The Thursday birder trip this morning went to two spots south of Tierjas in the Manzanito Mountains. Our first location was Sabino Canyon Open Space, a former fur farm purchased by the county in 1999. Many old buildings and structures remain on the property and someone with a good camera could get some great photos out here. This spot has some great pinyon juniper habitat and open grasslands, but we found very few birds. We did see a couple of Townsend’s Solitaires (Bernalillo bird #157) but mostly had views of three flavors of Dark-eyed Juncos (Oregon, Pink-sided, and Gray-headed).
A cooperative Western Scrub-Jay posed on a tree near the end of the walk.
We drove up the road into Cibola National Forest to check out Cedro Campground. The campground host opened the gate for us, but we didn’t find many birds here. A fly-by Steller’s Jay was nice and a few of us tracked down a Juniper Titmouse doing its best woodpecker imitation.
On the way out, I spotted a flock of Western Bluebirds, which I now know the trick to identifying (the throat color is the key!). Not too many birds around at the end of October. Bring on the winter birds like Rosy-Finches, waterfowl, and gulls!