Sunday, January 18, 2015

Once Upon a Time in What was Old Mexico.

Started Friday with two major targets, Crissal Thrasher and Gambel's quail. Our first stop was the Rio Bosque Wetlands Park. Both birds were found along the canal as we drove up to the park. Gambel's Quail was a lifer too. Those two plus the Harris Hawks made for year birds 203 before got to the parking lot.

We spent the next couple of hours walking the trail at Rio Bosque. Rio Bosque is built on land that surrounds the old channel of the Rio Grande River. In the 1930's the river was channelized and straightened and a new International Boundary was set. Most of this park is on land that was in Mexico 80 years ago. The park goes right up against the border wall now.

Due to construction the wetlands have not been flooded yet for the winter. In fact water has been scarce the last few years and the park has not had much water. Our day list shows that, Gambel's Quail, Crissal Thrasher, Verdin, and Black-tailed Gnatcatcher are not wetlands species. For many the highlight was the pair of nesting of White-tailed Kites.

Rio Bosque Wetlands Park is build right against the border wall in El Paso Texas
We also had many Cooper's Hawks there for species 204.

After the park we went to the Jonathan Rogers Water Treatment Plant. The settling ponds there were absolutely packed with ducks.  We counted 16 species of waterfowl including new year birds Cinnamon Teal and Blue-winged Teal for 206 species for the year. Other good stuff there where Common Merganser, Redhead, Ross's Goose and American Avocet.

Our next stop was Lake Asacarte Park and more of the same species. While there I ran into John Berner who mentioned he was headed to a stakeout Lewis's Woodpecker. I begged off the field trip and bummed a ride with John. Less that 20 seconds after getting to the sight we found the Lewis's Woodpecker I'm a cottonwood. Species 207.

While searching a neighborhood in the upper valley of El Paso for a Band-tailed Pigeon, I got offered a tour of some of the neighborhood hotspots by Jim Paton. he took me to the Keystone Heritage Park where Yellow-headed Blackbirds were coming in to roost in numbers for species 208 for the year.

1 comment:

  1. Great stuff, I'm following your sojourns with jealousy. Thanks for letting us participate vicariously!