This past weekend I went birding with one of my friends from Albuquerque. It was in reality a birthday present because my birthday was on the 28th. He picked me up near my house at 8:00 and we decided to check out one of the lakes in Las Vegas for waterfowl. Storrie Lake has been good in the past for gulls and shorebirds but this time of year there's not very much. We stopped by and saw 43 Common Mergansers and a Common Goldeneye. We didn't stay there for long and hopped back in the car and drove towards Montezuma (a neighboring village). We parked near the post office in Montezuma and heard a flock of Red Crossbills. In the process of looking for them we also found a flock of Dark-eyed Juncos, a couple House Finches, a Eurasian Collared-Dove, and a couple Steller's Jays. After looking at the crossbills for a couple minutes we drove to Watrous. Watrous is about 30 minutes from Las Vegas and is not known as a impressive birding spot. Still, we decided that it could yield some interesting stuff. We walked down the main road and found a flock of White-crowned Sparrows (no Golden-crowned's mixed in unfortunately). Other notable birds were Eastern Bluebird, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Downy Woodpecker, Song Sparrow, and White-breasted Nuthatch. After birding a bit in Watrous we got back on the highway and drove to Valmora (a bit north of Watrous). In Valmora our highlights were Golden Eagle, Brown Thrasher, Canyon Towhee, Spotted Towhee, Bewick's Wren, Canyon Wren, Sharp-shinned Hawk, and Townsend's Solitaire.
For the rest of the day, we worked our way back towards Las Vegas, birding periodically along the way. At the end of the day I ended up with many new year birds and a couple new birds for the state.