A gray, warmish, muddy, springlike day. Got to the trailhead at late morning under a mostly overcast sky. Saw elk, deer, dogs, and humans—and ten bird species.
Two of the species were towhee and junco. These two bring me back more than fifty years, to when I was in junior high school in North Carolina. My mother kept a backyard feeder back then, and I remember her being impressed one day by two new birds that had come by. She must’ve looked them up in a book. Towhee and junco. I remember thinking what curious bird names those were.
That former was an Eastern Towhee, of course, and the one I saw today was a spotted Towhee. But they’re very much alike, as are all the assorted races of Dark-eyed Junco that inhabit North America.
Still and all I remember my mom’s muted excitement at identifying those two new birds. Likely she had a lot to do with my being a birder.
Grandeur Peak Area List Beginning at 11:15 a.m. (DST), I hiked a few hundred feet up the mountain.