24 June 2024

Posts Tagged ‘western tanager’

Interesting Birds

Saturday, September 18th, 2021
Northern Flicker (fem), East Millcreek, Salt Lake City, Utah, 18 September 2021.
Northern Flicker (fem).

Had some light, steady rain early. It let up before too long, but the sky remained overcast or my hike with dog. Whether the clouds or later hour or some other magic factor, there were a number of interesting birds about—most interesting, perhaps, my first Song Sparrow since spring sometime.

Flickers, finches, a few warblers moving through. On our return to the truck, I noticed I’d forgotten to zip up my hip pouch after making a GoPro battery change, and my Garmin EDGE was gone. So I dropped Jack back home, returned, and hiked quickly up to the deer trail where I’d changed the batter. Found it.

On my return the sun came out.

Grandeur Peak Area List
At 8:03 a.m. (9:03 MDT), I hiked a few hundred feet up a mountain.

1. Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
2. Woodhouse’s Scrub-jay
3. Song Sparrow (v)
4. Rock Pigeon*
5. Northern Flicker**
6. House Finch*
7. Spotted Towhee
8. Western Tanager
9. Yellow-rumped Warbler
10. Black-capped Chickadee
11. Chipping Sparrow
12. Lesser Goldfinch**
13. American Robin


Rock Squirrel

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


Tuesday, September 7th, 2021
Sparrow and tanager, East Millcreek, Salt Lake City, Utah, 07 September 2021.
Sparrow and tanager.

Fewer bird species on this morning’s hike with dog, but no matter—still fun. Most entertaining episode (to me, anyway) began as soon as I heard the telltale chip of a Song Sparrow down amid the scrub oaks below the trail. (The species is common down in the neighborhood, but I rarely see them up the slopes.) I knew that chime-like chip, and I spied the bird not far away.

As I wondered what it was doing up there, I heard the little trill-like alarm note of a Western Tanager, perched somewhere across the trail from the sparrow. The tanager’s remarks appeared to interest the sparrow—it fluttered over to where the tanager sat and took a seat itself.

Seems that, especially during migration, I often see different species traveling together, hanging out together, keeping each other company. Usually it’s other little species following chickadees around. (Chickadees are comforting for various reasons.) But other times I notice other species buddying up. (Like yesterday’s three sparrow spp.)

Migration’s slow still, but hoping for more surprises tomorrow.

Grandeur Peak Area List
At 7:09 a.m. (8:09 MDT), I hiked a few hundred feet up a mountain.

1. Woodhouse’s Scrub-jay*
2. Black-chinned Hummingbird*
3. Rock Pigeon*
4. Spotted Towhee
5. Downy Woodpecker
6. Song Sparrow
7. Western Tanager
8. Black-capped Chickadee**
9. Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
10. Rock Wren


11. Lesser Goldfinch
12. House Finch (v)


Red Squirrel
Rock Squirrel

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

Bizarro Morn

Saturday, September 4th, 2021
Woodhouse’s Scrub-jay, East Millcreek, Salt Lake City, Utah, 04 September 2021.
Woodhouse’s Scrub-jay (wth acorn bits).

What a strange morning. We got to the trailhead early, dog and I—and by “early,” I mean the hour when the mountain shade covered nearly the whole of our usual trail. Nearly nippy this morning also. I never know what to expect, but I did think I’d have more than just four species on my list before we reached our hike’s half-way point.

So very, very quiet. I did hear a few little chip notes in the foliage but didn’t recognize the chippers. I can’t recall such a quiet morning.

On our return, as morning sunlight began to spread across the junipers and scrub-oaks, we finally encountered a few of of the usual species—chickadee, gnatcatcher and such—but still no decent photos. Until we made it back to the little quarry, when three or four more bids popped up (among them a scrub-jay that actually posed).

So strangely quiet early, though. I think we’ll wait to embark until a little later in the morning.

Grandeur Peak Area List
At 7 a.m. (8 MDT), I hiked a few hundred feet up a mountain.

1. Black-chinned Hummingbird
2. Rock Pigeon*
3. Woodhouse’s Scrub-jay**
4. Spotted Towhee
5. Black-billed Magpie** (v)
6. Western Tanager (v)
7. House Finch*
8. Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
9. Black-capped Chickadee
10. Mourning Dove
11. Eurasian Collared-dove
12. Lesser Goldfinch**


Red 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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