Signs of early fall are definitely here. The temperatures are cooler, the foliage is starting to change color and the birds are fattening up on fall’s bounty of insects and seeds.
While hiking in the Bosque along the Rio Grande I enjoyed watching the Lesser Goldfinches gleaning seeds from the abundant sunflowers. I think they look like circus acrobats in the tightrope as they hang upside down to eat the seeds.
A white-breasted nuthatch was enjoying the sunflowers as well.
I was treated to a pair of Summer Tanager while hiking the Bosque. Always a lovely sight.
I had heard a red phalarope had been spotted at the Taco Bell Marsh in Belen several times this past week. I headed down there a couple times in hopes of seeing this bird as it would be a new sighting for me. Sadly I never saw or heard the little guy.
But I did see a Virginia Rail while there. Only the second time I’ve seen this bird. I was able to get a much better photo this time.
I enjoyed watching the graceful Black-necked stilts and was treated to a pair of white-faced ibis.
I decided to head back along a quiet highway instead of the interstate. I’m glad I did because I was treated to lots and lots of egrets! And I got to see a female ring-necked pheasant. This is the first time to see a female in the wild.
I decided to stop in at the Valle de Oro. As always there where many Vesper Sparrows flitting here and there.
On the way out I saw a coyote running along the railroad tracks. A nice treat!
On the way home I saw a single Western Kingbird. In the spring you’re happy to see them arrive as you know spring has begun. During the breeding season you are driven crazy by their constant chatter and squabbling. Then after the breeding season they begin to quiet down. By fall you enjoy their quiet beauty before they migrate. And during the winter you long for the sight of the first Kingbird to herald the coming of spring.