Thursday, June 11, 2015

Utah: Cedar City

After three days in Salt Lake City, we headed down to spend four days at our relatives' house outside City City. The house is located at 7500 feet and so has a great view over the city.

The deck is a good place for watching sunsets ...

... and Black-chinned Hummingbirds.

I managed to see quite a few other birds from the deck, including: American Robins (below), Lazuli Buntings, Common Ravens, Western Tanagers and Black-headed Grosbeak (below).

It was here, too, that I saw the first Western Scrub-Jays of the trip.

I started most days with a dawn drive to an overlook higher up in the hills behind the house.

There I would be treated to a long morning serenade by a Green-tailed Towhee.

After watching the sun rise and listening to the Towhee, I would drive higher into the mountains and search the aspen groves for birds.

A Northern Flicker looked beautiful in the morning light.

A Mountain Bluebird looked, well, cold in the morning light.

Violet-green Swallows were circling overhead and sometimes perching on utility lines.

I missed getting photos of Cassin's Finches and Western Tanagers but got one of a Dark-eyed Junco.

One morning I went in search of the bird that was producing a terrible racket. It turned out to be a Clark's Nutcracker, a bird I'd seen only once before, 15 years earlier at Lake Tahoe.

One of the great things about our relatives' house is that it's just about an hour's drive from both Zion National Park and the southern Utah city of St. George. On this trip we thought we'd give Zion a miss because it had been so crowded with people on our visit two years ago. However, there were a couple of other nearby sites that I hoped to check out. I'll report on these soon.


Marilyn Kircus said...

Truly wonderful post. I just started feeding birds and now have about a dozen Cassin's finches within feet of my door. And I shot a Clark's nutcracker on a hike this past weekend - all in SE Montana.

Jeff said...

Sounds really good to me!