Exciting to have spotted another lifer on the mountainside today—but that wasn’t the most exciting moment on my morning hike with Jack.
The most exciting moment came as we were stalking an unfamiliar bird call up ahead when a hummingbird rose out of nowhere and let out a sort of frantic, sustained, high-pitched trill. A male Black-chinned Hummingbird (first male I’ve seen here) delivering a clear message to dog and me and/or other hummers in the neighborhood.
Within a second or two, I heard, from behind me, another trill—this one brigher, higher, faster, and also sustained. Turned and saw a (male also) Broad-winged Hummingbird hovering about twenty feet up, calling urgently.
Got no photo, got no great looks even, but the very fact of these two tiny birds checking us out (and delivering their thoughts to any critter within earshot) seemed to me nothing shy of miraculous.
Grandeur Peak Area List Beginning at 8:30 a.m., I hiked a few hundred feet up a Utah mountain.
1. Black-billed Magpie 2. House Sparrow 3. House Finch 4. Eurasian Collared Dove 5. Woodhouse’s Scrub-jay 6. Mourning Dove 7. Blue-gray Gnatcatcher 8. Black-capped Chickadee 9. Red-breasted Nuthatch (v) 10. Spotted Towhee 11. Black-chinned Hummingbird 12. Broad-tailed Hummingbird 13. Lazuli Bunting 14. Brewer’s Sparrow 15. California Quail
I love Savannah Sparrows. I’m not sure what it is. Well, I love their wonderful sibilant, insect-like, understated song, with a little hiccup at the end. And yet it carries a mile. Arguable my favorite birdsong.
The past few days I’ve heard the familiar, sharp, faint chip of a Savannah, then spied down the bird, perched near the tip of a low bush (as is their habit). For whatever reason, this species did not nest in early spring at Beech Hill this year, as usual. I missed ’em like crazy. Nice to see at least one second nest has (apparently) prove fruitful.
Otherwise, a luscious, dry, cool breezy July morning. Not many places have such exceptionally sweet summer’s as we do here at the 44th parallel.
Beech Hill List Beginning at 7:30 a.m., I hiked the open trail.