Monday, May 19, 2014

Santa Fe 5/9--Eurasian Collared-Dove, BLACK-BILLED MAGPIE, Broad-tailed Hummingbird, Bushtit, Spotted Towhee, Pine Siskin, EVENING GROSBEAK

Shari very wisely booked us into a great hotel, The Inn on the Alameda. One of its main advantages was that it is across the street from the Santa Fe River Park. I thought the Santa Fe River, like many "rivers" I've seen out west, would be little more than a dry ditch, but there was a steady flow of water through it. In the east we'd probably be generous and call it a creek. Still, water attracts birds and it was a good place for me to take my morning exercise.

Almost the first bird I saw out the door on Friday morning was a lifer: BLACK-BILLED MAGPIE. What a magnificent street bird. I saw a silhouette of a bird fly by with white wing patches and a long streaming tail and new immediately it could be nothing else. Later, Shari took this photo of one perched on a wall near the park.
Photos: Shari Zirlin
After I went back to the hotel room and told Shari of my finds in the park, she grabbed her camera and came out with me. We found a house with a few active feeders and Shari motioned me over to look at one, where I got my 2nd lifer of the day, one that I dearly wanted, EVENING GROSBEAK. (Shari had already seen one in Central Park a couple of years ago.) Evening Grosbeaks are an irruptive species in New Mexico and we were lucky that this year was an irruptive one.

There are two hummingbirds common to northern NM this time of year and I had a difficult time telling them apart--at first I thought this was a Black-chinned Hummingbird. Looking at Shari's photo I see that it is instead, a Broad-tailed Hummingbird. I found the best way to tell them apart was by behavior. Black-chinned pump their tails when hovering, while Broad-tailed make a zipping sound as they fly.
Santa Fe River Park
8 species

Eurasian Collared-Dove  1
Northern Flicker (Red-shafted)  1
American Crow  3
American Robin  1
European Starling  5
House Finch  5
House Sparrow  5

Delgado St
12 species
Rock Pigeon  30
Mourning Dove  1    Heard
Broad-tailed Hummingbird  1
Northern Flicker (Red-shafted)  1
Black-billed Magpie  3
American Crow  2
Bushtit  2
European Starling  2
Spotted Towhee  2
House Finch  10
Pine Siskin 2
House Sparrow  2

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