The weather has been just beautiful these last few days. So I made it a point to make time to go hiking and birding. I decided to hike the Embudito trail on the west side of the Sandia Mountains. I haven’t been on that trail in 18 years! Spring is a great time to hike that trail because the snow melt creates small waterfalls all along the trail. It’s considered a difficult trail…a fact I had forgotten. You have to scramble over boulders, navigate narrow canyons filled with bushes and trees, and claw your way up muddy slopes. But it’s all worth it for the scenery, butterflies and birds. Because there’s usually water in this canyon year round there are always birds and other critters.
I tried taking several photos but the canyon is so narrow and steep that the photos really didn’t do it justice. I’ve included a few of the better pics.
As soon as I started my hike I saw a black-throated sparrow. I love these beautiful birds! Always a joy to get an opportunity to photograph them.
I captured a fun photo of a bushtit feeding. They are so acrobatic. While watching them I heard a new bird singing. I was very excited. I saw him sitting atop a rock and got a great pic. He was a rufous-crowned sparrow. That makes bird #294 that I have photographed and identified. 🙂
I was also excited to hear and photograph a cactus wren. That’s the first time I’ve ever seen one in the Albuquerque area and I’ve lived here 21 years. As you’ve probably figured out by now…I love wrens!
Just before heading home I was thrilled to capture a pair of Western Scrub Jays gathering nesting materials.
It was a fun day hiking and birding!