Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Sandia Crest's Rosy-Finches - Jan 21st

Gray-crowned Rosy-Finch (Interior form).

Black Rosy-Finch

Brown-capped Rosy-Finch

'Hepburn's' Gray-crowned Rosy-Finch.

Certainly one of the highlights of the Birdfinders trip to New Mexico. We enjoyed perfect weather for an ascent of Sandia Crest to find tens of Rosy-Finches coming into a tiny bird table on the balcony of the mountain top cafe/gift shop. As we'd hoped, all three species were present, plus 4-5 individuals of the gray-cheeked form of Gray-crowned (Hepburn's Gray-crowned Rosy-Finch). This was part of our first full morning in the field in New Mexico and really got the trip off to a cracking start.


Richard Klim said...

Wow James. That's what we hoped for a few years back on a Spring visit to Colorado - but we were a bit too late and only found Brown-capped. It must be a real treat to have all the Rosy Finches together.

James P. Smith said...

Thanks Richard! Yes it really was a fine spectacle. We had multiple visitations to the feeder with the flock composition seemingly changing on each visit. We may have seen as many as 250 individual birds.

I've been thinking about you and Erika lately. You must be aware of the major influx of White-winged Crossbills into New England this winter? Over the last week I've had two small flocks over the apartment which I'm sure must be feeding locally - we have so much spruce in our neighborhood.

Richard Klim said...

Well, since dipping on White-winged Crossbill in AK & New England, we've been undergoing intensive therapy which has now convinced us that they're just migrant Two-barred Crossbills from Europe. No worries.