Monday, May 19, 2014

Randall Davey Audubon Center 5/10--Black-chinned Hummingbird, Steller's Jay, Western Scrub-Jay, Violet-green Swallow, Mountain Chickadee, Black-headed Grosbeak

Photos: Shari Zirlin
When I was researching spots to bird, I couldn't really find any areas that had really big day lists, the kind you can tick off at a place like Brigantine. There are lots of birds in New Mexico, but they're spread out by elevation. And since there is a lot more New Mexico geography than in New Jersey, getting to a "migrant trap" could be a long dusty drive with no guarantees. The best ideas that I could find happened to be next to each other and not too far from our hotel, about 20 minutes up a narrow road that turns to a good dirt road for the last mile.

The first one, the Randall Davey Audubon Center, is the former home of an apparently successful Western artist who left his property (which was originally Santa Fe's first sawmill) to the NM Audubon Society. I know there are a few different habitats within it. To our eastern eyes, it was trail up a dusty hillside and then into some woods, where the trail got steeper and rockier. We did, however, manage to pick up some good year birds, though nothing we hadn't already seen before on previous western trips. The feeders were covered in Pine Siskins--you go all year without seeing one then suddenly, there are a couple of dozen.
On the trail

18 species
Mourning Dove  1    Heard
Black-chinned Hummingbird  3
Broad-tailed Hummingbird  3
Steller's Jay  1
Western Scrub-Jay  1
Black-billed Magpie  1
Common Raven  2
Violet-green Swallow  5
Black-capped Chickadee  1
Mountain Chickadee  2
Bushtit  1
White-breasted Nuthatch  2
House Wren  1
Spotted Towhee  5
Black-headed Grosbeak  2
Brown-headed Cowbird  1
House Finch  5
Pine Siskin  25

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