Thursday, August 05, 2010

Utah Trip (2)

Each day I did several birding walks around the campsite. There were lots of birds but seeing them was tough! Most of them stayed high up in the trees and even then were surprisingly skittish; plus, of course, many of them were species I'm not familiar with. So I had a lot of problems with both IDing and photographing them. However, the birds I did manage to spot included two new-to-me species: Red Crossbill and Brewer's Sparrow.

Red Crossbill

Mountain Chickadees were hard to photograph but some other birds were easier.

Hermit Thrush

American Pipit

Lincoln's Sparrow

Things improved a lot once we seeded our campsite with nuts. We immediately attracted several Gray Jays, a species I'd never seen before.

The presence of the Jays brought in other birds, too, notably several Clark's Nutcrackers.

I'd seen a Nutcracker before, but only once, many years ago at Lake Tahoe.

Male and female Pine Grosbeaks popped in a couple of times also.

On Friday we drove 15 miles and several thousand feet down to a Soapstone Basin Road birding site that I'd read about. All we saw was a solitary Turkey Vulture and three Lazuli Buntings.

Lazuli Bunting

The following day we went back to the same area and stopped near a YMCA camp. The trees there were buzzing
with birds. First up was a Hairy Woodpecker, followed by a pair of Yellow Warblers, an Olive-sided Flycatcher and this MacGillivray's Warbler.

Best of all was a Red-naped Sapsucker, who kept moving from perch to perch for 10 minutes, giving us great views.


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