Tag Archives: Rock Squirrel

A Trip to Bandelier National Monument, Part II

At the close of A Trip to Bandelier National Monument, Part I we were about to return to the Nature Trail after making a detour to Alcove House at Bandelier National Monument.

We saw a Mule Deer doe browsing quite close to the trail. She was not concerned about three photographers pointing long lenses at her, and she continued to consume a great deal of Gambel Oak as we photographed her.

Mule Deer doe

Mule Deer doe

Mule Deer doe

A hungry girl.

This cute little Rock Squirrel paused next to the trail just long enough for me to take its photo.

Rock Squirrel

Rock Squirrel

I saw a lovely Abert’s Squirrel peeking at me from a branch of a Ponderosa Pine.

Abert's Squirrel

Abert's Squirrel

Bosque Bill stopped along the trail to talk to some other birders, and I wandered away, looking at the beautiful, tiny butterflies that seemed to be everywhere in the park.

Spring Azure Butterfly on a Big Golden Pea Plant.

Spring Azure Butterfly on a Big Golden Pea Plant.

As I wandered away from the trail, Bosque Bill, thinking that I was ahead of him, hurried back to where we had agreed to meet. Not knowing that Bill was ahead of me, I wandered along at a leisurely pace, waiting for him to catch up with me. As I wandered along, I saw a number of birds to photograph.

Male Black-headed Grosbeak

Male Black-headed Grosbeak

Female Black-headed Grosbeak

Female Black-headed Grosbeak

Steller's Jay

Steller's Jay

At one point along the Nature Trail I could see the ruins through the trees across the floor of Frijoles Canyon.

Ancient Pueblo ruins, glimpsed through the trees.

Ancient Pueblo ruins, glimpsed through the trees.

As I walked along, wondering what had happened to Eric and Bill, I saw warblers, swallows, goldfinches and vireos flitting through the trees. I heard woodpeckers pounding on tree bark. It was a lovely, peaceful walk. When I reached our rendez-vous point, Eric and Bill were waiting patiently for me. We ate dessert, which we had not eaten with our lunch. I saw a Canyon Towhee at the edge of the picnic area.

Canyon Towhee

Canyon Towhee

After we finished our dessert we decided to walk around the lower parking lot where Bill had seen the Grace’s Warbler earlier in the day. Although we did not see the warbler, we did see a gorgeous Hepatic Tanager, our best bird of the day.

Hepatic Tanager

Hepatic Tanager

Hepatic Tanager

Hepatic Tanager, another view.

As we left, we took the opportunity to look down into Frijoles Canyon from the road on the mesa above.

Frijoles Canyon

Frijoles Canyon seen from the mesa above the canyon.

Bandelier National Monument is a wonderful place to see both Ancient Pueblo culture and a nice variety of wildlife. Be sure to make time to visit when you come to New Mexico.

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Filed under Bandelier National Monument, New Mexico birds, New Mexico scenery