While it's great to walk in the Bosque near Tingley Beach to see birds, Kit Carson Park just east and nearly alongside of Tingley Beach has a good assortment of birds and nice grass to walk on. This last Wednesday I was walking there around noon and saw...
Western Bluebird. I saw several of these last year, now here is another one for late winter. He was sitting there making a burbling sound, as though preparing to sing:
A horned owl, in an old hawk nest. This was in a tall tree in the middle of the long, narrow park, and very high up, as hawks like to build their nests high in sturdy trees. I bet she'll have fledged her babies by the time the hawks need the nest back (if she gives it back as she is bigger than a hawk). Note this was in full sun light, so I hope there was a cool breeze up there for her and the babies! Another shot:
Finally, I heard and finally identified this Grackle, who was across the street sitting on the passenger-side mirror of a car. Maybe he saw himself and was greeting the handsome new bird with a variety of songs...
I'll have to walk over to the park again this weekend to see if the owl is still there. Also on my walk, elsewhere along the way between TB and downtown, I saw bushtits, robins, crows, and a zillion daffodils.
Thanks for sharing your photos, Debby. Yes, it's always a thrill to discover an owl nest!
I note that the owl is still there as of Tuesday morning (3/21). If they are like hawks, parents take turns on the nest: one sits, one hunts or just takes a break from the chicks. I walked into the Bosque on 3/21 as well and in a big old tree skeleton just inside the gate saw two young-looking kestrels. They always look young though, and it seems early in the year for fledglings. Later at one of the ponds I heard what a woman said were "Marsh Wrens". They were hidden among the reeds and making quite a racket. I may have seen and photographed one; I'll check that out later.
Oh, and finally on Sunday 3/19, mid morning, I heard and tracked down a Kingbird who was sitting on a cross atop a cupola at the church on the SE corner of Lead and 4th (about 3 blocks east of my home)). He was probably a very noisy scout ("Here, here, I've found the right spot!"). I've heard but not seen him and his brothers here and there the last few days, so KBs are back in town. I hope they can live on the tiny bugs, flies (maybe mosquitos?) and bees that are out this time of year. No sign of Hummers, but not much for them to eat yet.