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Audubon Birdwalk, Peña Blanca - tour

Photo by Bob Graham

Sunday, November 19, 7:45am-12pm
Meets in front of Instituto Allende, Ancha de San Antonio 20
Members free, non-members 200 pesos or US $10

Audubon Birdwalk, Peña Blanca - tour

By Signe Hammer

Audubon leads a birdwalk on the third Sunday of the month—this month, that's the 19th, the day after tomorrow. With leaders Luke Rich, Mike Wheatcroft, Norman Besman and Signe Hammer, we'll head to Peña Blanca, a few miles past the Presa Allende. Lots of open farmland plus a tree-lined stream provide habitat for a wide range of raptors and songbirds, from the soaring White-tailed Kite, one of our resident raptor species, to the tiny Yellow-rumped Warbler, one of our many species of snowbird.

Our avian winter residents begin to arrive in force this month. Other small snowbirds we might see include Lark and Clay-colored Sparrows, Ruby-crowned Kinglets, Blue-gray Gnatcatchers and, on the ground by the stream, an American Pipit.

Among resident birds, we're almost sure to find a Black Phoebe searching for insects along the stream, and a colorful Blue Grosbeak foraging for seeds in the dry tall grass. We're very likely to hear, before we see, a striking Golden-fronted Woodpecker drilling a tree trunk or fussing as it hustles up a branch.

Late fall through winter is a great time for viewing raptors, as the numbers definitely increase. In addition to the White-tailed Kite and other year-around residents like Turkey and Black Vultures and Crested Caracaras, we could see newly arrived winter visitors like the Red-shouldered Hawk. Some species, like Red-tailed Hawks, American Kestrels and Peregrine Falcons could be either winter migrants or year-around residents.

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 revised 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 7:45, as we leave promptly at 8. You'll be back about noon, with new entries for your life list and new birding friends.

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Photo by Bob Graham
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