It was another terrific day of birding in the Albuquerque area. Today we headed south of town (2 hour drive) to the Bosque del Apache Wildlife Refuge. This refuge is known for the huge flocks of Snow Geese (with numerous Ross’s Geese thrown in for good measure) and thousands of Sandhill Cranes that winter here. Most winters the Sandhill Cranes do not move north until the end of February, but this year they were already mostly gone, although we did see quite a few today. And of course we saw lots and lots of Snow and Ross’s Geese.
We saw just about all the waterfowl one might expect, including Cinnamon Teal. We saw lots of Gambel’s Quail, for the second day in a row. A surprise for us was a Rough-legged Hawk. We had great looks at Long-billed Dowitcher and Wilson’s Snipe. Black Phoebe, Say’s Phoebe and Loggerhead Shrike were all nice to see, as were very co-operative Bewick’s Wren and a Ladder-backed Woodpecker. Chestnut-collared Longspurs were found in several flocks of Horned Larks.
My life bird for today was a SAGE SPARROW. Actually, we flushed up two of these sparrows. And speaking of sparrows, we saw a Harris’s Sparrow, too
A flock of Lesser Goldfinch was nice to see.
I have not tried to provide a complete list of today’s birds. But these are the highlights.
Tomorrow we are heading up into the Sandia Mountains to look for three species of Rosy Finch and several other neat birds. If we are lucky, I will be able to add a few more “lifers”..