Feb. 7 – Feb. 21st Percha Dam State Park (Arrey, New Mexico)

Yea … finally a place where there are trees, though mainly just along the Rio Grande river. Percha State Park is a great place for birding, though at this time, the water is not flowing over the diversion dam. That won’t be until later in March. I am hoping to come back and see that happen. It would be exciting! I have seen lots of birds and deer. Here is a list of the birds I have seen (though most I have not been able to get a clear photograph of): black Phoebe, Merlin and/ or Prairie Falcon (a Prairie Falcon is a subspecies of a Merlin and one I have seen was darker and one lighter), Buffleheads, Green winged Teal, Northern Flicker, Gadwall, Mallards, Stellar jays, Ruby crowned kinglet, Belted Kingfisher, Cooper’s hawk, White crowned sparrow, Spotted sandpiper, Killdeer, European starlings, Red-tailed hawks, Northern Flickers, Sandhill cranes (many), Great Blue heron, Ring billed gulls, Ladderback woodpecker, Red winged blackbirds, Phainopepla, Pyrrhuloxia, lesser goldfinch, road runner, Snow geese and Great horned owls. Also, mule deer and elk bones, and a skunk skull. Lots of deer and elk scat. I plan on getting some pictures of the Sandhill Cranes before I leave.

A particular tree is where two Great Horned owls reside. One day, hiking with a friend, we saw one fly away from the particular tree. Yesterday, we saw two sitting side by side. My friend was able to get a picture of one but didn’t get both, because one flew away too soon before he could capture a photo of them together. This morning neither were in the tree. This afternoon one was in the tree, and this time I had my camera with me. I and my friend are on a quest to get a photograph of the two of them together. It is an overcast day today, so I am hoping for a more sunny day when I can capture a photo of both. They are well camouflaged.

More pictures of birds on 2/15/18

Owl #1 in the same place as yesterday.

Owl #2 was in the same tree as owl #1 but flew away too quickly to a different tree and much higher up.

Owl #3 in a nest after we walked a short distance from the first two owls.

Possibly an owl nest in a tree nearer the first two owls.

Pyrrhuloxia with feathers blowing in the wind.

A female Phainopepla

A sweet pair of Eurasian collared doves.

I believe it is a red tailed hawk in this tree – behind the branches.

Red tailed hawk further up the trail, in flight.

Lesser goldfinches

Red finches

A little Brown creeper

A black Phoebe by the river catching insects.

A couple of Sandhill cranes.

More Sandhill cranes, on a sunny day.

I captured a small herd of mule deer on my hike.

Usually, it is bright blue skies here in New Mexico. Today, it was overcast and cloudy, making for an interesting reflection in the Rio Grande.

A Prairie Falcon.

My last morning hiking in this campsite (2/20/18)

The Cooper’s Hawk now north of the dam

A red tail hawk that is always in this area north of the dam, on an overcast, cloudy day.

An interesting nest – may have to check and see if there are eggs or young in this nest when I come back in March.

Some elk bones and carcass and a deer skull. Since the deer skull was amongst the elk bones, I am thinking someone dumped these here.

A cow skull with horns intact, one very bleached. Saw three cow carcasses.

A whimsical UFO outside of Truth or Consequences, New Mexico.

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