New Mexico/New Birds

Brown-capped Rosy-Finch

Black Rosy-Finch
Gray-crowned Rosy-Finch

Above are images (courtesy of Jeff Bouton) of the Rosy Finches at Sandia Crest, NM. Upon landing in Albuquerque we made a beeline there to try and see all three species. The light was beginning to fade as we worked our way up to the peak. We managed to get there just in time to see all three species perching atop a Spruce tree and then fly off, not to be seen again for the day.
Here I am, peaking over the railing at Sandia Crest, hoping the Rosies will return for a closer look and maybe a chance to photograph them.
Here is Jeff, walking the pasture land of rural New Mexico as we pursued a flock of over 100 McCown's Longspurs. We had many brief but up-close looks at these birds. Regrettably, we were not able to get them to stay still long enough to photograph them. They proved to be a very wary flock of birds.

Here is a Williamson's Sapsucker that I digiscoped at Water Canyon, just outside Socorro. While I digiscoped this sapsucker, there were a Red-naped Sapsucker and a Townsend's solitaire in this same tree. Two other life birds. I was able to get images of the solitaire but not the other sapsucker. Shortly before these birds showed up, we were treated to great views of a Northern Goshawk. Water Canyon proved to be one of the birdiest places on this trip and a destination that I will certainly re-visit next time I find myself here.

It was a great trip to New Mexico and the Bosque del Apache NWR. We saw many species of birds and took in some breathtaking scenery in the process. I came home from New Mexico with the addition of 7 new birds to my North American species count, bringing the new total to 582. These numbers and lists, however, are always secondary to the wonderful experience that birding provides. At the end of the day, it's about time spent outdoors in relatively wild places. I consider myself fortunate to be there, new birds or not.

1 comment:

Christopher said...

I've been wanting to go to Sandia Crest and Bosque for a while now - the photos and description just are more fuel for the fire. Good job digiscoping the sapsucker & solitaire too!
Thanks for sharing!