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October 15 Audubon Birdwalk: River, Trees, Fields, and Ruins

By Signe Hammer

Audubon leads a birdwalk on the third Sunday of every month. With leaders Mike Wheatcroft and Norman Besman, we will 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.

In October, our winter visitors begin to arrive. Along the river, in addition to such large 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 Duck (a variety of Mallard without the green head), or American Coots.

We will 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 are likely to see (and hear) our local, brilliantly colored Great Kiskadee, Vermilion Flycatcher, Hooded Oriole, or Loggerhead Shrike

We will 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 have 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, beginners, and experienced alike. Wear comfortable, sturdy walking shoes and bring water and a hat. We will 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. We will 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 will be back about noon, with new entries for your life list and new birding friends. Steady rain cancels.

For more information, visit our website at:


Audubon Birdwalk

By Mike Wheatcroft

Sun, Oct 15, 7:45am–Noon

Meets in front of Instituto Allende

Ancha de San Antonio 20

Members free

Nonmembers 200 pesos or US $10



Blue-gray Gnatcatcher

Photo Credit: Tony Campbell

Loggerhead Shrike

Photo Credit: Wayne Colony


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