Late Spring Birds at Corrales Bosque

Corrales-Bosque As usual, the first bird that greeted as along the irrigation ditch was a Black Phoebe. It looked so perky sitting on a twig over hanging the water as it waited for an insect to come by. It would then dart off, returning to its same perch. 22 Thursday Birders started slowly along the ditch bank reveling in the cool morning air, unusual for early June.

Black-chinned Hummingbirds abounded. They looked like specks as they perched high on slender snags on the top most branches of the trees growing along the far ditch bank. When another one came into its territory, it buzzed in circles to scare it off. Lesser Goldfinches seemed to be every where.

A spot of bright blue alerted us to a Blue Grosbeak. The early morning sun shone off its large beak. “It looks like shiny gold,” Mary, famous for her poetic descriptions, commented.

House finches flew in and out from the shrubs, while Barn Swallows swooped back and forth low over the water.

“I hear an Ash-throated Flycatcher,” Maureen reported – and then we spotted it across the ditch. Above it in the trees, the red feathers of a Summer Tanager looked like a small stop light.

As we neared the end of the ditch, two European Starlings flew in an out of the trees. They seemed to disappear into the trunk. “I think they are building a nest,” Rebecca said. “They are cavity nesters.”

We watched two Barn Swallows as they made trips to a mud puddle to gather mud for their nest.

As we entered the woods, we heard the rough chatter of a Yellow-breasted Chat. Sylvia and Mary Lou tromped through the under-brush to the river’s edge to get a look at it.

A Western Wood Peewee perched on a branch adjacent to the trail. Near by a Spotted Towhee called. We kept hearing it as we walked along, as though it was following us. Finally it came into view.

Someone spotted a White-breasted Nuthatch. We watched as it flitted amongst the foliage and trotted down a branch.

A raptor was circling overhead. “White arm pits, dark flight feathers, dark band around upper chest,” Gale described. “It must be a Swainson’s.”

“That’s a good recital of the field marks,” Ken stated.

Blue Groseak

Blue Groseak

Back at the trailhead, we walked along the trees on the west side of the irrigation ditch. We saw flashes of blue as three birds flew out from a nearby tree into the orchard and out of sight. After awhile, one of them flew back into the top of the tree near where we were standing. Blue Grossbeaks.

And then it was time to head to the Village Pizza.


One thought on “Late Spring Birds at Corrales Bosque

  1. today 06/29/09 in Albuquerque i saw a flock of about 25 tiny (~4″) acrobatic birds foraging for small green worms in a New Mexican olive tree. Both males and females I believe. Males were almost black on back and cap of head and on tail. females were like males but lighter on the head and back and of a more brownish hue.
    For both sexes tail is of medium length, narrow and notched, not lifted like wren or nut hatch.
    Where wings folded over the back and rump the hue was dark brown.
    there were no wing bars or tics, nor eye-stripes. Chin and breast were grey.
    There was just a hint of dark band between beak and eye, for a faintly bandit-like look. Except for small size and dark area before the eye the bird looks like a grey vireo.
    As they foraged, the birds “chee’d” or “che-chee’d.”
    Please information as to the identity of these birds to my email address.

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