Thursday, June 18, 2015

Utah: Two Very Different Sites


While we were staying in Cedar City, we took a 15-mile drive to the Parowan Gay to see some Native American pictographs.

The pictographs included some simple representations of animal and human figures.

However, they also included some much more complex  illustrations.

While we admired the pictographs, a lizard sunned itself on a nearby rock.

There were quite a few birds in and 
above the Gap: Rock Wrens, Canyon Wrens, a Prairie Falcon and Common Ravens. The only photo I managed was of a Say's Phoebe.

On our way back to Cedar City via the town of Parowan, Dee and I stopped to watch a pair of Swainson's Hawks.

Beautiful birds!

Big Cottonwood Canyon

Every time we go to Utah, I take at least one drive up Big Cottonwood Canyon to Brighton and Silver Lake. On this trip I drove up there three times.

No matter what the time of year, the scenery alone is well worth the drive.

One one visit this year I arrived at Brighton to be told that I had just missed by minutes seeing a moose bathing in Silver Lake. I had to settle instead for a couple of beavers.

White-crowned and Lincoln's Sparrows were everywhere.

A Fox Sparrow was a new year bird.

I saw only one Steller's Jay and never got a photo if it. Brewer's Blackbirds were easier prey.

On my way down from Brighton, I always stop by a stream right at the entrance to the canyon. I do this to check - always unsuccessfully - for American Dippers. One time on this trip there actually was a Dipper.

On our final morning in Utah we went up the canyon to have coffee at the Silver Fork restaurant. The deck there had bird feeders and one feeder had a bird on it. I watched for a couple of minutes and the bird didn't move. I watched for a couple more minutes. The bird still didn't move. I guessed it was a stuffed specimen, perhaps put there for decoration or maybe in hopes of attracting other birds. As no other birds were around, I walked over to it. I was amazed to see it fly off when I got within a yard of its perch. 

A few minutes later I realized that it was just one of a dozen or more Pine Siskins that were coming to the feeders there. So that was another new bird for my 2015 list - and not a bad sighting with which to end our Utah trip.


1 comment:

Dave said...

Plenty of action and contrast in this post Jeff. The scenery is indeed wonderful and I always admire the American Sparrows, always look understatedly beautiful. I will catch up on some of your recent past posts as well