Today on January 19th, Ronnie Reed, Adrian Smith, and I made plans to bird the Old Beeline Highway during the A.M. It's always a fun place to bird, and on the lottery mindset of things, we kept an eye out for Bohemian Waxwing (which has irrupted far south of it's normal range this winter, and has reached extreme northeast Arizona at Teec Nos Pos). When we got there, Michael Smith joined us also and we made our way south for over 1.5 miles while surveying mid-elevation riparian, juniper, and chaparral habitat.
We didn't win the bird lottery and find a Bohemian Waxwing, but there were up to 40 different species that the 4 of us detected. The high numbers of American Robin and Townsend's Solitaire have dropped from this spot, especially with the Robins. With the robins, the thousands of birds I estimated here several weeks ago had a new estimate of under 100. Evening Grosbeak numbers haven't changed much. We had at least 90 birds, but likely more. Their calls are obvious when they are present, and flyover flocks early held at least 50 and 30 birds apiece in two different flocks. The Grosbeaks were the main bird highlight for me, and others included Merlin, Hammond's Flycatcher, 45 Cedar Waxwing, and more. Michael had a good look at a Sage Thrasher that the rest of us weren't able to get on. Aside from birds, we saw a nice family of White-nosed Coati on a cliff above the road level, and it was awesome.
|White-nosed Coati family (troop?)|