25 December 2012

Guadalupe Reef

After leaving the Chisos, our ragtag band of guys headed north to Guadalupe Mountains National Park. The next day, most of the guys left to climb the mountain, but I was in no shape to head out. My foot was killing me after my boots broke the day before, and I realized I needed to take the day off. So I limped off on my own into the desert to see what birds I could turn up. My slow pace ended up being to my advantage as I was able to turn up quite a few new state birds from my list. First thing I saw was a large flock of Western Bluebirds feeding in the area, and it turned out to be one of the most common birds of the day. A large flock of Pine Siskins also roamed through the brush, appearing from time to time, and a lone Townsend's Solitaire was being chased around by Phainopeplas.

I ended up returning to the car just briefly before a large storm hit and trapped me in the car for the rest of the day. However, my morning hobble did produce quite a few good pictures!

Townsend's Solitaire, Guadalupe Mountains National Park, Texas

Mule Deer, Guadalupe Mountains National Park, Texas

After our hike around the Guadalupe Mountains, we headed north to Carlsbad, where I did as little birding as possible and spent as much time underground as I could. We even did an off-paved trail tour to see the famous White Giant formation, something that involved tight squeezes, belly crawls, rope climbs and more. It was an incredible experience.

My brevity now, however, is related to my finishing this post on Christmas morning! So first of all, Merry Christmas to whoever reads this. Secondly, I have spent the past week (the week after Texas) with my family here in Colorado. Northern Shrikes and American Tree Sparrows have kept me entertained but, tomorrow, I leave for Florida and points beyond in my quest for birds.

In case I can't post for a while, hope everyone has a good new year, and I'll post again as soon as I can.

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