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Audubon Birdwalk along the Rio Laja near Rancho Jaguar

Green Kingfisher

Green San Miguel

By Signe Hammer

Audubon leads a birdwalk on the third Sunday of every month—this month, that’s April 17, the day after tomorrow. With leaders Norman Besman and Luke Rich, we’ll head to a particularly beautiful spot along the Rio Laja. We may find Great and Snowy Egrets fishing in the river, along with a Green Kingfisher or two. Aloft, we could spot a Crested Caracara, a White-tailed Kite, a Turkey Vulture or a Common Raven soaring over meadow vistas.

We’re bound to see such familiar friends as the Black Phoebe, Vermilion Flycatcher, and Curve-billed Thrasher, and we may spot a Blue or Black-headed Grosbeak in the trees. Last year at this time, we saw some lingering winter residents: Lark Sparrow, Spotted Sandpiper, and Yellow-rumped Warbler. And Barn Swallows are back, joined by their Northern Rough-winged cousins.

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 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 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.

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