A week of Birding around Albuquerque, NM

This past week I was able to get out birding several times.  The weather was beautiful and my schedule was lighter.  So I strapped on my hiking boots, grabbed my camera and hit the trails.

My first stop was Embudito.  I knew the orioles had to be there soon and was hoping to get the Scott’s Oriole.  I climbed the higher trail instead of hiking along the arroyo.  The last couple times I had been there I had heard a lot of birdsong up the hillside.  It was a good choice that day.  I came around a bend and saw both the Scott’s and Bullock’s Orioles feeding in a bush.  They saw me at the same time and flew off.  I spent the next 20 minutes hunting them down for a photo.  The effort was worth it.  The Scott’s Oriole was a lifer for me.

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Bullock’s Oriole

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Scott’s Oriole

I also got pretty close to a Rufous-Crowned Sparrow singing in a bush along the trail.  I made my way down to the spring so I could hike along the arroyo on my way out.  I saw a pair of Spotted Towhees and a Juniper Titmouse trying to get the attention of a female.  He was so camoflauged that the only way I saw him was because he was singing at the top of his lungs and chasing the female.

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Rufous-Crowned Sparrow

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Juniper Titmouse

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Spotted Towhee

Another day I had to go to Los Lunas so I thought I would take the opportunity to check on the burrowing owls.  While there I had a road runner cross my path.  He was busy hunting for lizards and didn’t seem to mind me following along with the car.  Soon I came to the owls and there was a pair right next to the road.  I sat and watched for a while. There was a bush nearby that they loved sitting in for a better view of the surroundings.  I think they are used to people watching them because they didn’t seem too concerned about me.

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Greater Roadrunner

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Burrowing Owl keeping an eye on the sky for predators

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Burrowing Owl

Since I had the time I thought I would drive through the Valle de Oro Refuge to see what might be around.  I never seem to have any luck there.  I always hear of all these sightings of birds that I need for my life list, but they have never been there when I visit.  This day didn’t provide anything new, but I did get some nice shots of a variety of birds there enjoying the field being flooded.

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Lark Sparrow

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Brown-Headed Cowbird

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Snowy Egret

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Cattle Egret

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Black-Chinned Hummingbird – giving the evil eye 🙂

One day I took advantage of being on the very north end of town one day and stopped in at the Tramway wetlands.  I was rewarded with a pair of Canada Geese with two babies.  I’d never seen baby geese before so it was a real treat.  Not much else there that day though.

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Canada Geese

Lastly I hiked Bear Canyon for the first time.  I didn’t have much time and thought it looked like a nice hike.  There weren’t many birds out that day.  It was windy and there were spotty rain showers all over town. I saw lots of Black-Throated Sparrows.  I never tire of these birds.  They make me smile every time.  Always sitting in the top of a bush or cactus singing away.  I especially liked the photo I got of one singing in a bush with flowers around him.

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Black-Throated Sparrow

The other bird I saw plenty of was the Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher.  These little guys are so adorable.  This particular male wasn’t shy at all and let me get within 10 feet of him.  Made for a crisp photo.

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Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher

The view of the Sandias was specatular that day.  That trail makes for a nice photo as there aren’t very many houses along the foothills.  I soon had to hurry back to my car as the rain showers seemed to be headed my way.

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Storm over the south end of Albuquerque

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Bear Canyon Trail

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Sandia Mountain Range

The week was a success getting that Scott’s Oriole!  Next stop the Birdathon at Fort Sumner!

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