It’s a little early for the big Crane and Goose migrations, but the beautiful songbirds are hard at work.
Yesterday Ms Canyon and I hit the road from Abq at about 0545 in a cool morning rain. By the time we got to Socorro the rain had lifted, the sun was rising, and a few patches of blue sky were showing.
As we reached the Refuge the clouds were breaking up and the sun was bright.
The birds were a bit wet, cold and hungry. This Swainson’s Hawk found a sunny perch and was carefully preening and drying their feathers before the morning hunt.
Turkeys love to scratch and probe around for bugs, snails and worms in the wet grass after a rain.
Redwing Blackbirds like to perch in the cattails. This lady is a bit shy.
This little gem was our bird of the day! The BdelA is at the northern end of their range in NM, so it was a treat to see one here.
Lark Sparrows like to forage in open fields. This summer many of the BdelA shallow ponds are drained (water shortage in NM) and the former ponds are now lush, verdant meadows, prime habitat for many birds.
This Heron was foraging along an irrigation ditch when we drove up. He hopped up into a low branch and nicely posed for photos.
Sorry about the fuzzy photo. These Ibis were about ¼ miles away, and I had to really push things with a 1200 mm lens.
Can you spot the Verdin? This guy was hiding in a Screwbean Mesquite tree in the garden at the visitor’s center.
As we were getting ready to leave around 1030, the air was warming up and drying out. Thermals were starting to rise, and this was one of three Swainson’s that were spiraling up, climbing up for altitude.
After a tastey green chile cheeseburger at the Owl in San Antonio, we headed home. This was one of the most beautiful days we ever saw a the BdelA, but we only saw 2 or 3 other birders that morning.
So lucky to be about 1 ½ hours from this amazing place.