25 July 2021

Posts Tagged ‘Caliornia quail’


Tuesday, July 20th, 2021
Cooper’s Hawk, East Millcreek, Salt Lake City, Utah, 20 July 2021.
Somebody’s watching me.

A week or so ago, I thought the Cooper’s Hawks might’ve flown the nest—or perhaps, thanks to the record drought, the nest might’ve failed. But yesterday I heard two youngsters and an adult in the nest area. And again today: the voices of two juvies and an adult.

Then one of them—adult male, I’m pretty sure—left the trees in a riot of calls and perched in a maple not far away. And stared.

I’m a long-time vegetarian (vegan, in fact), but I’m delighted to know the local accipiters are fit to survive. We’re fellow animals, after all—the hawks, my dog, and me. All part of Nature’s miraculous web of life.

And we’d all of us appreciate a little rain.

Grandeur Peak Area List
Beginning at 6:56 a.m. (7:56 MDT), I hiked a few hundred feet up a mountain.

1. Black-capped Chickadee (v)
2. House Finch**
3. Woodhouse’s Scrub-jay*
4. Mourning Dove
3. Lazuli Bunting
6. California Quail* (v)
7. Lesser Goldfinch** (v)
8. Black-chinned Hummingbird
9. Red-tailed Hawk
10. Spotted Towhee (v)
11. Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
12. Cooper’s Hawk
13. Pine Siskin (v)


14. Rock Pigeon
15. House Sparrow
16. Black-billed Magpie


Red Squirrel
Mountain Cottontail
Rock Squirrel

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

Rattlesnake Day

Friday, June 4th, 2021
Scales of Great Basin Rattlesnake, East Millcreek, Salt Lake City, Utah, 04 June 2021.
Scales of Great Basin Rattlesnake.

My theory is unseasonably hot temperatures brought them out of their dens early. And the temperature did peak at 99° (F) this afternoon. But for whatever reason, after more than 600 near-daily hikes up in the Wasatch foothill, this morning dog and I encountered our first Utah rattlesnakes.

Yep, plural.

The first encounter came along a deer trail we take fairly often, as I was investigating what sounded like the song of a tanager. [Aside: I believe it was a tanager, but I’m unsure enough that I don’t officially list it here.] Said aloud to Jack: “Gotta watch for snakes!” And maybe a half-minute later, a couple steps after I’d photographed a dragonfly, the loud, clear rattle came bursting from a patch of trailside foliage about six feet in front of us.

Because of the possibility of rattlers, when the weather gets this warm, I lead the way, with Jack following. At the sound of the rattling, I froze. But Jack (who doesn’t hear so well anymore) caught up and was about to pass me, when I reached and managed to catch his collar and lead him away from the four-foot, ready-to-strike snake, which was mostly hidden from view. It stayed long enough for me to did get a pic of its scales, then slithered off into the undergrowth.

Perhaps 45 minutes or an hour later, as we were returning down a narrow trail we take daily, another rattle erupted from a crevice in a tumble of stones. Never saw that snake, but it convinced us to backtrack and find another route.

Oh, yeah: Pretty good birds today, too.

Grandeur Peak Area List
Beginning at 7:02 a.m. (8:02 MDT), I hiked a few hundred feet up a mountain.

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


19. Eurasian Collared-dove
20. European Starling


Rock Squirrel


Great Basin Rattlesnake

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


Tuesday, April 27th, 2021
Dark-eyed Junco, East Millcreek, Salt Lake City, Utah, 27 April 2021.
Dark-eyed Junco.

Still snow on the ground from yesterday. Mud on the trails. Chilly, but the sky’e begun to clear. Right away the birds began to announce themselves. Prevailing winds were north-northwesterly, not conducive to easy overnight migration, but there appeared a nice assortment. Also a cottontail.

In a trip to town, a Sharp-shinned Hawk caused the pigeons to skedaddle. Thought I heard another yellow-rump chip, but did not get a look.

Clearer weather on the way, and warmer temps. Anticipation.

Grandeur Peak Area List
Beginning at 7:30 a.m. (8:30 MDT), I hiked a few hundred feet up a mountain.

1. House Finch**
2. Dark-eyed Junco
3. Townsend’s Solitaire
4. Spotted Towhee**
5. American Robin*
6. Black-capped chickadee**
7. Song Sparrow** (v)
8. Woodhouse’s Scrub-jay
9. Rock Pigeon*
10. Lesser Goldfinch (v)
11. Broad-tailed Hummingbird (wing-trill)
12. Cooper’s Hawk
13. Northern Flicker (v)
14. Chipping Sparrow (v)


15. Black-billed Magpie
16. European Starling
17. Sharp-shinned Hawk
18. Eurasian Collared-dove
19. Mourning Dove
20. California Quail (v)


Mountain Cottontail

(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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