September 29, 2009

New Mexico-July 22-Day 4

We are already on day four of my New Mexico adventure I went on this past July. I have not gotten to Philmont Scout Ranch yet to go hiking and am still at the retreat house in Albuquerque. So far I have seen 9 new bird putting my life list at 322. Now lets see what July 22nd had in store for me.
Waking up early certainly does have it's benefits. Not only did I get to see a couple new birds that I didn't see on the rest of the trip, but I was also able to watch the sunrise and four hot air balloons fly over the city. The cool and crisp air was refreshing and was nice to wake up to after being in the searing heat the day before.
The birds were out and about and I quickly spotted a Ladder-backed Woodpecker (life bird 323, 10th of the trip) on a distant tree. The picture is terrible but does confirm the identification.

A Virginia's Warbler (life bird 324, 11th of the trip) was also nearby but didn't cooperate. Being in a new place like New Mexico is nice not only because you find new birds, it is that you are continually surrounded by birds you usually don't see back at home, like Say's Phoebes (first picture). While at the retreat house I was constantly seeing Lesser Goldfinches which were life birds just days before. I got a poor picture of one in the harsh sunlight of midday. The pictures I took starting yesterday were taken by my small Canon camera that is not quite as nice as my other camera.We went to numerous sessions during the day but I did manage to see a flock of White-winged Doves (life bird 325, 12th of the trip) fly by while I was walking from one building to another. Later in the afternoon we had free time. I saw an Ash-throated Flycatcher (life bird 326, 13th of the trip) flycatching in the same tree that the woodpecker was in the morning.A lizard was out running in the retreat house yard. Does anyone know what it is?

In tomorrow's post I am going to be at Philmont Scout Ranch for the first time and see lots of hummingbirds!

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