29 September 2020

Posts Tagged ‘European starling’

Fall Migration

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2020
Lesser Goldfinch, Eastern Millcreek, Salt Lake City, Utah, 23 September 2020.
Lesser Goldfinch.

Fall migration’s a bit understated here in the sagebrushy Utah foothills, from what I’ve observed. Still interesting—a warbler here, a sparrow there, a hawk flying over, some random bird—but not as exciting as on Monhegan Island, Maine, where a bunch of birder friends are hanging out just now.

Still, I like it. I like the challenge. I like the usual suspects, and I like the crazy random Mountain Chickadees that’ve lately come down from the heights. I even like whiffing on those few species I didn’t get a good look at.

These little critters are moving, moving, moving. Heading south for hundreds or thousands of miles, usually at night, then stopping off in the morning to stock up on energy, only to make a return trip a few months hence—often ending up in the exact same bush where they were hatched.

(Can you guess I kind of have a thing for fall migration?)

Grandeur Peak Area List
Beginning at 8:23 a.m., I hiked a few hundred feet up a mountain.

1. House Finch**
2. Black-billed Magpie**
3. Yellow-rumped Warbler
4. Lesser Goldfinch*
5. Black-capped Chickadee
6. Woodhouse’s Scrub-jay
7. Red-breasted Nuthatch
8. Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
9. Pine Siskin
10. Spotted Towhee
11. Northern Flicker**
12. American Robin
13. Downy Woodpecker (v)
14. Western Tanager
15. Mountain Chickadee (v)


16. European Starling

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


Friday, September 18th, 2020
Black-chinned Hummingbird (imm./fem.), East Millcreek, Salt Lake City, Utah, 18 September 2020.
Black-chinned Hummingbird (imm./fem.).

Got a whiff of smoke this morning on my hike with dog. A haze hovered over the basin. The fires in California are alarming, to say the least—as is the local drought. Thought we’d be getting some rain tomorrow, but apparently not. Going on two months without significant rain.

Perhaps that’s why things continue to be quiet up the foothills trails. Mostly the usual suspects this morning, bu also a couple of birds whose calls I didn’t recognize. One in particular—with a semi-harsh, semi-musical chip-note—flitted out of a juniper and showed itself to be warbler-sized with flashes of yellow. Tried to track it down but didn’t see it again. Another little chattery bird, too, I couldn’t sneak up on.

“Dips” in birding lingo usually mean you’ve heard of a rare or interesting sighting and go looking for it but fail to find it—i.e., you “dipped” on the bird. In my mind the same applies in the shorter term: you see or hear something curious but don’t end up getting a good look. Happens a lot.

But also, on occasion, you stumble onto a pretty great sighting without even trying. It all works out in the end, I suppose.

No smoky smell later in the day. I hope at least the West Coast gets a little rain.

Grandeur Peak Area List
Beginning at 8:13 a.m., I hiked a few hundred feet up a mountain.

1. House Finch*
2. Woodhouse’s Scrub-jay
3. Pine Siskin
4. American Robin**
5. Black-chinned Hummingbird
6. Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
7. Spotted Towhee
8. Northern Flicker**
9. Rock Pigeon*
10. Black-capped Chickadee
11. Wood-warbler (sp)
12. Lesser Goldfinch** (v)
13. Black-billed Magpie*
14. Red-tailed Hawk


15. European Starling
16. American Crow
17. Mourning Dove
18. Song Sparrow


Red Squirrel (v)

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

Serene Moment

Sunday, September 13th, 2020
Rock Wren, East Millcreek, Salt Lake City, Utah, 13 September 2020.
Rock Wren.
Broad-tailed Hummingbird, East Millcreek, Salt Lake City, Utah, 13 September 2020.
Broad-tailed Hummingbird.

Encountered another Rock Wren this morning—on a quiet but fun (they’re all fun) hike with dog—but this was the first I’ve seen that wasn’t in the little abandoned quarry atop the bluff. Far afield, in fact.

And it participated in the most serene moment of our excursion, in fact: I’d taken some photos of the wren when a hummingbird flew up and hovered a few seconds about two feet from my face. (“Well, hello, there,” I said.)

And after that we just stood there, Jack and I, in the presence (at a little distance) of a Rock Wren.

Grandeur Peak Area List
Beginning at 8:16 a.m., I hiked a few hundred feet up a mountain.

1. Woodhouse’s Scrub-jay
2. Black-capped Chickadee
3. Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
4. American Kestrel
5. Spotted Towhee
6. House Finch*
7. Broad-tailed Hummingbird
8. Rock Wren
9. Black-billed Magpie*
10. Northern Flicker


11. Eurasian Collared Dove
12. European Starling

*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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