Sunday, April 1, 2012

Field Notes 3.25.12

You know it is spring time in the Valley when a warm dry wind starts to blow, but not hard enough to keep a couple of steely-eyed birdwatchers inside.  We left home about 6 p.m. and headed to Home Lake. We had consulted our field guides and were hoping to see a green-winged teal and a pied-billed grebe.  Our expectations were rewarded at Home Lake.
 In addition to our green-winged teal and pied-billed grebe, we also saw American coots, common mergansers, gadwalls, red heads, cinnamon teals and northern shovelers. We identified a lesser yellowleg and several killdeer wading along the south shore. The teal, grebe and yellowleg were new birds for our one-year count.
We then headed to MVNWR at the Rio Grande County Road 3/7 entrance and counted 30 or so sandhill cranes at the center pivot.
We drove to the auto loop as the sun set and watched the truly wonderful sight of the cranes coming in to roost.  The number of sandhill cranes dropping out of the orange sky was reduced from our previous visits, but still we watched huge flocks coming in until it became too dark to see anymore.
As we left the refuge under the now starry sky we knew that with the coming spring migration our 2012 SLV Birdwatching Adventure is just beginning.

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