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Audubon Birdwalk: Bridge over the Río Laja

Green San Miguel

By Signe Hammer, photos by Norman Besman and Bob Graham

San Miguel’s own Audubon de México leads a birdwalk on the third Sunday of each month; this month, it’s on the 17th, the day after tomorrow. Each walk heads to one of five different sites within an easy drive from Centro. This Sunday, with leaders Luke Rich, Norman Besman, Signe Hammer, and Mike Wheatcroft, we’ll head to the bridge over the Río Laja at Montecillo de Nieto, just past the back road into Atontonilco.

Audubon Birdwalk
Sun, Jan 17, 7:45am-noon
Meets in front of Instituto Allende
Ancha de San Antonio 20
Signe Hammer, 044 415 111 7638
Members free, non-members 150 pesos or US$15

From the bridge and along the banks of the river, we’ll look for birds that flourish in a riparian habitat, such as our resident Green Kingfisher, Egrets (Snowy, Great, and Cattle) and Black Phoebe, a small flycatcher usually found near water.

Other resident flycatchers we’re likely to see include the small, aptly named Vermilion Flycatcher and the big, flashy Great Kiskadee, whose loud voice is unmistakable. We have a good chance of seeing a Blue Grosbeak, too, as well as our local Golden-fronted Woodpecker and Groove-billed Ani.

Winter visitors we may see include warblers. Last January we saw Yellow-rumped (the Western, Audubon’s subspecies, with a yellow throat as well as rump) and Black and White Warblers. We also saw four different species of wintering sparrows: Lark, Clay-colored, Lincoln’s, and Brewer’s, as well as our local Chipping Sparrows in winter plumage. Finally, plan to keep an eye on the sky, where we could spot a Crested Caracara, American Kestrel, Cooper’s or Sharp-shinned Hawk, Common Raven, or Turkey Vulture.

The walk is open to all birders, beginning and experienced alike. Wear sturdy walking shoes and bring water and a hat. Carpooling is necessary, so if you have a car, please bring it. We’ll have our newly revised Bird Guide—which focuses on the birds most commonly found in the San Miguel area—for sale. Our guides carry telescopes so that all can see distant birds clearly, and we’ll also have a few pairs of binoculars to lend. Plan to arrive at 7:45am, as we leave promptly at 8am. Steady rain cancels.

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