Saturday, January 15, 2011

A day of New Mexico birding

Last week, I escaped our soggy weather with a quick trip to New Mexico. I spent most of the time in meetings, but I was able to get outside for a day of study site visits and birding in the Middle Rio Grande.

At sunrise, I arrived at Bosque Del Apache National Wildlife Refuge. An army of camo-clad photographers was already there taking advantage of the morning light and hordes of waking Sandhill Cranes.

As I drove north through Socorro County, some clouds moved in, but the snow only fell at higher elevations. Finally, I arrived in Valencia County, ending the day at my friend's house in Bosque Farms.

I think that the most interesting livestock in America, such as these chickens and sheep, can be found in this and other villages on the Rio Grande.

Here is the day's bird list:

Pied-billed Grebe
Great Blue Heron
Snow Goose
Canada Goose
Mallard
Northern Pintail
Gadwall
Northern Shoveler
Bufflehead
Hooded Merganser
Ruddy Duck
Bald Eagle
Northern Harrier
Cooper's Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk
Ferruginous Hawk
American Kestrel
Gambel's Quail
Ring-necked Pheasant
Sandhill Crane
American Coot
Ring-billed Gull
Mourning Dove
Eurasian Collared Dove
White-winged Dove
Greater Roadrunner
Belted Kingfisher
Downy Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Say's Phoebe
American Crow
Common Raven
Black-capped Chickadee
White-breasted Nuthatch
Bewick's Wren
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
European Starling
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Song Sparrow
Dark-eyed Junco
White-crowned Sparrow
Western Meadowlark
Red-winged Blackbird
Great-tailed Grackle
House Finch
Lesser Goldfinch
Pine Siskin
House Sparrow

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