2 July 2020 Rockport, Maine, USA 

Posts Tagged ‘common raven’

Slow Turn

Friday, June 26th, 2020
Chipping Sparrow, East Millcreek, Salt Lake City, Utah, 26 June 2020.
Chipping Sparrow.

Around the solstices, the changes in the lengths of days slows, like the far points of a swinging pendulum. At the equinoxes, the photoperiod increases or lessens swiftly. These early summer days can seem much the same, one after another—but for birds, the opposite is the case.

Now’s the time of nestlings and fledglings and hiding and growing and putting on weight and storing energy. Migration’s not all that far away.

Today, dog and I got scolded by multiple species (most of which were out of sight) for getting too near the young ’uns. Buntings, chippies, vireos, hummingbirds—and gnatcatchers. Especially gnatcatchers.

At the end of our hike, we surprised a mama quail with itty bitty babies that’d hatched not many hours before—iny little peeping that things could scramble away in the understory.

A lot of things happen in a hurry during this slow solstitical turn.

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

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


17. Eurasian Collared Dove
18. Mourning Dove


Rock Squirrel

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

Empty Nest

Sunday, June 14th, 2020
Empty Black-headed Grosbeak nest, East Millcreek, Salt Lake City, Utah, 14 June 2020.
Empty Black-headed Grosbeak nest.

The grosbeak nest has failed.

I worried a bit yesterday when I encountered the male uphill from the nest a bit, very near the trail, emitting a sharp alarm chip. When I then checked the nest, the baby birds were still there, at least three fuzzy heads bobbing—but it was the first time I hadn’t seen a parent with them. Wondered what had spooked the dad, or where the mom got off to. Didn’t worry, too much, though.

Turned out I had good reason.

I suspect the resident magpie family got the nestlings. A good while ago, the magpie pair fledged a brood of big, loud, healthy youngsters. Their nest was just up the slope from the grosbeaks’. Perhaps something happened to the female, which left the male as the only parent to fend for the youngsters.

An empty nest is a sad thing.

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

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


20. Rock Pigeon
21. Song Sparrow (v)


Rock Squirrel

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

Windy, Dry

Saturday, June 13th, 2020
Black-headed Grosbeak (male), East Millcreek, Salt Lake City, Utah, 13 June 2020.
Black-headed Grosbeak.

Got up the hill early this morning, figuring midday would be a mite warm. But I’d taken about a half-dozen photos, my camera stopped working—the zoom went haywire, and the shutter wouldn’t release. So I dashed back home for my ancient Canon superzoom (two models ago) and returned to the trailhead.

Turns out the trusty, rusty camera still has chops. Sure the lens is scratched, and the zoom makes a screeching sound, and the fastest it’ll take photos is about one per second—but hey.

It was a windy one. Possibly the windiest Utah day I’ve experienced. Also dry enough to warrant a Red Flag alert. But dog and I managed to do the Millcreek ridge circuit and return none the worst for wear.

P.S. I packed up my busted camera and shipped it to be fixed.

Grandeur Peak Area List
Beginning at 8:45 a.m., I hiked some 1,500 feet up a mountain.

1. Lazuli Bunting
2. California Quail* (v)
3. Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
4. Black-billed Magpie* (v)
5. Black-headed Grosbeak
6. Black-chinned Hummingbird
7. Rock Pigeon*
8. Pine Siskin (v)
9. Woodhouse’s Scrub-jay
10. Spotted Towhee
11. Turkey Vulture
12. Mourning Dove
13. Red-tailed Hawk
14. House Finch**
15. Common Raven
16. Virginia’s Warbler (v)
17. Warbling Vireo (v)
18. Chipping Sparrow (v)
19. Orange-crowned Warbler (v)
20. American Robin*


21. Eurasian Collared Dove
22. House Sparrow
23. Lesser Goldfinch
24. Song Sparrow (v)



(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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