The Bosque itself was a little slow but we had great views of wintering birds such White Pelicans, Green winged Teal, a pair of hatch year Yellow crowned Night Heron, Pied Billed Grebe, among others. We ran the loop in the vehicle and encountered a dozen lesser Sandhill Cranes, early arrivals from Russia. Along the way back to the mountains, we viewed Northern Harriers in the fields. The next day we had a great day of mountain birding in the Sandias.
On our way ascending the mountain to the peak we encountered copious amounts of Red Crossbills, and the birding got better the higher we got! Heading to the top we viewed a flock of Evening Grosbeaks.
Arriving at the top we were greeted with 25-30 Clark's Nutcrackers, and the Balloon Fiesta was occurring below so we had great views of the ascension of the non standard balloons in fun shapes like Smokey the Bear and an Ice Cream Cone. We continued to bird and came across a mixed flock of high altitude species to include Ruby crowned Kinglet, Mountain Chickadees, Red breasted Nuthatches, Cassin's Finches, and the bird of the day for my clients was the Townsend's Warbler.
Unfortunately, the Rosy Finches had not yet arrived, but this gives my clients a reason to return (as if they needed one!).
Thank you Mary Kay for your excellent photography and Deidre for your mentoring abilities.