Date: 12/29/17 10:13 am
From: Carl Lundblad <carl.lundblad...>
Subject: [AZNMbirds] NM: Rio Grande Valley
I birded on Wednesday and Thursday between Socorro and Las Cruces. There
were lots of birds concentrated in riparian and urban areas including
sometimes shocking quantities of montane irruptors and a nice sprinkling of
rarities.

I started Wednesday morning covering the New Mexico Tech campus in
Socorro with an immature female YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER north of Brown
Hall. All areas with conifers held numerous montane birds including
Steller's Jays (~20 overall), all 3 nuthatches, Mountain Chickadees (up to
25), Cassin's Finches, Red Crosbills, and perhaps feeling quite at home
among all those forest birds, a cooperative immature NORTHERN GOSHAWK at
Turtle Bay Park and later flying over campus. Goshawk (
http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S41345273) and Sapsucker (
http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S41346557) photos on eBird.

I quickly stopped at the Bosque del Apache Visitor Center to see the
continuing EASTERN TOWHEE at the Quail Pond and proceeded to Sierra
County. On Las Animas Creek west of Caballo (all private, bird from the
road), I had a first-winter NORTHERN PARULA. It was roughly a couple miles
west of I-25 in a grove of Sycamore and Ash across from the driveway
for address 263.

I walked Percha Dam State Park and down river most of the way to the Sugar
Sand Road bridge. Lots of birds including 2 DOWNY WOODPECKERS, an EASTERN
PHOEBE, VERMILION FLYCATCHER, up to 40 STELLER'S JAYS, and a SWAMP SPARROW.

Thursday morning I revisited Percha and the north woods and saw most of the
same birds (probably a second/different Eastern Phoebe), plus about 10
GOLDEN-CROWNED KINGLETS. I revisited Las Animas Creek for another shot at
photographing the parula, which I didn't see but got a LEWIS'S WOODPECKER
in the same location.

Finally I stopped at Leasburg Dam SP near Radium Springs, where 2 RUSTY
BLACKBIRDS were foraging in the river 100 meters below the dam, and a DUSKY
FLYCATCHER was half way down the Mogollon Trail. Blackbird photos in
eBird: http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist/S41375063.

Good Birding,

Carl Lundblad
Moscow, Idaho

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