Once again it’s been a few weeks without much worth posting due to being busy with a few other projects around here, but the weather’s been pretty good and I’ve gotten out a few times so thought I’d share a couple photos from the last couple of weeks. Managed to get out awhile ago to scout out our planned route for the Sandia Mountain Christmas Bird Count that the Audubon Thursday Birders will participate in on December 26. Didn’t spot too many birds on only my second trip there, but did have a distant Cooper’s Hawk hiding in the burned over area and got another (one of way too many) picture of a Curve-billed Thrasher.
A few days later, a visit to the Rio Grande Nature Center did not turn up the Hooded Mergansers that everybody’s been talking about, but things were looking better at Tingley Ponds where I had this Northern Pintail,
a female Bufflehead,
and the (apparently) resident Belted Kingfisher.
Two days later, good friend Leah led our Audubon Thursday Birders on a good trip at Rio Grande Nature Center (perfect weather and a surprising 37 species!), where I did finally get a quick look at those Hooded Mergansers.
(that’s an out of focus female behind the three males and maybe a Lesser Scaup even further away?)
Definite on the Lesser Scaup motoring by while we did the checklist in the Visitor Center,
but not sure if I ever got a good look at the much more uncommon Greater Scaup that people were seeing.
Quick trip to Bosque del Apache NWR a couple of days later and a little surprised at not seeing all that many birds, although the Snow Geese were in full form in the ponds just after you enter the refuge and Sandhill Cranes were showing up in good numbers all over.
Most interesting as we were headed out of the refuge, was spotting this odd-looking hawk that we went back and forth trying to figure out. Looking at the pictures others had been posting on eBird recently, pretty sure we were looking at the rather rare for this area juvenile Red-shouldered Hawk. Okay photo even if you can’t quite make out the rather distinctive banded tail that others made the call on.
Stay tuned. My next post in a few weeks should be interesting.