Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Moving On To Baca County

August 25, 2012

Rebecca Kosten and I arrived at Cottonwood Canyon (Baca County) about an hour and a half before sunrise (around 5:00 am).  Two Western Screech-Owls responded to our recordings, as did a Common Poorwill (at civil twilight).  One Screech Owl allowed us good looks.

A walk up the draw south of the "camping area" at Baca County Road 5 & Carrizo Creek was quite interesting.  An Eastern Phoebe and Townsend's Warbler were highlights.  We also found a male Ladder-backed Woodpecker, Canyon Wren and Long-eared Owl!

We walked west up the draws past the old stone house and fork in the road.  A Gray Vireo, Ash-throated Flycatcher and male Blue Grosbeak were east of the house.

Another male Ladder-backed Woodpecker was down the southern draw.  A flock of 6-8 Pine Siskins seemed out of place.

Common birds included Canyon Towhee, Bewick's Wrens, Chihuahuan Ravens, a few Red-tailed Hawks, Wild Turkeys, Western & Cassin's Kingbirds and Rock Wrens.

We then drove east to the cattle guard 1.4 miles past the "camping area".  I have also found this a good location to search for Rufous-crowned Sparrows and it did not disappoint today.  Two Rufous-crowned Sparrows responded quickly to our recordings.

While trying to photograph the Rufous-crowned Sparrow, Rebecca found a Blackburnian Warbler in the cottonwoods south of the road!

We met some locals who took us to their ranch and showed us a pair of Barn Owls (where else, in their barn).

Later in the day, we parking at Picture Canyon and walked to the "Spring" at North Canyon.  Vermilion Flycatchers have been reported more than half a dozen times in the last twenty years at this spring (none today).

Along the three mile hike, we saw Northern Mockingbirds, a Rufous-crowned Sparrow, 2 Curve-billed Thrashers, a Sage Thrasher, several Cassin's Sparrows and many Chipping Sparrows (out of place?).

At dusk, we drove the back roads over to the Upland Bird Management Area.  One Short-eared Owl was found along the way.  None flew around the UBMA this night.

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