Monday, April 20, 2009

Birding in the San Luis Valley

It's beginning to look like Spring in Colorado. The daffodils are blooming in our backyard by the birdbath and we've planted some Pansies in the boxes around the patio.

The purple pansies endured the snow we had over the weekend and are looking quite perky.

Bill is re-doing the pond today with two of his grandsons, Nathan and Camron. I'd be taking pictures, but my camera is in the repair shop. Maybe if it can't be fixed, I can get a new one.

Last week Bill and I drove our new-to-us 2007 Toyota Camry Hybrid down to the San Luis Valley to visit Louis and Paula and see if the Sand Hill Cranes were still there. They were not - but we saw lots of other birds like this Yellow-headed blackbird and got great mileage on the car - 47 miles a gallon.

Louis took this picture and I took the next one. He has a much fancier camera and several of the following pictures (the good ones) are his.

I don't remember ever seeing a Yellow-headed Blackbird before, but on this trip we saw dozens.

This is a wren. Louis identified it as a Sedge Wren but I'm not so sure. I think it is a Marsh Wren.

In Florida, we saw lots of Eastern Mockingbirds. This Western Mockingbird looks and sounds the same.

Two pairs of Ruddy Ducks at the Alamosa Wildlife Preserve.

This picture of Ring-necked Ducks is another that Louis was able to get with his long lens. I'm sure I need a new camera!

The Northern Shovelers are easy to identify with their huge bills.

We encountered this Northern Harrier sitting beside the road but before either of us could get our cameras out, he flew away.

I think this is a Greater Scaup. I need to study-up on ducks.

These are Gadwalls.

It seems out of place to see Gulls in Colorado but we saw quite a few of these Franklin Gulls.

I think this is a pair of Bafflehead Ducks.

Canadian Geese are everywhere!

We also saw lots of Mountain Bluebirds.

I was excited to see these American Avocets, cousins to the Black-necked Stilts we saw in Florida.

You can see his up-turned bill in this picture. We also saw several Cinnamon Teal, a Black-crested Night Heron and a White-faced Ibis but they were too far away to get decent pictures.

I will be without a camera until the end of the month so I don't know how many blog entries I will do. We just got new phones with Bluetooth for the car and they have cameras - but I haven't a clue how to get the pictures into the computer. Maybe one of the grandsons can help.

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