From December 2011 to December 2012, Diane and I ventured out see as many San Luis Valley bird species as possible during the one-year period. Our tally was 162 birds. We reported our field trips on this blog, “The San Luis Valley Birdwatching Odyssey.” Although we have completed our one-year adventure we will continue to report our birdwatching activity. We will now be publishing our field notes at the same web address but the blog will be called “Birdwatchers of the San Luis Valley.”
Sunday, July 1, 2012
Field Notes 7.1.12
Our field trip today took us into the beautiful Conejos
River Canyon southwest of Antonito and up over La Manga Pass at over 10,000
feet. We turned off at Forest Service Road 114 to La Manga Creek Trail. Our
first two sightings were sparrows – a white-crowned sparrow and a Savannah
sparrow. A bit further down the trail we spotted a new bird for us – a warbling
vireo. We continued along the trail for about 1 ½ miles, enjoying the scenery
and numerous bird sightings including red-winged blackbirds, American robins,
northern flickers, a hairy woodpecker, male and female western tanager, Clark’s
nutcrackers and some high-flying swallows. We also caught a glimpse of a duck
family, mother and fuzzy babies, on a beaver pond. Overhead we spotted turkey
vultures and common ravens.
We returned to Hwy. 17 and continued west to Trujillo
Meadows Reservoir State Wildlife Area. After a picnic at the lake we hiked
along the shore trail. While examining a Lincoln’s sparrow we startled a baby
spotted sandpiper. It squawked and squawked and ran up and down the bank.
Finally its mother returned and calmed down the poor frightened baby.
Pretty white-crowned sparrows were abundant during this
mountain terrain field trip.