Finally getting around to posting more about New Mexico. Sorry y’all!
On day 2 in New Mexico, I made the trip up to Sandia Crest for the rosy-finches and boy, did I get a treat! All three species, and I got to visit on the day that they were banding them (I may have timed it that way on purpose 😉). Not many photos came out of that day, but the memories will last a lifetime.
Onto day 3!
I was awake at 1am and on the road by 2am in order to make it to Arizona by sunrise. Some called me insane (and that is an accurate statement), but I had quite a few rare birds to target including the White-throated Thrush at Madera Canyon. This was a first state record, and is quite rare in the US, so I couldn’t miss out on seeing it! I made it to Madera by 8:30 and met up with my best friend Leslie. Us Ohio birders were going to knock it out of the park, fingers crossed! We started off at the Santa Rita Lodge where we picked up some great birds immediately; Acorn Woodpecker, Mexican Jay, Hepatic Tanager, Blue-throated Hummingbird, and Arizona Woodpecker. We overheard some folks talking about having just seen the thrush, so we knew what we had to do. No time to waste!
We drove down to the Proctor Road parking area and began walking. We saw a Townsend’s Solitaire, which is always a great bird to see. It was relatively quiet though…until we ran into the huge group of people who were looking at the thrush. They quickly got us on the bird although it was buried in thick vegetation. SUCCESS! We stuck around for about half an hour until it finally began to move around and cooperate a bit more for photos. It dropped down and began to drink from a puddle in a rock, which is where we finally got our first look at it out in the open.
Satisfied with our success, we decided to head back up the canyon to the Madera Picnic Area in search of the overwintering Elegant Trogon.
When we arrived at the Picnic Area, we found the pyracantha bush that the trogon had been frequenting and it appeared empty. We gave it a few minutes and BAM! There he was!
We spent a few minutes with him before he flew further down the trail. Leslie and I continued walking the trail and stumbled on him again right beside the trail; not even 10 feet away from us. He sat there for a long time and allowed us to take a bunch of photos before we decided to move on. Mission accomplished!