Spring Thaw

The last couple of days the weather has been downright balmy, pushing into the mid-70s, and convincing the lizards to come back out and join the turtles that have been basking in the sun the last few weeks.  Too hot on a lazy afternoon for this porcupine, I guess – unlike their usual position curled up on a branch, this guy’s all flopped out.

Porcupine

Porcupine

Spent a nice morning at the Rio Grande Nature Center yesterday seeing quite a few of the usual species and ran into my next door neighbor who had the kids and a friend visiting from Switzerland, so I just had to show them Mama Owl, who was much more alert and active than she’s been the last month.  Got to watch her eating something, grooming herself, and has me wondering if the chicks have hatched yet, which is expected any time now.

Great Horned Owl

Great Horned Owl

This morning I joined the Thursday Birder group out at Tingley Ponds, where among other things we got a Belted Kingfisher, saw both Sharp-shinned and Cooper’s Hawks at the same time (those two are fairly common around here, but difficult to tell apart without experience), and am embarrassingly ‘lifer’ for me of a Eurasian Collared Dove; embarrassing because they’re quite common but I just hadn’t noticed yet (similar experience years ago when it hit me that a lot of the ‘Mourning Doves’ I’d been seeing were actually White-winged Doves.  Everybody also got to see a porcupine on this trip, but a treat for today was the Brown Creeper seen toward the end of the trip.

Brown Creeper

Brown Creeper

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About joeschelling

Birding, butterflies, nature photography, and travel blog from right here in Albuquerque New Mexico.
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