Black-chinned Hummingbirds buzzed around the feeders hanging over the porch. Twenty-four Thursday Birders were visiting the Roadrunner Roost B & B in Tome to enjoy the diverse nesting birds and myriad of feeders on their property. Nestled under the canopy of spreading cottonwood trees, the area exuded an aura of calm.
Amy greeted us with coffee and homemade muffins – 3 kinds – while Wayne told us about the historic log cabins and barn on the property. Two of the cabins, originally constructed in the late 1800’s in Minnesota, were dismantled in 1988, the logs numbered, and then transported to New Mexico where he restored them. Two additional cabins originated in the New Mexico villages of Tierra Amarilla and Chilili.
Then we were distracted by a burst of gold at a bowl of grape jelly at one of the feeding stations. A male Bullock’s Oriole slurped up some jelly and then was off – as were we – to check out the other feeders, trees and fence posts for birds.
Eurasian-collared Doves occupied power lines. They were later replaced by a Western Kingbird, and then by swallows. White-breasted Nuthatches worked the branches of the cottonwoods. Two Summer Tanagers chased each other in and out of another cottonwood. Brown-headed Cowbirds and Lesser Goldfinch shared another feeder. An Ash-throated Flycatcher perched nearby.
Both Snowy and Cattle Egrets and a Black-crowned Night Heron flew over.
All too soon it was time to leave. As we passed by the Tome Catholic Church on our way to the highway, there were Blue Grosbeaks on the wires and Starlings enjoying the flooded grass.
Our next stop was Riverside Park in Los Lunas, where we hoped to see a Mississippi Kite. As our car pulled into the parking area, the occupants of another car were already standing with their binoculars focused on the sky. A good sign. Sure enough, first one kite circled by, then another, distinguished by feathers missing from its tail making it appear notched. When they banked, we could see the white on top of the wings. They were able to float for long periods without flapping their wings. All together there were three kites circling.
We spotted a Roadrunner hunting on the opposite bank of the Rio Grande. A Spotted Towhee serenaded from the bushes.
It was getting warm and the birds seemed to have settled down for their midday siesta. It was time to head to Jason’s Cafe for brunch.