A group of us headed to Antonito to chase Sagebrush Sparrows (Conejos County) and were not disappointed on this blustery day. We counted no less than 11 east of Antonito. This established the earliest spring record for the species in the San Luis valley, beating the previous date of Feb 29th.
To see them, go to Antonito and take road G east until Road F joins from the SE. Take F and start watching for the next 2-3 miles and you should catch them. Some were singing today. WOW.
Other great birds for the day included about 4-5,000 Sandhill Cranes at the Monte Vista NWR (Rio Grande), hundreds of Cackling geese, 1 Greater White-fronted Goose at the turnouts, a female Hooded Merganser on the auto tour loop, the hybrid Greylag X Canada, and 6 Cinnamon Teal.
We missed the Rosy-finches at Hostetlers, but had a nice consolation of Merlin! (which is why there were no Rosy-finches!)