2014 April Road Trip

Some Upcoming Events

High Plains Snow Goose Festival Feb 20, 2014 Lamar, CO
Beckham Bird Club Annual Dinner Mar 11, 2014 Louisville, KY
Big O Birding Festival Mar 13, 2014 LaBelle, FL
Nature Coast Birding and Wildlife Festival Mar 20-23, 2014 Spring Hill, FL
Road Trip from Ohio to Arizona
watch for updates on my Facebook page!
Apr 11-23, 2014 OH to AZ
Verde Valley Birding and Wildlife Festival Apr 24-27, 2014 Cottonwood, AZ
Biggest Week in American Birding May 6-15, 2014 Oregon, OH
Acadia Birding Festival May 29-Jun 1, 2014 Bar Harbor, ME
Ecuador: Northern Andes and Amazon with Greg Miller
trip is a “go”! only a few spots remain
Aug 8-23, 2014 Quito, Ecuador
2014 April Road Trip

2014 April Road Trip

Yep.  I am hitting the road again.  Another 5,000 miles and lots of birds!  I will be making some updates here, but hope to update Facebook & Twitter daily.  I hope you will be able to follow me vicariously.  And, for those of you in my path, maybe you can bird with me.  Much of this itinerary is in flux–quite optional.  I’m hoping to have some fun seeing and photographing birds along the way.  I just got a PhoneSkope adapter for my iPhone and Swarovski telescope.  This will be a good test and you all will be my Quality Assurance team to rate the pictures.  And I will be eBirding along the way, too.

Tonight I am doing laundry and packing.  I will be leaving tomorrow morning.  Here is my tentative itinerary:

Fri Apr 11 - Sugarcreek OH to Bowling Green KY (420 miles)
Sat Apr 12 - Bowling Green KY to Little Rock AR (411 miles)
Sun Apr 13 - Little Rock AR to Keller TX (351 miles)
Mon Apr 14 - Keller TX to Beaumont TX (314 miles)
Tue Apr 15 - Birding at High Island TX (86 miles r/t)
Wed Apr 16 - Beaumont TX to Corpus Christi TX (291 miles)
Thu Apr 17 - Birding in Corpus Christi TX
Fri Apr 18 - Birding in Corpus Christi TX
Sat Apr 19 - Corpus Christi TX to Fort Stockton TX (457 miles)
Sun Apr 20 - Fort Stockton TX to Tucson AZ (556 miles)
Mon Apr 21 - Birding in SE AZ
Tue Apr 22 - Birding in SE AZ
Wed Apr 23 - Tucson AZ to Cottonwood AZ (219 miles)
Thu Apr 24 - Verde Valley Birding Festival in Cottonwood AZ
Fri Apr 25 - Verde Valley Birding Festival in Cottonwood AZ
Sat Apr 26 - Verde Valley Birding Festival in Cottonwood AZ
Sun Apr 27 - Verde Valley Birding Festival in Cottonwood AZ
Mon Apr 28 - Cottonwood AZ to Albuquerque NM (387 miles)
Tue Apr 29 - Birding in Albuquerque NM
Wed Apr 30 - Albuquerque NM to Oklahoma City OK (541 miles)
Thu May  1 - Oklahoma City OK to Rolla MO (394 miles)
Fri May  2 - Rolla MO to Lexington KY (441 miles)
Sat May  3 - Birding NE KY
Sun May  4 - Lexington KY to Sugarcreek OH (291 miles)
Mon May  5 - Sugarcreek OH to Oak Harbor OH (125 miles)
Tue May  6-15 - Biggest Week in American Birding

An Update from New Mexico

Yessss!  Festival of the Cranes is a fun event!

Snow Goose Dawn Fly-Out Bosque del Apache NWR 2011-11-18 photo: Greg Miller

The mornings were chilly but not a deterrent for birders wanting to experience the energy of the dawn fly-out of 30,000 snow geese.  Seeing all these birds get up at once and being surrounded by the deafening sound of goose calls and flapping of wings…well…just so overwhelming there is no way to adequately describe it.  What a thrill!

But not all the white geese were Snow Geese…

Ross's Goose digiscoped from the Flight Deck at Bosque del Apache NWR 2011-11-17 photo: Greg Miller

But after all, this is The Festival of the Cranes.  Here’s few (of the 10,000) in the light of dawn.

A few of the 10000 Sandhill Cranes Bosque del Apache NWR 2011-11-18 photo: Greg Miller

And here’s a Sandhill Crane near the Flight Deck at Bosque del Apache NWR.

Sandhill Crane digiscoped near the Flight Deck at Bosque del Apache NWR 2011-11-17 photo: Greg Miller

Only 140 miles North of Socorro, NM lies the 10,500-foot peak–Sandia Crest.  It is near the southernmost part of the range where all 3 rosy-finches can be found.  And, some may argue it is the easiest place to see these erratic birds.  One can sit inside a warm room, order a meal, and sip on a cup of hot chocolate while viewing all 3 species of rosy-finches at the feeder outside the window!  Rosy-finches are voracious eaters and a flock will descend on a feeder and eat as if they were in some terrible hurry to go somewhere on a tight schedule.  And then they woosh away as fast and hurried as they came in.

The view from about a mile above Albuquerque in elevation is stunning.

The majestic view from atop Sandia Crest near Albuquerque NM 2011-11-18 photo: Greg Miller

The wait for the show of rosy-finches is helped by watching the other “common” species.

Mountain Chickadee Sandia Crest NM 2011-11-18 photo: Greg Miller

Dark-eyed (red-backed) Junco Sandia Crest NM 2011-11-18 photo: Greg Miller

Steller's Jay Sandia Crest NM 2011-11-18 photo: Greg Miller

And finally, the stars of the show, the rosy-finches.

Black Rosy-finches at the feeder at Sandia Crest NM 2011-11-18 photo: Greg Miller

Brown-capped Rosy-finch with 2 Black Rosy-finches Sandia Crest NM 2011-11-18 photo: Greg Miller

That’s all the photos for now.  Watch in the future for a blog on the Rosy-Finch Project at Sandia Crest and the interesting work that is happening with banding and studying rosy-finch movements.