Monday, July 22, 2013

Nevada & Utah Trip: Cedar City

Most of our time in Utah was spent in our relatives' house, perched at 7,500 feet and overlooking Cedar City.

A single hummingbird feeder on the deck attracted a succession of Black-chinned, Broad-tailed and Rufous Hummingbirds.


Other birds were scarce around the house, although I saw fly-throughs by Lesser Goldfinch, Western Scrub Jays and Northern Flickers. Every morning a bird would sing (cheep, cheep and then a descending trill) from somewhere nearby but I could never locate it. On our final day I managed to see that it was a Spotted Towhee.

Several hundred feet above the house there is a small lake that had American Coots, Mallards and a Sora. Even  higher than that there is a lookout area which I always enjoy visiting. Western Scrub Jays were surveying their territory from the tops of bushes there.

Black-capped Chickadees foraged in other bushes, while Green-tailed Towhees explored the ground.

Further up the mountainside I stopped to look for woodpeckers. After an hour I had seen Green-tailed Towhees, a Mountain Bluebird and a pair of House Wrens (below) but no woodpeckers.

Then my luck changed. A pair of Northern Flickers called and bowed to each other in a mating display on a distant tree-top. Then, a little nearer, there was a familiar drumming sound. It took a while but I finally located the source: a Hairy Woodpecker.

Another morning I drove the few miles to Kolob Canyon, part of Zion National Park. The canyon is lined with spectacular cliffs.

The ridge walk at the top looks over towards the main section of Zion NP.

I was hoping to see California Condors and perhaps some large raptors from the ridge. Instead I saw only Western Scrub Jays, Common Ravens and White-throated Swifts.

On yet another morning we all traveled to Cedar Breaks National Monument. But I'll report on that in my next blog.


Brian Head said...

This place is simply breathtaking.

Brian Head

Jeff said...

It is not as spectacular as the main section of Zion NP but that is offset by the fact it is undeveloped and relatively empty of visitors.