Today my friend Steve Saylor and I met at the Randall Davey Audubon Center in order to do a little hiking and birding. Steve and I went to Bosque de Apache last year chasing the elusive wood rail. Steve is a long time birder, originally from Ohio. The Center is in Santa Fe, located at the end of Upper Canyon Rd. It is a beautiful expanse comprising over 135 acres and bordered by thousands of acres of open space.
We started off with a hike up Bear Canyon, pausing to see the warning signs about a mother and cub in the area that could be problematic. We gingerly walked up the trail and I could feel the effects of the elevation on my lungs. The smell of juniper and piñon added to our pleasure at being in the great outdoors, away from people. Luckily we didn't run into the bears. It was an absolutely gorgeous morning.
We returned to the nature center, once the home of the late Santa Fe artist Randall Davey. They had put out feeders in the beautiful gardens and I went to the van and retrieved my new Induro 314 tripod and Wimberley gimbal head for their near maiden voyage.
We saw all manner of birds and I stayed several hours. My gear worked perfectly. All of these shots were taken with my Nikon D7000 and Sigma 50-500mm lens. Birder friend Beth asked me to try to identify what I saw and I will give it my best shot. You can correct me if I am wrong.
I couldn't snap a few, the unspecified warbler, the stellar jay, kingbird and the towhee among others. Even saw a couple lbb's. I would like to go back if I have time and try again as it is a beautiful place that I am ashamed to say I have never visited before.
The downy and hairy woodpecker are very close and not easy to identify, at least for a neophyte like me. I believe that this is a juvenile downy with his red cap just starting to come in.
Lots of lovely hummingbirds, mainly Rufous and Broad tailed.
Here is a picture of a broad tailed female in a tree. Note the spots under the chin.
The little red house finches were quite lovely and playful.
|Lesser Goldfinch, male|
Here are two
I have many more shots but think that I am probably starting to lose you. I need to identify a little yellow finch. If I make it out again I will probably have a whole bunch of new birds to add as well. Hope that you enjoy the pictures.