Quarai Mission Ruins
Birding safari buddy Bosque Bill and I went to Quarai Ruins at Salinas Pueblo Missions National Monument near Mountainair, New Mexico, to participate in an International Migratory Bird Day bird walk. The walk was led by Hart Schwarz, neotropical bird specialist for the Cibola National Forest.
Quarai is about a one and one-half hour drive from Corrales and the Albuquerque North Valley. Bill and I arrived only a few minutes late and were happy to find that several people arrived after we did. We walked from the monument headquarters to a large grove of cottonwoods to begin our walk. As we stood around chatting and shivering in the 43 degree F. cold, we noticed that the cottonwoods above our heads were full of Audubon’s Yellow-rumped Warblers. In fact, they were everywhere in large numbers throughout the walk. I am sure we saw well over 100 of them during the course of the day.
Audubon's Yellow-rumped Warbler (male)
As we left the cottonwood grove we walked through a field where Mountain Bluebirds were busily hunting insects.
There were Mountain Bluebirds in the trees as well,
along with more Yellow-rumped Warblers.
Another Yellow-rumped Warbler
We crossed a bridge over an arroyo. There was a pool of water in the arroyo, and I was lucky enough to get a (slightly out-of-focus) photo of a Gray Catbird just before it flew away.
We saw several Wilson’s Warblers throughout the day, but this is the only one I saw that was not deep inside a tree. It was too far away for a good photo, but you can see its little black yarmulke quite well.
There were many Yellow Warblers, including this pretty female,
Yellow Warbler (female)
and this beautiful male.
Yellow Warbler (male)
We saw quite a few Ladder-backed Woodpeckers too, which I wrote about yesterday.
There were Dusky Flycatchers all along the arroyo.
Everywhere we went there were more Yellow-rumped Warblers.
Yet another Yellow-rumped Warbler
On the way back, we were treated to the lovely sight of a Lazuli Bunting.
As we returned to the picnic area for lunch we saw a Black-headed Grosbeak. We had seen them earlier, but this one was close enough for a photo.
We saw and heard many Broad-tailed and Black-chinned Hummingbirds, but most were too far away for photos. I was able to get a photo of this Black-chinned male. At least you can tell that it’s a hummingbird.
Bill and I had a lovely day at Quarai. I expect to attend the International Migratory Bird Day celebration there again next year.