March 15 Audubon Birdwalk at Peña Blanca

March 15 Audubon Birdwalk at Peña Blanca


Audubon Birdwalk
Sun, Mar 15, 7:45am–noon
Meets in front of Instituto Allende
Ancha de San Antonio 20
Info: Signe Hammer 415 111 7638 or +1 917 478 5379
Members free
Nonmembers 200 pesos or US$10

By Signe Hammer

On Sunday, the Audubon bird walk will head to Peña Blanca, a few miles past the Presa Allende, led by Luke Rich, Norman Besman, and Signe Hammer. Open farmland and a tree-lined stream provide habitat for a rich variety of birds. Spring migration has started, with many species on the move. Last year, we welcomed our returning Barn and Northern Rough-winged Swallows as they swooped over field and stream. We also spotted a rare American Robin on its way north.

We’re likely to find lingering winter visitors large and small, too. Wintering raptors we saw last year included an American Kestrel and Cooper’s Hawk. Among the smaller snowbirds we found were Clay-colored Lark and Chipping Sparrows, Blue-gray Gnatcatchers, and three warbler species, including an uncommon Black-throated Gray. Along the stream, we saw a Belted Kingfisher and Spotted Sandpiper.

Also along the stream, we’re sure to see a resident Black Phoebe, and might find one of our long-legged resident waders, a Snowy or Great Egret. Depending on the water level, we could find such wintering ducks as Northern Shoveler and Blue-winged or Green-winged Teal.

We’ll look for such colorful resident songbirds as Blue Grosbeak, Rufous-backed Robin, and Vermilion Flycatcher. Last year, we saw both a Golden-fronted and a Ladderback Woodpecker. The year around raptors we found last year included a Crested Caracara and Turkey Vulture. A Common Raven flew over, too.

The walk is open to all birders, beginning and experienced alike. Wear comfortable, sturdy walking shoes and bring water and a hat. We’ll have our Audubon de México bird guide, Birds of San Miguel—with 81 species commonly found in the San Miguel area—for sale. Our guides carry telescopes so that everyone can see distant birds clearly, and we’ll also have a few pairs of binoculars to lend.

Carpooling is essential, so if you have a car, please bring it. Plan to arrive at 7:45am, as we leave promptly at 8am. You’ll be back about noon, with new entries for your life list and new birding friends. Steady rain cancels the walk.

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