I haven’t been to Capulin Spring since last fall. Yesterday morning the weather was slightly overcast and a little cool. I thought it would be good conditions to visit. Boy! Was I right! When I got there I was amazed at all the birdsong. And even better I was the only one there 🙂 I stayed for about three hours.
As soon as I walked up to the spring a Band-Tailed Pidgeon flew away. I was disappointed not to get a photo. I’ve photographed them twice before with pitiful results. However, I stood very still hiding behind the trees and was rewarded by a return visit and was able to get a great photo.
There were a lot of Hermit Thrushes. They weren’t shy at all. I had fun watching them come in for a bath.
The warblers were scarce which was disappointing. I didn’t see but one Orange-Crowned Warbler way up high singing and a couple of shy Yellow-Rumped Warblers.
The Western Tanager was scarce as well until late in the morning. But was rewarded by several pairs coming in for a drink. I will never tire of photographing them!
The Chipping Sparrows were abundant. They were everywhere. They always seem a chipper lot 😉
A Steller’s Jay was being harrased by a pair of Plumbeous Vireo who must have had a nest nearby. The vireo were so busy chasing that Jay that I was hard pressed to get a photo.
While trying to capture a picture of the vireos I saw a Fox Sparrow way up high in a tree. I managed to snap one quick pic before he flew away. Was thrilled to get one photo (even though it’s not great) because it’s a lifer for me! Never saw it again the rest of the time I was there.
At one point I patiently waited for a Green-Tailed Towhee to get the courage up to visit the spring. He was well worth the wait. Such a striking bird. And his song is beautiful as well.
I was entertained by the ground squirrel. They are so used to people that they are very relaxed….as evidenced by this pic 🙂 Next time I will have to remember to bring some raw peanuts. This little guy climbed into my camera bad looking for goodies.
A few other birds visited very briefly. I saw Dark-Eyed Juncos, American Robin, Pine Siskin, Warbling Vireo, Northern Flicker, Broad-Tailed Hummingbird, Red-Breasted Nuthatch, Ruby-Crowned Kinglet and House Finch. Overall a very good morning!
But the highlight of my visit was seeing a Long-Tailed Weasel! He came out of the bushes and passed right in front of me! I tried getting a photo but he was too fast. But as I was walking to my car I saw him again coming out of his burrow. Such a beautiful animal. He was very shy but I managed to get a few pics before he disappeared. I love getting surprises from nature.
Sadly I had to leave….I think I could have sat there all day. It was a peaceful, relaxing morning….which was much needed.