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