Capulin Spring, Sandia Mountains, NM

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.

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Band-Tailed Pigeon

There were a lot of Hermit Thrushes. They weren’t shy at all. I had fun watching them come in for a bath.

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Hermit Thrush

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Hermit Thrush

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.

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Yellow-Rumped Warbler

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!

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Western Tanager

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Western Tanager female

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Western Tanager

The Chipping Sparrows were abundant. They were everywhere. They always seem a chipper lot 😉

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Chipping Sparrow

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.

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Plumbeous Vireo

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.

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Fox Sparrow

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.

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Green-Tailed Towhee

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Green-Tailed Towhee

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.

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Colorado Chipmunk

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!

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Northern Flicker

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Warbling Vireo

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Ruby-Crowned Kinglet

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Broad-Tailed Hummingbird getting a drink

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.

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Long-Tailed Weasel

Sadly I had to leave….I think I could have sat there all day.  It was a peaceful, relaxing morning….which was much needed.

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Common Checkered Skipper

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Cool looking fly 🙂

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Checkered White

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Standoff between a ladybug and stink bug....

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I guess the stink bug won!

9 thoughts on “Capulin Spring, Sandia Mountains, NM

  1. Amazing shots from a fabulous place! I need to get up there soon. Those Band-tailed Pigeons are really tough to get, and getting such a great picture of a weasel unbelievable!

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  2. Great photos of the Green-tailed Towhee and the weasel!

    Fox Sparrows are in Alaska and the Pacific NW at this time of year. Check out the bill on your bird to help you identify it. Judy

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

    Like

  3. Pingback: Summertime | Natural Moments

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