Not quite sure what’s been going on with me lately, but it’s been more than a month since I last posted to this blog, and also haven’t gotten many photos in all that time worth keeping. Part of it’s been due to following all the post-election nonsense, which has hopefully ended with the surprisingly calm Electoral College vote earlier this week. Then there was Thanksgiving and getting Christmas notes out, the weather getting colder and the days longer, and spending a lot of time at home as the COVID-19 virus surges more than ever through the community. Two days after that last post, New Mexico “reset” their virus response, pretty much shutting down like we did back at the beginning in mid-March, and only slowly easing up on restrictions. I have gotten out some to places where I’m unlikely to run into others including multiple visits to a new area for the Albuquerque Christmas Bird Count (CBC), but haven’t stumbled across very many birds on any of those outings. Rebecca and I are lined up for three CBCs over a little more than a week. Hoping to get a few good pictures during those events, I thought I’d clear the decks a little by sharing what pictures I’ve managed since my last blog post.
First up are these two female Common Merganser from a visit to the Rio Grande at Calabacillas Arroyo one day. As I came out to the river, I surprised 5 or 6 of them, most of whom flew off or paddled quickly away, so I was only able to snap off this shot of the last two.
In scouting out various spots on the West Mesa for the Albuquerque CBC, I’ve gotten a couple of pictures of a few of our target species for that count. These include the Rock Wren,
the Canyon Wren,
and the Sagebrush Sparrow.
It’s been interesting checking out these locations, some of which were new to both of us and a few of which I’d heard about for years but could never quite figure out how to access, including the North Geologic Window and South Geologic Window. Those two in particular turned out to be much more easily accessible than on past attempts.
I’ve made a couple of visits along the Rio Grande hoping to spot a Bald Eagle, which others have been seeing recently and which most years I’m able to get close enough to photograph, but no luck so far. On one of those visits, there were a few Cedar Waxwings hanging out at about eye level,
and I’ve regularly stumbled across Hermit Thrush
and of course the mad flocks of Bushtits making quick stops in search of insects before moving on to their next stop.
Both of those photos were from the Corrales Bosque, where again today I’d spot the Great Horned Owl in the same spot that I’d last seen it on November 9.
I’m thinking this is one of the owls that’s nested close by for the last several years, and hoping they won’t be deterred from nesting in the same cavity of a tree that’s unfortunately been trimmed back considerably this past summer.