Magpie** (v)
14. Lesser Goldfinch*
15. Sparrow (sp.)

Elsewhere

16. California Quail
17. Rock Pigeon
18. Barn Swallow

Mammals

Rock Squirrel
Red Squirrel (v)

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

Revelations

Thursday, September 3rd, 2020
Rock Wren, East Millcreek, Salt Lake City, Utah, 03 September 2020.
Rock Wren.

Had errands this morning, so the hike with Jack would be short—and mostly in the mountain shade. Nice and cool, though, and I had hopes of encountering something interesting once the earth spun enough to let the sunlight top the ridge.

Even then, not many species revealed themselves. The usual suspects.

But as we were about to head down the switchback, I though I’d just check the lip of the little quarry, see if anything popped up. And what do you know, something did: A solitary Rock Wren. Posed for photos, too.

Nature’s full of revelations.

Grandeur Peak Area List
Beginning at 8:01 a.m., I hiked a few hundred feet up a mountain.

1. Rock Pigeon*
2. Woodhouse’s Scrub-jay
3. Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
4. Lesser Goldfinch*
5. Spotted Towhee
6. Black-billed Magpie*
7. Downy Woodpecker (v)
8. Black-capped Chickadee
9. Western Tanager (v)
10. Black-chinned Hummingbird
11. Rock Wren
12. Pine Siskin
13. Mourning Dove
14. House Finch*

Elsewhere

15. Eurasian Collared Dove (v)
16. California Quail
17. Barn Swallow

(v) Voice only
*Also elsewhere

IDs

Saturday, August 29th, 2020

During this morning’s hike with dog, as we were up in the junipers near where yesterday’s sharpie appeared, a hummingbird approached us quietly and hovered several feet away. It hung in midair and looked at Jack, then it shifted a bit higher—maybe four feet from my face—and inspected me. Then it lit on a twig about five feet away and posed for photos.

This kind of thing has happened several times along the trails we travel, and always I feel blessed (for both me and Jack).

I felt less blessed later, when trying to ID this young hummer. I had a very near view of the critter, but still the photos I checked online (and comparisons of field marks) didn’t prove especially helpful. I’d assumed it was a Broad-tailed Hummingbird—it was in an area they frequent—but its wings made no sound, and its sides seemed more orange than buff-colored, and its feathers had sort of orangish hue, and I wondered if it were a young Rufous Hummingbird.

I don’t have a lot of experience identifying hummingbirds, and young ones are especially puzzling to me. After nearly an hour struggling to make an ID, I finally settled on broad-tailed. (I’m still not sure.)

Grandeur Peak Area List
Beginning at 7:57 a.m., I hiked a few hundred feet up a mountain.

1. Rock Pigeon*
2. Lesser Goldfinch*
3. Woodhouse’s Scrub-jay**
4. Mourning Dove
5. Red-breasted Nuthatch
6. Black-chinned Hummingbird*
7. Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
8. Red-tailed Hawk
9. Spotted Towhee
10. Black-capped Chickadee**
11. Broad-tailed Hummingbird
12. House Wren†
13. House Finch*
14. Black-billed Magpie*
15. Barn Swallow

Elsewhere

16. Eurasian Collared Dove
17. California Quail
18. Song Sparrow

Mammals

Rock Squirrel

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

†First-of-year bird

 
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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