27 January 2021

Posts Tagged ‘European starling’

Nice Hike

Monday, January 25th, 2021
Dark-eyed Junco, East Millcreek, Salt Lake City, Utah, 25 January 2021.
Dark-eyed Junco.

We hiked through a little overnight snow for the third straight morning, a partly sunny morning this day. A few birds about, a couple photos, no mammals, a little breeze, a fragrant sagebrush sprig, my best friend as a companion.

All in all, a very nice hike.

Grandeur Peak Area List
Beginning at 9:01 a.m. (MST), I hiked several hundred feet up a mountain.

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

Elsewhere

10. European Starling

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

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

Elsewhere

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

Mammals

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)

Elsewhere

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

Mammals

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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