While I am late in getting this written, this continues a tradition I started in 2008. The following are my top wildlife highlights of 2015 in chronological order:
Most of my sightings of Golden Eagle have been at some distance, so I was thrilled to be driving east on Tramway Blvd. last winter and saw a Golden Eagle perched on a post near the road. It stayed there long enough for me to turn around, park alongside the highway and take its picture.
While scouting for the Thursday Birder Birdathon in early May with my friend Bonnie, we discovered a Bronzed Cowbird, its red eye gleaning.
“I really want to see a White Stork sitting on its nest,” I had relayed to my cousin Kam before I traveled to the Netherlands with my sister and brother-in-law last May. She took us to a preserve in Liesvelt designed to provide a safe place for the Storks to nest, since most folks don’t want them nesting on their chimney-tops.
While leading the Thursday Birders in the mountains above Santa Fe, we watched fascinated, while a Brown Creeper built its nest behind a loose sliver of bark.
When I heard that there was a Red-headed Woodpecker in the bosque not too far north of Albuquerque, my friend Barbara and I went to investigate since this is a bird that is not normally found west of the mountains. Not only did we find it, we also saw a juvenile with it – proof of nest success.
I had the opportunity to visit the Valles Calder National Preserve three times in 2015. It was a thrill to have the Valles Caldera Preserve transition to management by the National Park Service and the opportunity to visit the back country without having to go on a tour.
When my friend Barbara and I stopped by the Las Vegas National Wildlife Refuge in September, Swainson’s Hawks were migrating – there was a hawk perched on power poles and fence posts all along the road into the refuge.
In December, I had the opportunity to visit Cuba – a bucket list trip. While we had the opportunity to see most of the island’s endemic birds, including the Bee Hummingbird, the smallest bird in the world,
probably the biggest thrill was viewing a group of American Flamingos in the wild.
After returning from Cuba, my friend Sue and I birded along the gulf coast of Florida where I was able to see a life bird – Florida Scrub Jay at Oscar Scherer State Park, where we were enchanted by close looks at some Gopher Turtles.