Sunday, February 5, 2012

Field Notes 2.4.12


With reports coming in of sandhill crane sightings at the Monte Vista National Wildlife Refuge, we finished our morning  errands and headed west around noon.  Before we left we read a report from  John R.--60 cranes at CR 7S and CR 3E.

Heading west across CR 8S we saw a red-tailed hawk resting on a power pole and nearer the refuge a golden eagle flying to the north.  Just past the county line Diane saw cranes on the wing. Seven cranes--the first of the spring migration and the first for our SVL Birdwatching Odyssey.   We then turned north on  CR 3S and onto the refuge at CR 7S. In a short time we came close to three sandhill cranes-- gray and brown backs. Both parties were surprised and the cranes took to the sky, leaving us tied to the ground on two spindly legs.
 A small coyote roamed across a field looking hungry for food.
 We turned north and at the main refuge entrance we saw four more cranes in the air.  Driving the auto loop we saw four mule deer, but the sloughs were as empty as window panes of an abandoned  house. 
Next stop was Home Lake and the Rio Grande State Wildlife Area.  We walked on crunchy  snow and muddy paths to see our friend the magpie. We heard Canada geese flying to the north. We took a side trip to check out Higel SWA off of Three Mile Road. It seems to be open by permit only – we will look into this more. Driving back to Alamosa we saw song sparrows in tall brown weeds beside the road.
We arrived home thinking that with the cranes comes the promise of  spring.

No comments:

Post a Comment