Home in the Mountains May/June 2015

Being our first spring in the mountains east of Santa Fe, I was quite curious to see who would show up. In late April, despite uncharacteristic spring rains and cold, many migrants began to show up including Black-headed Grosbeak, Grace's Warbler, and the intrepid Broad-tailed Hummingbirds. As May progressed. we were blessed with arrivals of southern Rockies regulars such as Western Tanager, Ash-throated Flycatcher, and Black-throated Gray Warbler. By mid month, a Flammulated Owl was calling repeatedly despite the cool/cold night time temps. I wonder how an insectivore such as this tiny owl can survive in such conditions.

The second half of the month brought more new arrivals such as Warbling and Plumbeous Vireos, Orange-crowned Warbler, and Violet-green Swallow. Turning the corner into June, we now have been blessed with nightly choruses of Common Poorwill, seemingly out of place in these Ponderosa Pine forests, and Common Nighthawk. I always marvel at the herculean journeys of the latter from their winter haunts in South America.

I love being up early this time of year to hear the sequence of the dawn chorus. American Robins starting before 5 am, followed by Mountain Chickadee, Spotted Towhee, Common Raven, Mourning Dove, Black-headed Grosbeak, Cordilleran Flycatcher, and Grace's Warbler. All that before I even get out the door to drive to work. What a blessed life!

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