29 September 2020

Posts Tagged ‘house wren’

Good Company

Wednesday, September 16th, 2020
Black-capped Chickadee, East Millcreek, Salt Lake City, Utah, 16 September 2020.
Black-capped Chickadee.

Within ten or fifteen minutes of hitting the trail this morning, I could tell last night brought fair migration winds. I say “fair” winds because of the good variety of species I spied early—Western Tanager, Western Wood-pewee, Yellow-rumped Warbler, and a few other species-in-a-hurry that I couldn’t ID. Has me psyched about the days to come.

Western Wood-pewee, East Millcreek, Salt Lake City, Utah, 16 September 2020.
Western Wood-pewee.

But the sweetest thing about my hike with dog this cool morning was the company of Black-capped Chickadees. What with the recent spate of western fires, a hurricane making landfall, and other dramatic climate events, it’d be easy to fall into a funk. But there they are, the chickadees, their optimistic-sounding voices as they check in with each other—voices so matter-of-fact and unworried that they attract other little silent species moving through the foliage.

One even flew within inches of my head today. I thought it might land on my hat, but it didn’t. Maybe someday.

Grandeur Peak Area List
Beginning at 8:11 a.m., I hiked a few hundred feet up a mountain.

1. Black-billed Magpie* (v)
2. House Finch*
3. Black-capped Chickadee**
4. Woodhouse’s Scrub-jay
5. Black-chinned Hummingbird
6. Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
7. Spotted Towhee
8. Northern Flicker**
9. Western Tanager
10. Downy Woodpecker
11. Sparrow (sp)
12. Western Wood-pewee
13. American Robin
14. Yellow-rumped Warbler
15. Lesser Goldfinch*
16. Broad-tailed Hummingbird
17. House Wren


18. California Quail


Red Squirrel (v)

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

How Not to Bird

Saturday, September 5th, 2020
Red-tailed Hawk, East Millcreek, Salt Lake City, Utah, 05 September 2020.
Red-tailed Hawk.

It was one of those mornings. First, I waited fifteen or twenty minutes to head with Jack to the trailhead, figuring we’d have more time in the sun than in the mountain shade. The idea (as mentioned yesterday) was to see if sunny slopes encouraged more activity.

Golden Eagle, East Millcreek, Salt Lake City, Utah, 05 September 2020.
Golden Eagle.

In fact, not really. Oh, there were plenty of little quiet birds flitting about, just out of eye- and earshot. I missed three or four IDs (and at least a couple species) on account of a puzzling clumsiness—walking too fast, plunging around corners without taking a peek first, staying in my head instead of attuned to my surroundings. A good example of how not to bird.

But one of the mystery species (House Wren) came to light later, when I studied a couple blurry photos I’d taken in its general direction, and another pic helped me confirm a Sharp-shinned Hawk (not a Cooper’s).

Later, back at home, I chased a shadow on the front lawn and got a decent photo of a soaring red-tail. Still later—in that same cloudless sky—I spied a Golden Eagle.

Hard to complain on a crazy day like this one.

Grandeur Peak Area List
Beginning at 8:21 a.m., I hiked a few hundred feet up a mountain.

1. Rock Pigeon*
2. House Finch*
3. Woodhouse’s Scrub-jay
4. Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
5. Spotted Towhee
6. Black-billed Magpie*
7. Western Tanager
8. Black-capped Chickadee**
9. Downy Woodpecker (v)
10. Pine Siskin (v)
11. Mourning Dove
12. Broad-tailed Hummingbird
13. House Wren
14. Red-breasted Nuthatch (v)
15. Sharp-shinned Hawk
16. Northern Flicker
17. Lazuli Bunting


18. California Quail
19. Red-tailed Hawk
20. Golden Eagle
21. Eurasian Collared Dove (v)


Mountain Cottontail
Rock Squirrel (v)

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

Ridge Hike

Monday, August 31st, 2020
Jack at the precipice, East Millcreek, Salt Lake City, Utah, 31 August 2020.
Jack at the precipice.

The morning dawned cool—about 57° (F) when first I checked—and by the time Jack-my-dog and I had gone our usual distance, I thought, “Perfect conditions for a ridge hike.” So we kept on going. And it was a wonderful stroll.

Broad-tailed Hummingbird (immature), East Millcreek, Salt Lake City, Utah, 31 August 2020.
Broad-tailed Hummingbird (immature).

This route (my favorite) ascends 1,200 feet or so up and along the ridge overlooking Millcreek Canyon to the south, where there’s a busy trailhead coming up the opposite side. This so-called “Pipeline Trail” (following the route of an old redwood pipeline) climbs up aptly named “Rattlesnake Gulch” before ending at a dramatic Lake Bonneville overlook. Our route either takes us up a shady north-side switchback to the overlook, or up shady Coyote Canyon to a trail that runs up and over the ridge to the overlook. Sometimes eagles soar up there.

Today we took the switchback. No particularly outstanding bird sightings—although at nearly the highest point, I got a nice pic of a Broad-tailed Hummingbird—but the hike itself did wonders for Jack and me.

Now I expect we’ll wait several days—then do it again.

Grandeur Peak Area List
Beginning at 7:56 a.m., I hiked some 1,200 feet up a mountain.

1. House Finch*
2. Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
3. Woodhouse’s Scrub-jay
4. Spotted Towhee
5. Rock Pigeon*
6. Black-chinned Hummingbird
7. Western Tanager
8. Black-capped Chickadee
9. House Wren
10. Broad-tailed Hummingbird**
11. Mourning Dove
12. Red-breasted Nuthatch (v)
13. Northern Flicker
14. Sparrow (sp)


15. Eurasian Collared Dove


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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