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Audubon Birdwalk: River, Trees, Fields and Ruins

Photo by Tony Campbell

Sunday, October 15, 7:45am-noon
Meets in front of Instituto Allende, Ancha de San Antonio 20
Members free, non-members 200 pesos or US $10

Audubon Birdwalk: River, Trees, Fields and Ruins

By Signe Hammer

Audubon leads a birdwalk on the third Sunday of every month—this month, that's the 15th, the day after tomorrow. With leaders Mike Wheatcroft and Norman Besman, we'll bird along the Rio Laja, near the bridge on the new road to Guanajuato. In addition to the wooded river trail, the varied habitat includes open farmland with big trees, and lots of sky for raptors.

With October our winter visitors begin to arrive. Along the river, in addition to such large resident resident waders as White-faced Ibis and Great or Snowy Egret, we might discover a much smaller Spotted Sandpiper, waggling its tail as it forages, having lost its spots for the winter. Depending on how high the water is, we might also find waterfowl: resident Mexican Ducks—a variety of Mallard without the green head—or American Coots.

We'll keep our eyes peeled for visiting winter songbirds, as well—we could find a Lark Sparrow, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, and a warbler or two: Wilson's, Yellow or Black and White are all possible. Among resident songbirds, we're likely to see (and hear) our local, brilliantly colored Great Kiskadee, Vermilion Flycatcher, Hooded Oriole or Loggerhead Shrike
We'll keep an eye on the sky, too. We could spot a Common Raven, White-tailed Kite, American Kestrel or Mexico's own Crested Caracara. Hawks we've seen at this site include Red-tailed, Red-shouldered, Coopers and Sharp-shinned, as well as Osprey and Northern Harrier.  

We usually walk as far as the ruins of a colonial-era bridge, once part of one of the many Caminos Reales (Royal Roads) constructed in the area to help move silver from mines to shipping points.

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. Steady rain cancels.

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Photo by Wayne Colony
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