By Signe Hammer
With leaders Luke Rich, Norman Besman and Bob Graham, we’ll bird along the Rio Laja, near the bridge on the new road to Guanajuato. In addition to the wooded river trail, the varied habitat includes open farmland with big trees, and lots of sky for raptors.
Along the river we might see a Killdeer, Green Kingfisher, Green Heron, Black-crowned Night Heron or one of our big, long-legged waders such as Great or Snowy Egret. Depending on how high the water is, we might also find waterfowl such as Mexican Duck or American Coot.
In the trees, we’re likely to see (and hear) our local, brilliantly colored Great Kiskadee, Vermilion Flycatcher, Golden-fronted or Ladder-backed Woodpecker, Hooded Oriole or House Finch. And we’ll keep our eyes peeled for early migrants, such as Lark Sparrow, Spotted Sandpiper, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher and Wilson’s or Yellow Warbler.
We’ll keep an eye on the sky, too. We could spot a Common Raven, Turkey Vulture, American Kestrel, or Mexico’s own Crested Caracara. Hawks we’ve seen at this site include Red-tailed, Red-shouldered, Coopers and Sharp-shinned, as well as Osprey and Northern Harrier.
We usually walk as far as the ruins of a colonial-era bridge, once part of one of the many Caminos Reales (Royal Roads) constructed in the area to help move silver from mines to shipping points.
The walk is open to all birders, beginning and experienced alike. Wear sturdy walking shoes and bring water and a hat. Carpooling is essential, so if you have a car, please bring it. Plan to arrive at 7:45, as we leave promptly at 8.
We’ll have our revised Audubon de México bird guide, Birds of San Miguel—with 81 species commonly found in the San Miguel area—for sale. Our guides carry telescopes so that all can see distant birds clearly, and we’ll also have a few pairs of binoculars to lend. You'll be back about noon, with new entries for your life list and new birding friends. Steady rain cancels.
Sun, September 18, 7:45 am-Noon
Meets in front of Instituto Allende
Ancha de San Antonio 20
Norman Besman, (044) 415-149-0394
Members free, non-members 150 pesos/US $15