Jan. 24 – Feb. 6th Leasburg Dam State Park (Las Cruces, New Mexico)

I am planning on staying at Leasburg Dam State Park because I am hoping to see wildlife along this stretch of the Rio Grande. Also, Las Cruces has many interesting places to explore – multiple museums and the old town area.

Wildlife along the Rio Grande this morning.

Trail ….

Looks like a black crowned night heron across the river ( like what I saw out in California).

Raccoon tracks.

Great blue heron tracks.

I believe a Northern Mockingbird.

Look how dry the Rio Grande is above the dam.

Historic dam keepers house.

Five deer came down for a drink.

A domestic cat out hunting.

A killdeer …

A rushing waterfall.


I went bird watching this morning, led by CJ from the local Audubon Society. He was great, along with a postdoc, Greg, from New Mexico State University in Las Cruces.

Here is a list of the birds we saw and identified. A few I was able to get pictures of, but most of them I just enjoyed watching through my binoculars.

LIST: Osprey, Lincoln sparrow, Western Bluebird, Phainopepla, Ladderback woodpecker, House finch, Ruby crowned kinglet, Black crowned night heron, Great Blue Heron, coot, Green winged teal, Northern Flicker, Junco, Killdeer, red tailed hawk, Chihuahuan raven, Wilson’s snipe, Gambel’s quail, cactus wren, Bewick’s wren, Gadwall ducks, white crowned sparrow, white winged dove, American Pipit, Mourning dove, Red breasted Nuthatch, Northern mockingbird, crow, Sages’s Phoebe, black throated sparrow, Verdin, mallard ducks, Spotted sandpiper, Hermit thrush, Stellar jay, lesser goldfinch, Spotted Towhee.

Western Bluebird



Spotted Towhee and Lincoln sparrow.

Northern Flicker

Spotted Sandpiper – constantly bobbing its tail

On Friday, Feb. 2nd, I went to walk the trails at Mesilla Bosque State Park. I saw a Northern Harrier hawk harassing a Red-tailed hawk in a tree. I later saw another Red-tailed hawk on a pile of brush, hunting. I did see these tracks along the river, and as of yet, I have not figured out what made these tracks.

UPDATE: Thanks to Chris Byrd, an instructor at Alderleaf Wilderness College, who identified these tracks as ones created by a turtle. I graduated with a certificate in Wilderness Education & Ecology from this college in June, 2017, and I can’t say enough about the dedication and knowledge shown by these instructors. Look – they are still answering my questions, even after I graduated and am no longer in Washington State!

The Organ Mountains to the east.

This salt cedar is a popular tree along the Rio Grande. Its leaves look like needles, but it is actually a deciduous tree.

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