|Bosque del Apache|
We left Las Vegas, NM Thursday morning and worked our way down to Portal, stopping at Bosque del Apache NWR along the way. We saw a good 40 species at Bosque, including five species of swallows and a Surf Scoter (reported earlier that week). We got to our campsite (in Sunny Flat Campground) at around 10:30pm and quickly set up our tent and went to sleep.
The next morning we got up relatively early (6:30am) and walked down South Fork (which was within a 1/4 mile of the campground). At first it was very quiet, but once the sun started hitting the trees (which took a while), the birds started to get much more active. We heard and saw many Painted Redstarts and Black-throated Gray Warblers and came across numerous flocks of Bridled Titmice and Mexican Jays. One of the highlights of the walk was a Dusky-capped Flycatcher (a new birds for the U.S. for me), which I first heard calling from an Arizona Sycamore. I was unfamiliar with the call at the time and only realized the identity of the bird once I looked it up back at the campsite. After birding South Fork for a few hours, we took a short nap and then got on our bikes and biked down to the Portal Store. There we saw some Inca Doves and numerous House Sparrows. On our way up to our campsite, we came across a Northern Pgymy-Owl, which apparently had gotten very indignant after my dad attempted to imitate its call (in an attempt to lure in a Dusky-capped Flycatcher that we we looking at). When I first heard the characteristic "TOO-TOO-TOO-TOO" I thought it was another birder trying to fool me. However, after listening to the call for a while, (and failing to see any humans in the proximity), I realized that it must be an actual pygmy-owl. True enough, a roundish, small bird suddenly appeared in a tree above our heads. It was a pygmy-owl, alright. And it was still not very pleased with the intrusion of (seemingly), another pygmy-owl. It repeatedly called, until my dad I finally left in peace, but not before we managed to get dozens of close-up pictures.
After getting back to the campsite, we headed down to Cave Creek Ranch and took pictures of various birds while sitting on a bench outside one the the buildings. Here are some of the pictures we took:
|Mating Curve-billed Thrashers|
After birding around Portal and Cave Creek Canyon for two days, we headed to Tucson, where we stayed the remainder of our time, until our return home on April 9th. We birded Sweetwater Wetlands in Tucson (where we saw a roosting Great Horned Owl and a bathing Cooper's Hawk) and also went to Madera Canyon.
|Great Horned Owl|
|Northern Rough-winged Swallow|