Friday, November 16, 2012

Field Notes 10.11.12

We found ourselves in that nether time before the fall migration, before the big flocks had started moving around. We found ourselves at the Alamosa National Wildlife Refuge. The flat but varied terrain along the Rio Grande is a great place for this kind of birdwatching.  During the two-mile hike you pass stands of willows and wetlands. There are abundant spots for shorebirds on the banks of the low-running Rio Grande. You hike through large open areas where the big sky reveals several species of raptors.

In this nether time when birds moving around the Valley are few and far between it is still possible to see some good birds. At the Refuge today Diane and I saw an osprey scouting for fish in the river. Near a field in the dry grasses we saw a vesper sparrow, sitting so still we could see its chestnut wing patches and white eye rings.

We glimpsed some ducks, hard to identify in the late afternoon sun. They flew up and down the river, some taking to the Chicago Ditch.

A family of sandhill cranes flew overhead--Mother, Father and Child.

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