14 Jan Christmas Rendezvous with Phoebes
Delia and I were back in New Mexico’s southern “bootheel” yet again for the holidays. Things were calm down there, perhaps overly so weatherwise. This weather system shown assaulting the cliffs on the north side of the canyon was only good for ¼ inch of precipitation.
Lesser Goldfinch are usually around in winter. This is a “green-backed” male.
This Pyrrhuloxia clearly thought it was a mistake not to realize I was close by. The next shot is of a branch.
The Gambel’s Quail , present perhaps only because of my parents-in-law’s feeding station, are down to seven now, from a high of maybe 160 in the 90’s. The Montezuma Quail could be seen more as the rightful quail-inhabitant of the canyon, but they aren’t doing so well either and we missed them again this year.
This post is a sequel to my Sept. 2010 post “Sobering adventures…”. For the Peloncillo Christmas bird count, Delia, Sy Baldwin and Sheila Gershin and I drove/walked in to Bob and Katie’s land from the East, that is from the Animas Valley, crossing the Gray Ranch and neighbor Clint Dunagin’s ranch to get there. I had wondered if we would find water in the section pasture pond, and I’d wondered if we’d find our traditional Black Phoebe. Yes and Yes, though the Black Phoebe was too far away for a shot and it was sharing the pond with this Say’s Phoebe. We also found a first-ever-for the ranch Baird’s Sparrow.