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Shipman's field notes, Dec 2004


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2004-12-02: NM: New Mexico Tech

@NMT: New Mexico Tech
Phoebe, Black @New Mexico Tech
MSEC building, SW corner.
First of the season.

2004-12-04: NM: New Mexico Tech: Turtle Bay

@TBay: New Mexico Tech: Turtle Bay
Wigeon, American 12 @New Mexico Tech: Turtle Bay
Grebe, Pied-billed 1 @New Mexico Tech: Turtle Bay
Coot, American 38 @New Mexico Tech: Turtle Bay

2004-12-09: NM: Socorro: 507 Fitch

@home: Socorro: 507 Fitch
Raven, Chihuahuan 1 @Socorro: 507 Fitch
Vocalizations: 'rack'

2004-12-11: NM: Socorro

@NMT: Socorro: New Mexico Tech
@day: Socorro
@home: Socorro: 507 Fitch
Dove, Inca 6 @Socorro: 507 Fitch
Blackbird, Red-winged 6 @Socorro: New Mexico Tech
Office window list. Feeding in a juniper near the NW corner of the Weir Hall parking lot.

2004-12-12: NM: Socorro-Bosque del Apache

Notable:  Ferruginous Hawk
@A101: Socorro County A-101 (Farm-Market)
@BdA: Bosque del Apache NWR
@day: Socorro-Bosque del Apache
Route Leave 1235: NM-1, Socorro County A-101, then US 380 back to NM-1, around the Bosque tour loop. Light gone at 1645 when still on the north end of the loop.
Weather Gorgeous day, no clouds anywhere, breezes light and variable, temps over 60F in midafternoon.
Missed No Pied-billed Grebes. No cormorants. No herons. No Ross's Goose.
Film Start on VC roll 20040905-1430 ~frame 23. At 1400, done, change to Fuji Reala. At 1550, done, change to VC. Last shots of Ferruginous Hawk through about ~frame 18.
Goose, Snow 2000+ @Bosque del Apache NWR
Description: Scoped several hundred looking for Ross's.
Goose, Canada 200+ @Bosque del Apache NWR
Gadwall 30+ @Bosque del Apache NWR
Mallard 400+ @Bosque del Apache NWR
One pond just past the south end of the Marsh Loop had a huge flock. Most common dabbler today, which is not the pattern I'm used to---most years they're not that numerous.
Shoveler, Northern @Bosque del Apache NWR
Third most common dabbler.
Pintail, Northern @Bosque del Apache NWR
Second most common dabbler.
Teal, Green-Winged 150+ @Bosque del Apache NWR
Canvasback 25+ @Bosque del Apache NWR
Redhead 20+ @Bosque del Apache NWR
Duck, Ring-necked 300+ @Bosque del Apache NWR
Biggest concentration is in the north end of the Boardwalk pond, which is not visible from the Boardwalk.
Scaup, Lesser 
2♂ @Bosque del Apache NWR
2♀ @Bosque del Apache NWR
Bufflehead 1 @Bosque del Apache NWR
Duck, Ruddy 5+ @Bosque del Apache NWR
Pheasant, Ring-necked 1a @Bosque del Apache NWR
Eagle, Bald 2-3i @Bosque del Apache NWR
Harrier, Northern 1i @Bosque del Apache NWR
Hawk, Red-tailed 
4 @Socorro County A-101 (Farm-Market)
6 @Bosque del Apache NWR
Description: All intermediate phase.
Hawk, Ferruginous @Bosque del Apache NWR
Description: White head, underparts and tail, except rufous barring on thighs. Perched near the north end of the loop. Several photographs taken with very strange light in the last ten minutes before sundown.
Kestrel, American 12+ @Socorro-Bosque del Apache
Coot, American 300+ @Bosque del Apache NWR
Crane, Sandhill 2500+ @Bosque del Apache NWR
Killdeer 1 @Bosque del Apache NWR
Dowitcher, Long-billed 10 @Bosque del Apache NWR
Pigeon, Rock 20+ @Bosque del Apache NWR
Dove, White-winged 1 @Bosque del Apache NWR
Dove, Mourning 1 @Socorro County A-101 (Farm-Market)
Roadrunner, Greater 5 @Bosque del Apache NWR
Flicker, Red-shafted 2 @Bosque del Apache NWR
Phoebe, Black 2 @Bosque del Apache NWR
Phoebe, Say's 8 @Socorro-Bosque del Apache
Shrike, Loggerhead 1 @Socorro County A-101 (Farm-Market)
Crow, American 60 @Socorro County A-101 (Farm-Market)
Wren, Marsh 1 @Bosque del Apache NWR
Vocalizations: Calling near the Boardwalk.
Bluebird, Eastern @Bosque del Apache NWR
Jerry Oldenettel concurs on the ID.
Bluebird, Western 25+ @Socorro County A-101 (Farm-Market)
Robin, American 2 @Socorro County A-101 (Farm-Market)
Pipit, American 100+ @Socorro County A-101 (Farm-Market)
Heading south, I ran into Eric Greisen and three of his colleagues heading north, just after pulling off to look at some sizeable flocks of grassland birds. We were all leaning toward longspurs after observing their tendency to form loose ragged flocks, wheel around, and then suddenly drop into the grass and become invisible, and because I had seen some white outer rectrices on some. Then a few moved to sit on a fence line and we realize that they were all American Pipits. The bill shape shown in the photo is clearly a pipit bill, not a sparrow bill.
Warbler, Myrtle 2 @Socorro County A-101 (Farm-Market)
Sparrow, White-crowned 40+ @Bosque del Apache NWR
Blackbird, Red-winged 100+ @Bosque del Apache NWR
Meadowlark, Western 5+ @Bosque del Apache NWR

