Early in our hike this morning, dog and I encountered two first-of-year bird species, migrants that had likely arrived overnight. In a bit of irony, both sparrows, and they appeared on different twigs of the same tree: a White-crowned Sparrow and a Chipping Sparrow. I wonder if they flew together.
It was a calm morning, with a hazy half-overcast. Warm enough, and dry. Mammals were about also—cottontails, squirrels, deer. Titmice, a high-flying sharpie, and up in the junipers, another chippy.
Supposed to be cloudy the next few days, with calm overnights. Could well mean more new arrivals.
Grandeur Peak Area List Beginning at 7:49 a.m. (8:49 MDT), I hiked a few hundred feet up a mountain.
1. American Robin* 2. Red-breasted Nuthatch (v) 3. Black-billed Magpie 4. House Finch** 5. Mourning Dove (v) 6. Spotted Towhee 7. Woodhouse’s Scrub-jay** 8. Juniper Titmouse (v) 9. White-crowned Sparrow‡ 10. Chipping Sparrow‡ 11. Rock Pigeon* 12. Black-capped Chickadee 13. Sharp-shinned Hawk 14. Northern Flicker (v) 15. Pine Siskin (v) 16. Lesser Goldfinch (v) ** 17. California Quail
18. European Starling
Red Squirrel Mountain Cottontail Mule Deer Rock Squirrel
(v) Voice only *Also elsewhere **Voice only elsewhere ‡First-of-year bird
A warmer morning. No clouds at first, but then one or two tiny fluffy ones appeared over the Oquirrhs. Soon as dog and I ascended to the old Monarch Quarry, I spied a lone bird perched on a little snag up toward the bluff. It looked a little unusual—not a scrub-jay, grayer, but with a long bill, possibly a mimic. Hadn’t I seen a catbird here last year sometime? The year before?
I listed it in my head as “mimic,” and not until I got home to look at photos did I recognize it (immediately) as a Townsend’s Solitaire.
I think maybe I’ve just got incoming migrants on the brain.
(I did see what I believe was one incoming migrant—a small, yellowish passerine that I could not ID. Perhaps, when taken with the early vultures and yesterday’s thrush, the third spring migration species so far?)
Grandeur Peak Area List Beginning at 7:35 a.m. (8:35 MDT), I hiked a few hundred feet up a mountain.
Windy, windy overnight, and windier this morning. Temps in the 30s (F), gray sky. Waited a bit before hiking with Jack, thinking it might be calmer up under the ridge—and it was. In fact, up on the deer trail, I removed my scarf and gaiter.
What with the wind, I figured there wouldn’t be a lot of species on my list—and I was right. However, down in the deer scrub, I spied a thrush of some kind. A Hermit Thrush, I was pretty sure. A new migrant. But I had my camera in my hands and tried to grab a photo. Couldn’t focus. Missed my chance.
But it was a promise of things to come.
Grandeur Peak Area List Beginning at 7:59 a.m. (8:59 MDT), I hiked a few hundred feet up a mountain.