By Signe Hammer
Audubon leads a birdwalk on the third Sunday of every month—this month, that’s the 21st, the day after tomorrow. With leaders Bob Graham, Mike Wheatcroft and Norman Besman 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. We’ll look for both residents and lingering winter visitors.
Along the river, we might see a Killdeer, Green or Belted Kingfisher, Green Heron, Black-crowned Night Heron or any of our big, long-legged waders: Great or Snowy Egret, Great Blue Heron or White-faced Ibis. Last year, because heavy rains had flooded some of the fields, we saw American Coots, American White Pelicans, Neotropic Cormorants and a variety of ducks. Coots, and ducks such as Northern Shoveler and Green-winged Teal, are still likely this year.
In the trees and bushes, we’re likely to see (and hear) our local, brilliantly colored Great Kiskadee, Cassin’s Kingbird, or Vermilion Flycatcher, as well as Chipping Sparrows and Golden-fronted Woodpeckers. We’ll keep our eyes peeled for such winter visitors as Lark or Clay-colored Sparrows, Spotted Sandpiper, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher and warblers: Nashville, Wilosn’s or Yellow-rumped.
We’ll keep an eye on the sky, too, where we’re likely to spot Common Ravens and Turkey or Black Vultures. Hawks we’ve seen at this site include Northern Harrier, Red-shouldered, Red-tailed, Coopers and Sharp-shinned.
The walk is open to all birders, beginning and experienced alike. Wear comfortable, sturdy walking shoes and bring water and a hat. We’ll have our newly revised Bird Guide—which focuses on the birds most commonly found in the San Miguel area—for sale. Our guides carry telescopes so that everyone can see distant birds clearly, and we’ll also have a few pairs of binoculars to lend.
Carpooling is essential, so if you have a car, please bring it. Plan to arrive at 7:45, as we leave promptly at 8. You'll be back about noon, with new entries for your life list and new birding friends. Steady rain cancels.
Sun, Feb 21, 7:45am-Noon
Meets in front of Instituto Allende
Ancha de San Antonio 20
Bob Graham, 154-9856
Members free, non-members 150 pesos or US $15