Thursday, December 6, 2012
Field Notes 12.2.12
A trip down South River Road in Alamosa County started with a sighting of two foxes lounging in the morning sun on top of a haystack. They leaped off the haystack and ran away before we could take what would have been a fantastic photo.
We stopped at LaSauses to count birds at our Earth Team wetland. We saw another loggerhead shrike and the usual assortment of winter birds including juncos, northern flickers, ravens and sparrows. We spent a little time observing a large flock of rock doves roosting on a nearby metal barn.
Further on two great horned owls roosted in a bare deciduous tree while a northern harrier cruised low over the fields searching for rodents. We saw our first bald eagle of the winter season at the top of a tree near Conejos CR 26. Other sightings included a loggerhead shrike on a wire and a ground squirrel scurrying through the chico.
Driving east on Conejos CR Z we saw a porcupine in a tree and an American kestrel.
At the northeast end of Smith Reservoir, our final stop of the day, we saw a large number of ducks take flight in perfect synchronization as we approached in the truck. On the open water we saw mallards, common goldeneyes, and a common merganser. Horned larks lifted from the ground cover and then disappeared into the brush ahead of us. Several mule deer loped along the north shore.