July 15 Audubon Birdwalk at Peña Blanca
By Signe Hammer, photo by Bob Graham
Join Audubon de México Sunday, July 15, for its monthly birdwalk. We’ll head to Peña Blanca, a few miles past the Presa Allende, with leaders Luke Rich, Mike Wheatcroft, Norman Besman and Michael Burns. Expect to find both open farmland with big trees and a tree-and-bush-lined stream—habitat that attracts a wide range of songbirds and raptors.
By July, the last laggard migrants have departed while our local birds are still nesting and fledging their young. In the past at this site, we’ve seen golden-fronted woodpeckers flying into nest holes in trees, bearing food for their nestlings. We’ve watched vermilion flycatchers, lesser goldfinches, and common ravens feeding their fledglings.
Last year, we found a gorgeous resident blue grosbeak and a colorful, red-faced western tanager, as well as both bronzed and brown-headed cowbirds and a charming canyon wren with its characteristic song—like a mad descending laugh. Another resident songbird we’re sure to find this year is a curve-billed thrasher with its characteristic burbling song (a mimid, it’s related to the mockingbird).
We spotted a snowy egret stalking fish or aquatic life in the stream, and cattle egrets in the fields, where they glean the insects kicked up by livestock and ploughing.
We’ll look for barn and northern rough-winged swallows darting over field and stream. Higher in the sky, we may spot a resident crested caracara, white-tailed kite or turkey vulture, as well as a raven or two.
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 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.
For more information, visit our website at: audubonmex.org.
Sun, Jul 15, 7:45am-Noon
Meets in front of Instituto Allende
Ancha de San Antonio 20
Mike Wheatcroft 152 07 75
Nonmembers 200 pesos or USD$10