• Bill West

La Cueva Valley, 9/24/2013


After 23 years of living in the same house in Santa Fe, my wife and I recently moved about 20 miles east to the Glorieta area. This area is a bit higher than Santa Fe (around 7.500') and certainly a lot lusher. The property we now live on has a great mix of Ponderosa Pine, Pinyon, two species of juniper, Narrow-leaf Cottonwood, scrub oak and even a few fir trees. I have nicknamed it the Corvid Kingdom as we regulary see 7 corvids here: Steller's, Western Scrub and Pinyon Jays, Black-billed Magpie, Clark's Nutcracker, American Crow, and Common Raven. On a morning walk on 9/24, a bit of migration surge was happening. Cassin's Vireos and Townsend's Warblers were drifting through from the Pacific Northwest and souther Rockies montane species such as Red-naped and Williamson's Sapsuckers, and Townsend's Solitaires were heading south (and lower). The latter species was singing away, no doubt inspired by our warm, early fall conditions. Some species that might overwinter here, Dark-eyed Junco and Ruby-crowned Kinglet, were newly arrived as well. All in all, a most splendid hour to start my day.


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