The first thing I noticed was the reflection of the bare trees in the water of the irrigation ditch along the Bosque in Corrales. In the dark blue water, the image of the tree limbs and trunks looked lke they had been painted with dark chocolate.
The bushes and trees that lined the ditch hummed with activity and song. Flashes of white signaled the flight of Dark-eyed Juncos. A plaintive tweeye directed our attention to one of many Lesser Goldfinches. We were also surprised to see American Goldfinches, still in their drab winter coats. Black Phoebes flew out from their perches over the ditch to snag their breakfast of insects. Song Sparrows flicked their tails as they perched. Further up the ditch a pair of Mallards swam lazily, while a female Green-winged Teal kept poking its head under the water to feed.
Overhead a Crow persisted in dive-bombing an unidentified hawk, then disappeared beyond the trees. Before long, the Crow reappeared, “Caw cawing,” as it flew.
A bird swooped in and landed on a fence post. A Curved-bill Thrasher! Everyone got good looks through the scope.
As we focused our binoculars on the rounded shape nestled high in the tree, Bev commented, “Doesn’t he look soft?”
“Ha,” I responded. Its quills looked quite bristly to me.
Most of the waterfowl on the river were Mallards; however, an American Wigeon, a Common Merganser and a pair of Northern Shovelers were spotted.
While walking on the trail amongst the trees, the most predominant birds we noted were Dark-eyed Juncos, along with a few Spotted Towhees and Robins.
The trail wound directly underneath the sleeping perch of the Porcupine. As I peered at it, I could see its nose and a yellow eye looking back at me.
Before we headed back to the cars, we saw bees swarming around a piece of honeycomb on the ground under a Cottonwood and surrounding the cavity where the rest of the comb remained. The swirling pattern of the comb was smooth and resembled a catacomb.
Our total bird count for the morning was 34.
This was the first birding day in two months where I didn’t need to wear a parka. I’m sure that we are not done with winter, but today gave me hope that spring will soon arrive.