Thursday May 23
Birded the Santa Rosa/PecosRiver area Thursday 5/23/2013 with Andy Fenner and Jim Nelson-Moore. Chose the area because of all the water available. With much of New Mexico in a deep drought thought it best to look where there is water. All the springs around Santa Rosa are still flowing. Springs such as the Blue Hole, the Fish Hatchery southwest of town, and along El Rito Creek.
As we passed Clines Corner there was a Ferruginous Hawk perched on a pole in the dawning light. Hopefully it was looking to set up a breeding territory.
Started birding at seven AM at the MainStreetPecosRiver bridge in Santa Rosa. Almost as soon as we arrived we heard an Eastern Phoebe singing. After following its song back and forth under the bridge we had point blank looks at it on a snag just south of the bridge. A great way to learn to identify a song is to watch a bird while it sings, that is just what we did with the phoebe. Just south of the bridge on the east side of the river we ran into one of the odd highlights of the day – two female Red Crossbills feeding in a deciduous tree in a residential yard. At this point the birds in the annual Santa Rosa vulture roost took off and filled the sky with over 50 Turkey Vultures. Then another highlight announced itself, a Worm-eating Warbler; just after that we found a Gray Catbird. A great day of birding was off to a wonderful start.
Followed the river downstream to a private (farm/ranch) where I have access. I think the best bird in that area was a Common Black-Hawk calling and later observed at a nest. Also there were Red-headed Woodpecker, Northern Cardinal, and a pair of Mississippi Kites.
Left the ranch and passed the trout hatchery west of the Pecos south of town. On the river just below the hatchery were all three species of teal and a lone Willet. The thick understory along the river was full of warblers, Wilson’s, Yellow, Black-and-white, and single American Redstart.
By the end of the day we had seen all three Phoebe species. Willow Flycatchers were singing wherever we birded; in all we counted 15.
A good day of birding ended at 3 pm and all only one and a half hours drive from Santa Fe.