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Great Backyard Bird Count 2013

02/17/2013

I took part in the Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) today at the ABQ Biopark Botanical Gardens.  Last year I did the count at Tingley Bosque, which was what I count as my first birding trip.  So happy anniversary to me I guess.  I also filled the feeders in my backyard for the first time this winter and so far I have had zero birds visit.  I stopped earlier to try and get rid of the pigeons, which finally worked.  But I miss the finches, quail and the very occasional thrasher.

Back to the garden count.  There were only a few of us this morning, and most of the people were new and/or garden volunteers.  But we had a good time and ended up seeing 31 species as a group.  I added 2 more after everyone had left and I got my camera.  I heard the ever so elusive Blue Jay that has been residing at the park all winter, but did not actually see it.  There was also a very photogenic and active Belted Kingfisher near the pond when we first go there, but was gone by the time that I got my camera out.  This bird is becoming my nemesis bird to photograph.  I’m pretty sure that I saw a Mountain Bluebird*, but I’m not sure if they would be in the Bosque or not.  It was a bluebird with no rufous on it’s belly anywhere, just all white/light-grey.  I included a poorly lit photo of it below here.  We also got to see 2 Bald Eagles, which are starting to be common birds over the river.  Maybe they’ll stick around for the Summer.

*Apparently this was the elusive Blue Jay that has been hiding out at the gardens all winter.  I think that a follow up trip is in store for this week.

Hermit Thrush

Hermit Thrush

Adult Bald Eagle

Adult Bald Eagle

Immature Bald Eagle, flew over and seemed to be following the Adult

Immature Bald Eagle, flew over and seemed to be following the Adult

Black-Capped Chickadee

Black-Capped Chickadee

Western Scrub Jay

Western Scrub Jay

Shot over my shoulder, which isn't easy with a 500mm lens

Spotted Towhee

My mystery bluebird.  I think that It's a mountain

apparently this is a Blue Jay and not a Mountain Bluebird.

Greater Roadrunner

Greater Roadrunner

Two of my favorite ducks, Wood Duck and Ring-Necked Duck

Two of my favorite ducks, Wood Duck and Ring-Necked Duck

So that’s it.  It sounded like the Tingley count was much more exciting.  But I enjoyed going to the gardens again and really don’t go there enough. I think that I’ll take the kids there this week if it stays warm.  I’ve also added some birds to my New Mexico guide challenge, a ring-billed gull and downy woodpecker from a few weeks ago and the hermit thrush and mountain bluebird from today (if it was a mountain!).  I looked back through the guide and there are some really challenging birds for me to see, lots that I’ve never seen before, so I’m confident that it’s going to lead to an exciting year for me.

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2 Comments
  1. Hey,

    Found your blog today and its nice to see what kind of birds you can see in Albuquerque area. First pic of this post is Fox Sparrow. We saw one in Estonia and Finland last year. It was something like third of fourth for Europe! Hope you put more pics and text soon.

    best.

    -Tom

    • steve permalink

      Thanks. My family and I are moving to Ireland next year. Hopefully they have the variety that you have in Finland. Perhaps I’ll even make it to Scandinavia while we’re there.

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