28 October 2020

Posts Tagged ‘black-billd magpie’

Diggin’ the Lull

Sunday, September 6th, 2020
Wilson’s Warbler (female/immature), East Millcreek, Salt Lake City, Utah, 06 September 2020.
Wilson’s Warbler (female/immature).
Rufous Hummingbird (immature), East Millcreek, Salt Lake City, Utah, 06 September 2020.
Rufous Hummingbird (imm.).

Dog and I reverted to our usual hiking time this morning, deciding that the cool early shade might deliver as many species as later sunny, buggier conditions—plus, be more pleasant in the current warm, dry conditions. (Those conditions, by the way, are expected to change within a couple days, as a big cold front blows in.)

Still pretty quiet, with little obvious activity—but I dig a birding challenge and so have rather liked this pre-migration lull. Plus, I had a nice surprise bird: a lone female (perhaps immature male) Wilson’s Warbler popped up in shady Coyote Canyon near a pod of chatty chickadees.

And this afternoon at home—like icing on a cake—an immature Rufous Hummingbird made an appearance in the garden.

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

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


15. California Quail
16. Rufous Hummingbird


Rock Squirrel


Side-blotched Lizard

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


Wednesday, May 27th, 2020
Black-throated Gray Warbler, East Millcreek, Salt Lake City, Utah, 27 May 2020.
Black-throated Gray Warbler.

On a mostly overcast morning, dog and I had a very nice hike. Coolish still (but this will change), and no others encountered on our trek up the switchback and around the hillsides.

MacGillivray’s Warbler, East Millcreek, Salt Lake City, Utah, 27 May 2020.
MacGillivray’s Warbler.

The usual suspects, bird-wise—including two resident warblers singing dependably in their preferred locations: MacGillivray’s and black-throated gray. If birding scarcity increases value, warblers are precious here.

Maine’s wood-warblers got me birding in the first place exactly 40 years ago—I couldn’t resist their crazy spring music in the woodlands of northern New England. A couple dozen species pass through Maine during migration. Where I lived, maybe a dozen stick around.

Since I moved to the high desert last summer, I’ve encountered far fewer warbler species. Resident species in my patch number maybe a half-dozen. Still, the two I saw today were enough to whet my warbler whistle.

Later, this warm afternoon, as I worked at my front table, I saw a large, winged shadow pass across the lawn. Peeked out and spied a Red-tailed Hawk soaring in the warm air—and perhaps 1,000 feet above it, two or three paragliders.

Grandeur Peak Area List
Beginning at 7:45 a.m., I hiked several hundred feet up a mountain.

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


19. Eurasian Collared Dove
20. Red-tailed Hawk



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

My Tub Runneth Over

Saturday, May 23rd, 2020
Black-throated Sparrow, East Millcreek, Salt Lake City, Utah, 23 May 2020.
Black-throated Sparrow (a lifer for me).

Light precipitation last night—rain in the neighborhood, snow up on the peaks—so we got a late start, dog and I. The morning was chilly and overcast, and the trails were slick with mud. I had no idea what I’d encounter.

MacGillivray’s Warbler, East Millcreek, Salt Lake City, Utah, 23 May 2020.
MacGillivray’s Warbler.

A lot, turns out. Twenty-five species (actually 26, if you count the unidentified Empidonax), including two lifers. The first—a Black-throated Sparrow—just flitted up out of nowhere, without a sound. Was lucky to get a quick pic or two. The second was near the end of our hike, when another Empidonax popped up to a perch. Got a video of that quiet, nondescript bird, which (lucky for me) was flicking his tail down, then up—a sure sign that it was a Gray Flycatcher.

But the biggest deal for me was that right about the time the sun came out—beating all odds—I somehow managed a good look at the MacGillivray’s Warbler that’d been driving me nuts for the past four or five days.

Beyond all that, other surprise birds appeared—like my first Olive-sided Warbler in Utah, perched very near a random Dark-eyed Junco. Got real wet, slipped in mud a couple times, but felt like I’d just had some kind of serendipitous bath or something.

My tub runneth over.

24 May 2020 update: I’m told my Black-throated Sparrow was just the second reported sighting in Salt Lake County.

Grandeur Peak Area List
Beginning at 8:30 a.m., I hiked a few hundred feet up a mountain.

1. Mourning Dove
2. Black-billed Magpie**
3. California Quail
4. Song Sparrow* (v)
5. Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
6. Black-headed Grosbeak
7. Lazuli Bunting**
8. American Robin* (v)
9. Spotted Towhee
10. Woodhouse’s Scrub-jay
11. Pine Siskin (v)
12. Black-chinned Hummingbird
13. Black-capped Chickadee (v)
14. Black-throated Sparrow†‡
15. Chipping Sparrow
16. House Finch* (v)
17. Warbling Vireo
18. Broad-tailed Hummingbird (wing-trill)
19. Black-throated Gray Warbler (v)
20. MacGillivray’s Warbler
21. Western Tanager
22. Lesser Goldfinch (v)
23. Gray Flycatcher†‡
24. Dark-eyed Junco
25. Olive-sided Flycatcher†


26. Northern Flicker
27. Eurasian Collared Dove



(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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