2004-12-18: NM: Bosque del Apache CBC

Notable:  Ferruginous Hawk; Merlin; Peregrine Falcon; Prairie Falcon; Virginia Rail; Greater Yellowlegs; Ring-billed Gull; Eastern Phoebe; Verdin; Swamp Sparrow
@BdA: Bosque del Apache NWR
@Elm: Bosque del Apache: Elmendorf Switch
This bridge, where the railroad crosses over NM-1, is SW of the loop, and railfans will recognize it as immediately north of BNSF's Elmendorf Switch. This locality is described as 'the railroad bridge' in recent Rare Bird Alert postings regarding the Black-tailed Gnatcatcher.
@FL: Bosque del Apache: Farm Loop
@ML: Bosque del Apache: Marsh Loop
@day: Bosque del Apache CBC
Route 0730, start counting. Our beat was the inside and outside of the Marsh Loop (south end) bounded by the center road, NM-1, and the Rio Grande. Went around the loop twice, finishing around 1515. At 1545 I went briefly to the area near the railroad bridge to look for Black-tiled Gnatcatcher, without luck. Then I drove around the Farm Loop (north end) by myself; the light failed around 1645.
Weather Clear, cold; stiff breeze most of the morning doubtless kept a lot of birds out of sight.
Missed No cormorants. No Yellow-rumped Warblers.
Film Resume existing roll of VC-400 around frame 19. First shot of the day was a distant Say's Phoebe, and the camera malfunction and shot six or more frames in short succession, despite single-shot mode. At 1640, finished that roll [2004-12-12-1550 : 2004-12-18-1640] and loaded a new roll of VC, neglecting to label the tail; no shots.
Christmas Bird Count party with Dave Hawksworth and Pat Basham. Counts below are from memory, as I didn't have copies of our party summary.
Goose, Snow 5000+ @Bosque del Apache: Farm Loop
Morning fly-out before we started counting.
Goose, Canada @Bosque del Apache: Marsh Loop
Description: We were on the lookout for the recently split Cackling Goose. Of the few hundred candidates, none were particularly small or had straight or convex culmens.
Gadwall @Bosque del Apache: Marsh Loop
Fourth most abundant dabbler.
Wigeon, American 
We were lucky to spot one pair in the scope, as this species is never common on the refuge, especially compared to the NM Tech Golf Course.
1♂ @Bosque del Apache: Marsh Loop
1♀ @Bosque del Apache: Marsh Loop
Mallard @Bosque del Apache: Marsh Loop
Second most abundant dabbler. Happy Mallard Corner, at the SE corner of the old Marsh Loop route where the new extension continues east, was once again densely packed. I guesstimated about 1500 at this spot alone.
Shoveler, Northern @Bosque del Apache: Marsh Loop
Third most abundant dabbler.
Pintail, Northern @Bosque del Apache: Marsh Loop
Most abundant dabbler, with at least 3000 at Happy Mallard Corner alone.
Teal, Green-Winged @Bosque del Apache: Marsh Loop
Only a few.
Canvasback @Bosque del Apache: Marsh Loop
A few hundred.
Redhead 100+ @Bosque del Apache: Marsh Loop
Duck, Ring-necked @Bosque del Apache: Marsh Loop
