Recent USA and North American Trips 1/6/22 to 1/11/22

1/9/22 to 1/14/22 After a fun and truly wonderful family gathering over the New Year, we decided to drive west and try for some bird rarities that were appearing in NM and TX. (We had planned for a longer trip, but with Covid cases climbing, we received the call that the grandkids’ daycare had closed and we were needed if available. Easy decision, that one! And we did get to see most of the birds we had come after – along with some of the local beauties.)

1/11/21 Santa Ana NWR, TX : A Bat Falcon was being reported here. It was being seen at dawn and dusk on a pole outside the refuge. Very cool bird! (After birding Quinta Mazatlan (and catching a terrible picture of the Crimson-collared Grosbeak), we returned to bird St. Ana NWR. )

At Quinta Mazatlan, we also saw: Carolina Wren , Black-crested Titmouse , Blue-headed Vireo , Clay-colored Thrush , Golden-fronted Woodpecker, Great Kiskadee , Green Jay , Long-billed Thrasher , Inca Dove , Olive Sparrow , Summer Tanager , Orange-crowned Warbler , and White-winged Dove .

And at Santa Ana NWR, we caught images of Black-necked Stilt , Least Grebe , Least Sandpiper , Neotropic Cormorant , Roseate Spoonbill , and White-faced ibis .

1/9 and 1/10/22: Rattlesnake Springs Picnic Area, near Carlsbad, NM: A rare Blue Mockingbird was being seen in the USA. We arrived on the 1/9 with very high winds and never saw it. On the morning of the 10th, the gorgeous bird made numerous skulking and brief showings for us. Not seeing an opportunity for a much better picture in the near future, we decided that we were happy to have seen it and we drove on to Brownsville, TX . Also: Brown Thrasher , Green-tailed Towhee , American Robin , Spotted Towhee , and American Goldfinch .

1/6/22 Amelia Island, FL: Happy New Year! We were able to snatch a few free hours to wander and bird the island. A friendly gathering of Northern Cardinals didn’t mind including us and we admired the colorful plumage through the lens. Also: Gray Catbird , Northern Mockingbird , Yellow-rumped Warbler , Palm Warbler , Pileated Woodpecker , and Black-and-white Warbler .