Utah

Yesterday, I flew back to my home-state Florida after an unforgettable 5-day trip to Park City, Utah. This is my first journal post ever, but surely won't be my last!

Most of the time I had in Utah was spent skiing and snowboarding. But in my spare time, I had to take my camera out, I was able to pick up quite a few lifers and iNat firsts, mostly of plants and birds.

First let me just say, WOW, the Rocky Mountains are so different than the Appalachians that I've spent recent years visiting! The jagged peaks decorated with spruce, fir, juniper, and aspen trees make for a wonderful landscape. No, this wasn't the first time I've been in the Rockies or surrounding areas, but I was seven when I last visited the West, which was a Yosemite-Sequoia trip in the Sierra Nevada Mountains.

I was so happy to find a pond, surrounded by an entirely new ecosystem to me, that was filled with wildlife just down the street from where I was staying. There I was able to see my first Wilson's Snipe, Woodhouse's Scrub-Jay, Black-billed Magpie, and Townsend's Solitaire. Each day the snow melted more, and more grasses and other plants became exposed.

One morning after walking around the pond, the slight movement of some grass caught my attention. I at first thought it was a small foraging bird. After staring for a few seconds, I became confused since there was no bird visible in the small, thin patch of grass. Just then, the most adorable face popped out of the ground. It was a ground squirrel, specifically a Uinta Ground Squirrel, which is endemic to the Utah/Wyoming area of the US. Soon I noticed a second individual in a snow-covered field near the pond.

Now, for my favorite part of the trip. I was sitting down attaching my snowboard to my foot at the edge of a slight drop-off preparing to snowboard down it, on a relatively warm (45 degrees) yet beautiful morning, surrounded by firs and spruces. As I buckled my foot onto my snowboard on the glimmering snow, a kid a few feet away from me screamed "EAGLE, EAGLE, EAGLE!". I looked up, and only about 25 ft above me slowly flew a magnificent, bronze-colored, beauty... the Golden Eagle! I didn't have my camera on me, but that only meant that I lived in that moment. Two seconds later, it flew beyond the tree line. It was surely I moment I will never forget.

Thanks for reading!

Posted on March 20, 2022 04:09 PM by gatorhawk gatorhawk

Observations

Photos / Sounds

What

Rocky Mountain Juniper (Juniperus scopulorum)

Observer

gatorhawk

Date

March 16, 2022 09:51 AM EDT

Photos / Sounds

What

Big Sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata)

Observer

gatorhawk

Date

March 17, 2022 10:21 AM EDT

Photos / Sounds

What

Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus)

Observer

gatorhawk

Date

March 17, 2022 10:19 AM EDT

Photos / Sounds

What

Uinta Ground Squirrel (Urocitellus armatus)

Observer

gatorhawk

Date

March 17, 2022 10:14 AM EDT

Description

So adorable!

Photos / Sounds

What

Black-billed Magpie (Pica hudsonia)

Observer

gatorhawk

Date

March 17, 2022 10:07 AM EDT

Photos / Sounds

What

Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)

Observer

gatorhawk

Date

March 17, 2022 09:05 AM EDT

Photos / Sounds

What

American Robin (Turdus migratorius)

Observer

gatorhawk

Date

March 18, 2022 07:02 PM EDT

Photos / Sounds

What

Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus)

Observer

gatorhawk

Date

March 18, 2022 06:35 PM EDT

Photos / Sounds

What

Common Goldeneye (Bucephala clangula)

Observer

gatorhawk

Date

March 18, 2022 06:27 PM EDT

Description

Lifer!

Comments

Nice sounds fun, love the picture you took of the ground squirrel.

Posted by bk-capchickadee12 over 2 years ago
Posted by gatorhawk over 2 years ago

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