Two parks on the Jordan River - Germania and Millrace (below) - were just a minute's drive from our hotel and so I visited them several times.
I wasn't surprised to see common birds such as Mourning Dove, Black-billed Magpie, American Robin and White Pelican.
I wasn't thrilled by seeing European Starlings either, although this one did impress me with the amount of nesting material it managed to fit into its beak.
While not unusual in Utah, Canada Geese are rarely seen around Houston and so I stopped to take photos of some in Millrace Park.
His mate was nearby.
I wasn't able to get photos of my first-of-2015 Western Tanager and Green-tailed Towhee but a male and female Bullock's Orioles were less elusive.
... until a Black-capped Chickadee flew in with food for its occupants.
Olive-sided Flycatchers and Western Wood-Pewees (below) were among the other birds that seemed to crop up all along the river banks.
While these and other Salt Lake City parks were certainly worth a visit, I couldn't wait to head up into the mountains to see what I might find there. So I headed up Big Cottonwood Canyon, one of my favorite areas for birding and for seeing other wildlife.