Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Field Notes 6.10.12

 Our destination this day was Pike’s Stockade in Conejos County where both yellow-billed cuckoos and southwest willow flycatchers have been seen.  Just yards from the entrance gate we drove past a small calf curled up beside the road. We weren’t sure if it was still alive but indeed it was. We gave it some bottled water and then managed to lift it through the barb wire fence into the field with the other cows. We were hopeful that it would reunite soon with its mother.  

As we walked down the road leading into Pike’s Stockade we encountered a creature of a different sort – a rattlesnake lying across the gravel. We took a photo of it but gave it a wide berth. We also saw a porcupine in a tree. The riparian area adjacent to Pike’s Stockade and just north of the Conejos River was full of an assortment of birds including southwest willow flycatcher, downy woodpecker, prairie falcon, yellow warbler, turkey vulture, several species of swallows, common nighthawk, American robins, black-headed and red-winged blackbirds, mourning dove, meadowlark and horned lark. We are certain that we heard the call of a yellow-billed cuckoo off in the distance during our calf rescue but we were unable to spot one. 

Driving north towards Alamosa on County Road 21 we saw 4-5 snowy egrets, several white-faced ibises and some killdeer in and along an irrigation ditch.

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