Several hundred; most common diving duck.
Scaup, Lesser 
1♂ @Bosque del Apache: Marsh Loop
6+♀ @Bosque del Apache: Marsh Loop
Bufflehead # @Bosque del Apache: Marsh Loop
Duck, Ruddy # @Bosque del Apache: Marsh Loop
Pheasant, Ring-necked 1a @Bosque del Apache: Marsh Loop
Grebe, Pied-billed 2[fide Hawksworth] @Bosque del Apache: Marsh Loop
Grebe, Eared 1 @Bosque del Apache: Marsh Loop
Scoping the pond SW of the SW corner of the loop.
Heron, Great Blue 1 @Bosque del Apache: Marsh Loop
Eagle, Bald 
1a @Bosque del Apache: Marsh Loop
2-4i @Bosque del Apache: Marsh Loop
Harrier, Northern 8+ @Bosque del Apache: Marsh Loop
Hawk, Cooper's a @Bosque del Apache: Marsh Loop
Headquarters trees.
Description: Adult with fine red barring below; eye well forward.
Hawk, Red-tailed @Bosque del Apache: Marsh Loop
Several intermediate phase. One dark-phase.
Hawk, Ferruginous @Bosque del Apache: Farm Loop
Same tree as two weeks ago, near the NW corner of the loop. See photos.
Kestrel, American @Bosque del Apache: Marsh Loop
Merlin @Bosque del Apache: Marsh Loop
Description: Streaked underparts. Tail with wide dark bands, wider distally, separated by very narrow light bands.
Falcon, Peregrine @Bosque del Apache: Elmendorf Switch
Dave spotted this bird flying straight at us from near the railroad bridge.
Falcon, Prairie @Bosque del Apache: Elmendorf Switch
Perched on a piling above the railroad bridge. I found this bird while glassing the area in hopes of spotting the rumored Black-tailed Gnatcatcher.
Rail, Virginia 1 @Bosque del Apache: Marsh Loop
From the east end of the Boardwalk, two trails head south. The left trail stays near the road, but we took the right-hand trail which heads toward the railroad bridge.
Dave was sure that if we went down this trail about fifty yards, we would find a rail in the marsh to the left. We went there and immediately the rail called.
Coot, American # @Bosque del Apache: Marsh Loop
Crane, Sandhill @Bosque del Apache: Marsh Loop
Thousands observed during the dawn flyout. We counted only a few score still in the loop by full light.
Killdeer 1 @Bosque del Apache: Marsh Loop
There was only one tiny shorebird spot, inside the southbound section of the Marsh Loop a short ways past the first deck. We needed the scope for that spot, at the back left corner of a large flooded unit, and there were only the two shorebirds there.
Yellowlegs, Greater 1 @Bosque del Apache: Marsh Loop
Same spot as the Killdeer.
Snipe, Wilson's 2 @Bosque del Apache: Marsh Loop
Gull, Ring-billed ~30 @Bosque del Apache: Marsh Loop
Description: Initial ID by Hawksworth. Later a few came through again and I was able to observe the complete black bill ring and the lightish mantle.
Behavior: One flock wheeling through early.
Dove, Rock @Bosque del Apache: Marsh Loop
San Antonio and farms.
Dove, Mourning 1 @Bosque del Apache: Farm Loop
Woodpecker, Ladder-backed 1♀ @Bosque del Apache: Marsh Loop
Flicker, Red-shafted 1-2 @Bosque del Apache: Marsh Loop
