8 August 2020

Posts Tagged ‘dark-eyed junco’

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

Auspicious Day

Monday, April 27th, 2020
Black-throated Gray Warbler, East Millcreek, Salt Lake City, Utah, 27 April 2020.
Black-throated Gray Warbler (a lifer for me).

An auspicious hike this morning. And mark down 27 April as the date that spring migration begins here in the Wasatch (this year, at least).

Waves of migrants began to stream through as soon as the sun topped the mountains. Three first-of-year species—including Lazuli Bunting (several), Blue-gray Gnatcatchers (several), and Black-throated Gray Warbler (several).

That last species was a lifer for me. As might’ve been another warbler whose voice I didn’t recognize (but I didn’t get a look at).

We tried a new trail, Jack my dog and I. It was a good one. A good increase in altitude, easy underfoot, under a canopy of high desert woodland. I predict we’ll be spending a lot of time on this particular new trail.

Grandeur Peak Area List
Beginning at 8:00 a.m., I hiked some 1,200 feet up a mountain.

1. Song Sparrow** (v)
2. American Robin*
3. Black-billed Magpie*
4. Sharp-shinned Hawk
5. Spotted Towhee
6. Woodhouse’s Scrub-jay
7. House Finch**
8. Black-capped Chickadee**
9. California Quail* (v)
10. Chipping Sparrow
11. Lazuli Bunting†
12. Orange-crowned Warbler
13. Cooper’s Hawk (v)
14. Black-throated Gray Warbler†‡
15. Dark-eyed Junco
16. Red-breasted Nuthatch (v)
17. Pine Siskin (v)
18. Blue-gray Gnatcatcher†
19. Lesser Goldfinch (v)


20. European Starling (v)
21. House Sparrow (v)


Mule Deer

(v) Voice only
*Also elsewhere

**Voice only elsewhere
†First-of-year bird

Dog Walk

Saturday, April 25th, 2020
Chipping Sparrow, East Millcreek, Salt Lake City, Utah, 25 April 2020.
Chipping Sparrow.

It took about two hours, covered nearly three miles—but today’s hike was a stroll in the park compared to yesterday’s feat of endurance. Chased down a Chipping Sparrow, missed a good shot at a solitaire and some chickadees, sashayed along some old familiar trails.

Call it a really nice walk with my dog.

Grandeur Peak Area List
Beginning at 8:00 a.m., I hiked several hundred feet up a mountain.

1. American Robin*
2. Spotted Towhee
3. Black-billed Magpie*
4. House Finch**
5. Woodhouse’s Scrub-jay
6. Black-capped Chickadee
7. Pine Siskin (v)
8. Townsend’s Solitaire
9. Dark-eyed Junco
10. Chipping Sparrow
11. Song Sparrow** (v)
12. California Quail*


13. Eurasian Collared Dove (v)
14. European Starling
15. House Sparrow (v)


Mule Deer

(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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