25 January 2021

Posts Tagged ‘western tanager’

Fall Migration

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2020
Lesser Goldfinch, Eastern Millcreek, Salt Lake City, Utah, 23 September 2020.
Lesser Goldfinch.

Fall migration’s a bit understated here in the sagebrushy Utah foothills, from what I’ve observed. Still interesting—a warbler here, a sparrow there, a hawk flying over, some random bird—but not as exciting as on Monhegan Island, Maine, where a bunch of birder friends are hanging out just now.

Still, I like it. I like the challenge. I like the usual suspects, and I like the crazy random Mountain Chickadees that’ve lately come down from the heights. I even like whiffing on those few species I didn’t get a good look at.

These little critters are moving, moving, moving. Heading south for hundreds or thousands of miles, usually at night, then stopping off in the morning to stock up on energy, only to make a return trip a few months hence—often ending up in the exact same bush where they were hatched.

(Can you guess I kind of have a thing for fall migration?)

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. Yellow-rumped Warbler
4. Lesser Goldfinch*
5. Black-capped Chickadee
6. Woodhouse’s Scrub-jay
7. Red-breasted Nuthatch
8. Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
9. Pine Siskin
10. Spotted Towhee
11. Northern Flicker**
12. American Robin
13. Downy Woodpecker (v)
14. Western Tanager
15. Mountain Chickadee (v)


16. European Starling

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

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

Fun Day

Thursday, September 10th, 2020
Rock Wren, East Millcreek, Salt Lake City, Utah, 10 September 2020.
Rock Wren.
Broad-tailed Hummingbird, East Millcreek, Salt Lake City, Utah, 10 September 2020.
Broad-tailed Hummingbird.

Chilly, breezy morning. Sweatshirt weather again. But within a few minutes of beginning my hike with dog, I could tell it was gonna be a big day.

Bird after bird after bird. Species after species. A pair of Western Tanagers, an Olive-sided Warbler with a yellow jacket in its beak, two sparrow species, two warblers, three hummingbirds. I took nearly 900 photos. (Took a while to winnow them down to a couple hundred or so.)

And for the first time I heard the sweet calls of the wren—whose photo was the best of the bunch, I decided.

From four species Tuesday to 22 this morning. A fun day for sure.

Grandeur Peak Area List
Beginning at 8:17 a.m., I hiked a few hundred feet up a mountain.

1. Woodhouse’s Scrub-jay**
2. Mourning Dove*
3. Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
4. Spotted Towhee
5. House Finch**
6. Black-chinned Hummingbird
7. Black-capped Chickadee
8. Rock Wren
9. Western Tanager
10. American Robin
11. Olive-sided Flycatcher
12. Rufous Hummingbird
13. Lesser Goldfinch* (v)
14. Northern Flicker (v)
15. Vesper Sparrow
16. Townsend’s Warbler†
17. Brewer’s Sparrow
18. Broad-tailed Hummingbird
19. Virginia’s Warbler
20. Downy Woodpecker
21. Pine Siskin
22. Black-billed Magpie*


23. Red-breasted Nuthatch (v)
24. California Quail
25. Eurasian Collared Dove


Mountain Cottontail

(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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