15 January 2021

Posts Tagged ‘green-tailed towhee’

Summer’s End

Monday, September 21st, 2020
Downy Woodpecker (female), East Millcreek, Salt Lake City, Utah, 21 September 2020.
Downy Woodpecker (female).

Robins everywhere this morning. Also a couple warbler species, a random junco, a Mountain Chickadee, and I glimpsed a furtive Green-tailed Towhee. Just one gnatcatcher, though—and not a single hummingbird. All signs of fall migration.

Birding friends from back in Maine have gathered at Monhegan Island. I’m envious. A favorite place, the best birding ever. But the challenges offered by a high desert landscape make things interesting also. Honestly, I have no idea what I’ll see or hear each day for the next couple weeks.

Tomorrow’s hike will be particularly interesting, since the first part of it will occur in summer, and the latter part will occur in autumn.

Will let you know.

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. American Robin
4. Woodhouse’s Scrub-jay
5. Spotted Towhee
6. Mountain Chickadee (v)
7. Black-capped Chickadee
8. Lesser Goldfinch* (v)
9. Dark-eyed Junco
10. Downy Woodpecker
11. Yellow-rumped Warbler
12. Orange-crowned Warbler
13. Warbling Vireo
14. White-crowned Sparrow
15. Northern Flicker** (v)
16. Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
17. Green-tailed Towhee
18. Pine Siskin (v)
19. Red-breasted Nuthatch (v)


20. Eurasian Collared Dove (v)


Red squirrel

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

Four Downys

Monday, September 14th, 2020
Downy Woodpecker (male), East Millcreek, Salt Lake City, Utah, 14 September 2020.
Downy Woodpecker (male).

Weather-wise, a morning much like the last two or three. Bird-wise, rather inauspicious. I did spot a Green-tailed Towhee (first bird of the hike), but otherwise the usual species, dipped on a couple of species, no great photos.

A highlight was the appearance in the burnt patch by a little pack four male Downy Woodpeckers. Not sure I’ve ever seen such a thing before. Cool.

(Meanwhile, though, I’m alarmed by a report of hundreds of thousands of dead birds found in New Mexico and other places in western states. Perhaps the record wildfires forcing too-early migration, perhaps some mysterious other factor. Whatever the cause, it felt like a kick in the gut.)

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

1. Green-tailed Towhee
2. Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
3. Black-capped Chickadee
4. Mourning Dove
5. Woodhouse’s Scrub-jay
6. Black-chinned Hummingbird
7. Spotted Towhee
8. House Finch*
9. Downy Woodpecker
10. American Robin
11. Broad-tailed Hummingbird
12. Pine Siskin (v)
13. Black-billed Magpie** (v)
14. Lesser Goldfinch*
15. Sparrow (sp.)


16. California Quail
17. Rock Pigeon
18. Barn Swallow


Rock Squirrel
Red Squirrel (v)

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

Big Day

Tuesday, August 18th, 2020
Western Kingbird, East Millcreek, Salt Lake City, Utah, 18 August 2020.
Western Kingbird.

This morning started out about like the two or three mornings before it: Not too warm or cool, breezy, shady. But very soon my hike with dog began to reap fruit. Scrub jay, gnatcatcher, and—wait—a Western Kingbird? This early bird, perched above the little rockfall quarry we pass every day, was my first-in-Utah sighting.

Soon after, we encountered a Green-tailed Towhee, the first Rock Wren since spring, and a family of five Chipping Sparrows. By the end of our mountain stroll, I’d listed sixteen species—more than in the last many days. Could these be early signs of fall migration?

American Kestrel, East Millcreek, Salt Lake City, Utah, 18 August 2020.
American Kestrel.

Don’t know about that, but the last species on my list today was American Kestrel, after I spied a pair circling nonchalantly up in the afternoon blue, despite being hollered at by magpies.

Grandeur Peak Area List
Beginning at 8:05 a.m., I hiked a few hundred feet up a mountain.

1. Woodhouse’s Scrub-jay
2. Black-billed Magpie*
3. Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
4. Mourning Dove*
5. Western Kingbird††
6. Black-chinned Hummingbird
7. Green-tailed Towhee
8. Spotted Towhee
9. Rock Wren
10. Chipping Sparrow
11. Black-capped Chickadee
12. American Robin
13. House Finch**
14. Broad-tailed Hummingbird*
15. Virginia Warbler
16. Lazuli Bunting


17. Lesser Goldfinch
18. Eurasian Collared Dove (v)
19. California Quail
20. American Kestrel


Red Squirrel
Rock Squirrel

(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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