SW USA spring 2000

To: "birding-aus" <>
Subject: SW USA spring 2000
From: "Glenn Holmes" <>
Date: Thu, 15 Jun 2000 18:52:42 +1000
What follows is a brief report of six weeks from 18 April to 29 May, mostly in New Mexico, Texas and Arizona, a few hours in Utah and 3 days in Colorado.
Distance travelled...7000 miles
Total birds... 387
Hummingbirds 12, woodpeckers 13, tyrant flycatchers 28, corvids 11, hawks 27, owls 8, nightjars 6, wrens 6, mimic thrushes 7, vireos 11, wood warblers 30, sparrows 28, icterids 16, tanagers 3, shorebirds 31, gulls & terns 13.
Rarities included Grey-crowned Yellowthroat, Clay-coloured Robin, Berylline & Lucifer Hummingbirds, White-collared Seedeater.
Unexpected species at this season included Snow & Ross's Geese, Bufflehead, Common Goldeneye, Red-breasted Merganser.
Species that I was pleased to see included Brown Pelican, Roseate Spoonbill, Northern Pintail, Wood Duck, Wilson's Phalarope, Stilt Sandpiper, Dunlin, peeps, Baird's Sandpiper, Black Skimmer, Golden & Bald Eagles, Crested Caracara, Montezuma Quail, Plain Chachalacha, Great Horned & Spotted & Burrowing & Elf Owls, Scissor-tailed Flycatcher, Clark's Nutcracker, Black-billed Magpie, American Dipper, Cedar Waxwing, Ovenbird, Painted Bunting, Red Crossbill. 
Memorable birding sites included Bosque del Apache NWR, Big Bend NP and most of extreme south Texas.
Drought and strong winds prevailed in many places but had no marked effect upon species diversity.  Even so, density of birds in most areas seemed low.
One birding point that intrigued me was that in the open and low humidity environments encountered at most sites, bird calls carried much longer distances than what I'm familiar with here in tropical north Queensland.
Glenn Holmes & Associates
Birding & botanical specialists
PO Box 1246 Atherton
Qld 4883
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