Yesterday was devoted to a full day of birding, from an early wake-up at 4:00 am until finally getting home at 10:30 pm. Long day, but great fun with a group of about 20 mostly quite experienced birders from the area, resulting in the group spotting 159 species over the course of the day and raising a sizable charitable contribution for the Central New Mexico Audubon Society’s education and conservation projects. Click on the following link for a pdf of all 159 species: birdathon2011
We started on the campus of New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, then headed to Water Canyon and The Box near Socorro, before wrapping things up going to and searching at Bosque del Apache NWR. Among the highlights for me was a distant view of a pair of Golden Eagles, close looks at White-faced Ibis and Canyon Wrens, a couple of new warblers and shorebirds, and my first Nighthawks and Acorn Woodpeckers in New Mexico. Here’s a picture of that Canyon Wren,
the most attractive of our wrens with a marvelous song echoing in the canyon of The Box near Socorro. Near Water Canyon, we came across several groups of pronghorn, such as these guys.
As usual, the Bosque del Apache was most productive, and with many of the fields flooded contained a variety of species including quite a few migrants. Didn’t get too many pictures, unfortunately, but liked these pictures of a Great Egret
and White-faced Ibis.
In addition to the birds, it was also cool to see those pronghorn, a large herd of mule deer, an incredible number of turtles, a few blooming cactus, and several butterflies, one of which is this Viceroy,
who posed for several pictures in this fabulous light. Pretty long day, but think I just might have to do it again next year, too.