4 August 2020 Rockport, Maine, USA 

Posts Tagged ‘black-billed magpie’

Banded Pigeon

Sunday, August 2nd, 2020
Rock Pigeon, East Millcreek, Salt Lake City, Utah, 02 August 2020.
Rock Pigeon.

I see more doves and pigeons here than I ever did in Maine. For one thing, there’s an extra species (Eurasian Collared Dove); for another, the pigeons here come in flocks of a hundred or more—at this time of year, at least, when they swoop and veer in huge numbers up and around the foothill canyons.

Alhough I rarely get an up-close look at them, today dog and I encountered a solitary bird perched on a rocky overlook. We stopped. It stayed, I approached nearer. It stayed. I got near enough for close-up photos, and the pigeon didn’t move. Then I noticed the blue band around it’s leg.

Not the first banded pigeon I’ve seen here, turns out. I got nothing against pigeons, though. In fact, I rather like ’em.

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

1. Woodhouse’s Scrub-jay (v)
2. Mourning Dove*
3. American Robin
4. Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
5. House Finch**
6. Rock Pigeon*
7. Spotted Towhee
8. Black-chinned Hummingbird
9. Lazuli Bunting
10. Black-headed Grosbeak
11. Black-capped Chickadee
12. Pine Siskin (v)
13. Broad-tailed Hummingbird
14. Warbling Vireo
15. Black-throated Gray Warbler
16. Virginia’s Warbler
17. Cooper’s Hawk (v)
18. Northern Flicker


19. Lesser Goldfinch
20. Black-billed Magpie


Mountain Cottontail

(v) Voice only
*Also elsewhere

**Voice only elsewhere

Patch Birding

Saturday, August 1st, 2020
Virginia’s Warbler, East Millcreek, Salt Lake City, Utah, 01 August 2020.
Virginia’s Warbler.

I’ll admit it: I’m a patch birder. For about a decade or so I’ve regularly birded one patch or other (with a rare—and delightful—excursion to Monhegan Island, one of my favorite places on the planet). Sure, patch birders might miss out on variety, rare vagrants, long life lists. But if you really want to get to know a place, it helps to get to know individual birds when they return to their particular trees each spring.

Broad-tailed Hummingbird (male), East Millcreek, Salt Lake City, Utah, 01 August 2020.
Broad-tailed Hummingbird (male).

I’m also an ear birder—that is, my very first true birding experiences involved chasing down songs until I found the birds that made ’em. (Fortunately, my ears remain more sensitive than my eyes even.)

In this new (well, almost year-old) Utah patch, I’ve gotten to know a bunch of new species, individual members of those species, their voices, their habits, their subtler sounds. Take, for instance, the Black-throated Green Warbler. Just today I confirmed that I can ID that species by its chip note. Tell you the truth, it feels kind of like a superpower.

Also today, I heard a chip note I had not yet learned. It sounded to me like a warbler’s, but it wasn’t a dry note (like the black-throated gray’s)—it had a touch of music to it. A tiny sweet tone. And then I spied the bird.

My next challenge is to be able to ID a Virginia’s Warbler by its chip. We shall see.

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

1. Rock Pigeon*
2. Lazuli Bunting
3. Mourning Dove
4. House Finch*
5. Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
6. Brewer’s Sparrow
7. Spotted Towhee
8. American Robin**
9. Black-capped Chickadee (v)
10. Black-chinned Hummingbird
11. Broad-tailed Hummingbird
12. Cooper’s Hawk
13. Virginia’s Warbler
14. Woodhouse’s Scrub-jay (v)
15. Black-throated Gray Warbler
16. Pine Siskin (v)
17. Barn Swallow


18. Black-billed Magpie (v)

(v) Voice only
*Also elsewhere

**Voice only elsewhere

Quietude, Part 2

Thursday, July 30th, 2020
Woodhouse’s Scrub-jay, East Millcreek, Salt Lake City, Utah, 30 July 2020.
Woodhouse’s Scrub-jay.

Even quieter this morning. Warmer, breezier, and quieter. Took longer to count more than a handful of species—and the numbers didn’t come until the sun topped the ridge.

Fewer individual birds than yesterday, but lots of juvies still. Saw a warbler I couldn’t ID before it flew. [I think it might’ve been an orange-crowned.] Lots of buntings and towhees still—but few singing.

Nothing rare or thrilling maybe, but Captain Jack and I loved it anyway. Plus, I got a portrait of a scrub-jay.

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

1. Rock Pigeon*
2. Woodhouse’s Scrub-jay
3. Black-capped Chickadee**
4. Mourning Dove
5. House Finch**
6. Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
7. Black-chinned Hummingbird
8. Spotted Towhee
9. Lazuli Bunting
10. American Robin
11. Warbler (sp.)
12. Pine Siskin (v)
13. Lesser Goldfinch**


14. Black-billed Magpie
15. Eurasian Collared Dove
16. House Sparrow

(v) Voice only
*Also elsewhere

**Voice only elsewhere

Bird Report is an intermittent record of what's outside my window in Rockport, Maine, USA (44°08'N latitude, 69°06'W longitude), and vicinity. —Brian Willson

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