Phoebe, Black 5+ @Bosque del Apache: Marsh Loop
Phoebe, Eastern 1 @Bosque del Apache: Marsh Loop
Not far north of where the loop extension (which leaves the old loop at the SE corner) rejoins the old road. Robert Kruidenier had told us to look for it there.
Phoebe, Say's 5+ @Bosque del Apache: Marsh Loop
raven sp. 1-2 @Bosque del Apache: Marsh Loop
Description: Hawksworth said he'd heard some Commons by call, but all the ones I saw were silent. Crows eliminated by the wedge-shaped tail.
Verdin @Bosque del Apache: Elmendorf Switch
On the W side of NM-1 about halfway between the railroad bridge and the Canyon Trail trailhead.
Wren, Bewick's 1 @Bosque del Apache: Marsh Loop
Description: Medium size, barred tail, white superciliary, clean light underparts, brown upperparts, frenetic hyperactivity.
While Dave and Pat worked around the south end of the pond near here, I worked up toward the bridge and pished out this wren.
Wren, Marsh 2+ @Bosque del Apache: Marsh Loop
Vocalizations: Hear only.
Kinglet, Ruby-crowned 4+ @Bosque del Apache: Marsh Loop
Towhee, Spotted 1 @Bosque del Apache: Marsh Loop
Sparrow, Savannah 2 @Bosque del Apache: Marsh Loop
Sparrow, Song # @Bosque del Apache: Marsh Loop
Sparrow, Swamp 1 @Bosque del Apache: Marsh Loop
In reeds near a canal on the E side.
Description: I saw a sparrow poke up barely above a berm and saw a complete rusty cap, with a light superciliary line. I tried to make it into a Chipping Sparrow, but the head was too chunky and the bill too thick. Then it flew and I saw the large rusty wing patch and the white throat framed in dark lines.
Sparrow, White-crowned # @Bosque del Apache: Marsh Loop
Junco, Oregon 1 @Bosque del Apache: Farm Loop
Blackbird, Red-winged # @Bosque del Apache: Marsh Loop
Meadowlark, Western # @Bosque del Apache: Marsh Loop
Blackbird, Yellow-headed 5+ @Bosque del Apache: Farm Loop
Same tree as the Ferruginous Hawk. The tree was full of a mixed flock of these and Brewer's Blackbird, but when the hawk landed on top, all the Yellow-heads fled, although about half the Brewer's remained.
Blackbird, Brewer's 30+ @Bosque del Apache: Marsh Loop
See Yellow-headed Blackbird.
Grackle, Great-tailed 50+ @Bosque del Apache NWR
Wires by NM-1 north of RR grade crossing, just above a cluster of railroad outbuildings.
Goldfinch, American # @Bosque del Apache: Marsh Loop

2004-12-27: NM: Socorro: BNSF RR station

@Soc: Socorro: BNSF RR station
Roadrunner, Greater @Socorro: BNSF RR station
Behavior: Walking down the BNSF main line, hopping from crosstie to crosstie, and apparently finding a lot to eat poking around under the rails.

2004-12-31: NM: Socorro: 507 Fitch

@home: Socorro: 507 Fitch
Hawk, Sharp-shinned 1♀ @Socorro: 507 Fitch
Behavior: Perched directly over my tube feeder for at least two hours.
Kestrel, American 1 @Socorro: 507 Fitch
Perched on my antenna.

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Last updated: 2011-05-23 18:54 MDT