25 January 2021

Posts Tagged ‘Eurasian collared dove’

Last Bird

Friday, January 22nd, 2021
American Kestrel, East Millcreek, Salt Lake City, Utah, 22 January 2021.
American Kestrel.

This day dawned warm (mid- to upper-30s (F)) and mostly overcast. My morning hike brought not many species, but pretty good numbers.

Birds were hopping back at home, though: I had as many species within ear- and eyeshot of my door. Sparrows, robin, chickadee (a species I did not have up the mountain trails)—and, last bird of the day, an American Kestrel, perched on a street light post overlooking the highway, with the city view behind him.

Thanks, kestrel.

Grandeur Peak Area List
Beginning at 9:05 a.m. (MST), I hiked several hundred feet up a mountain.

1. Woodhouse’s Scrub-jay
2. House Finch**
3. Black-billed Magpie* (v)
4. Spotted Towhee
5. Rock Pigeon*
6. Northern Flicker
7. Dark-eyed Junco


8. Song Sparrow (v)
9. House Sparrow (v
10. American Robin
11. Eurasian Collared-dove
12. European Starling
13. Black-capped Chickadee
14. American Kestrel


Rock Squirrel
Red Squirrel

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

Whispering Solitaire

Thursday, January 21st, 2021
Townsend’s Solitaire, East Millcreek, Salt Lake City, Utah, 21 January 2021.
Townsend’s Solitaire.

I can’t adequately describe the uplifting sensation of knowing the source of a very slight sound. I imagine it’s what levitation must feel like.

This morning while dog and I were ascending the steep, slippery trail in leafy Coyote Canyon, I heard the sound. So faint, but it made me stop stock still. A long warbling whistle, the pitch rising and falling abruptly, barely audible. But it made me suck in a little gasp. Because I knew at once what I hearing.

I knew at once because I’d heard it before, not that long ago, not far from that very section of trail: the “whisper” of a Townsend’s Solitaire.

I say “whisper,” but the song was clear—just exceedingly soft and delicate. You’d almost thing the bird that made the sound was perched at least a hundred feet away. But from experience, I knew better.

So right away I scanned the tops of nearby trees in the direction of the sound, and within a second or two I spied its source of it, a singing solitaire.

I’ve heard the same song at high volume volume, last spring a couple thousand feet up the mountainside: two male solitaires, each apparently working to outsing the other. And a sweet rollicking, beautiful song it was.

Today’s was like a ghost of that spring song, and I couldn’t help (again) but wonder why. Was the bird whispering to a nearby mate? Warming of the presence of a dog and human? Was the solitaire simply singing to itself, as I sometimes whistle a little tune quietly without even thinking?

I’ll likely never know the reason, but the magical thing to me is simply knowing where to look when I hear that sound.

Grandeur Peak Area List
Beginning at 9 a.m. (MST), I hiked several hundred feet up a mountain.

1. Woodhouse’s Scrub-jay*
2. Black-capped Chickadee
3. House Finch** (v)
4. Spotted Towhee
5. Rock Pigeon*
6. Red-tailed Hawk
7. Black-billed Magpie* (v)
8. Dark-eyed Junco
9. Townsend’s Solitaire
10. Northern Flicker
11. Song Sparrow (v)


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


Mountain Cottontail

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


Monday, January 18th, 2021
Pair of Northern Flickers, East Millcreek, Salt Lake City, Utah, 18 January 2021.
Pair of Northern Flickers.

A lovely hike with dog this morning—a hike under mostly overcast skies, and with very light snow falling. About freezing, hardly a breeze, not many birds about. Tried to track a flicker down, but it was calling from too far away.

However, in afternoon, back home, I heard one out the window and, lo, two were perched in a tree out back. They posed for photos before flying away.

More snow tonight (rather surprisingly), but not too much. Will be a whitened hike in the morning.

Grandeur Peak Area List
Beginning at 9:05 a.m. (MST), I hiked several hundred feet up a mountain.

1. Woodhouse’s Scrub-jay
2. Black-billed Magpie* (v)
3. Rock Pigeon*
4. Spotted Towhee
5. Northern Flicker* (v)
6. Dark-eyed Junco
7. Black-capped Chickadee (v)
8. Eurasian Collared-dove
9. House Finch* (v)
10. Pine Siskin (v)


12. American Robin
11. European Starling


Red Squirrel (v)

(v) Voice only
*Also 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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