Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Rosy Finches and More
Today began with a great visit to feeders in the backyard of a house in La Veta, CO. A lovely lady who owns the home begins feeding in December and continues into April. She puts out 50 pounds of seed each week, and the result is stunning. In mid winter with snow on the ground she says she can have as many as 500 rosy finches at her feeders. This morning there were close to 100. The top picture above gives you a feel for the # and type of finches she has (remember you can click on a photo to enlarge it, and click again to make it even bigger; hit the back arrow to go back to normal size).
The second photo has dead center the hepburn form of the gray-crowned rosy and a black rosy. The bottom photo gives you a good look at the evening grosbeaks that also visit her yard. Her most common rosy finch is the brown-capped of which there are several in the top photo. In over 30 minutes of viewing time I also saw house finch, eurasian collared dove, black-billed magpie, red-winged blackbird, mountain chickadee, american goldfinch, pine siskin, and 5 forms of dark-eyed junco. The birds come in, feed and fly off regularly because of a raptor flying over, or her 100 lb kuvasz, which is like a great pyrenees, roaming around the yard.
After many pictures and some numb fingers from the early morning chill, I headed down the road into New Mexico to visit with 2 old friends who moved to Villanueva after hurricane Katrina destroyed their home in Mississippi, and almost drowned one of them. After 6 tough months in Baton Rouge they decided New Mexico was where they wanted to relocate. Finally last year they received enough money from the Katrina disaster funds to be able to buy and build a small adobe home. They work in Santa Fe, but love living in the Pecos River valley in the small group of villages along the river.
Tonite I am laying over in Clovis, NM before driving all day tomorrow back to Austin, TX. Today marks the end of March, and tomorrow will be the end of week #13 of this grand travel adventure. After today, the brown-capped rosy-finch makes year bird #421. There were 9 new birds for the week which brings that total to 66. I had a personal goal of hitting 400 different species by the end of March, so I feel good about being at 421. And this coming week is the beginning of the spring migration cycle. I will be birding the Texas coast next. Stay tuned!