I am getting to the end of my routine patrols, and the mosquitoes are finally getting under control. I got to see some of the members of the beaver family again on Monday’s route. It was otherwise pretty quiet, except for a lot of people on the trail. After I heard a brief begging cry from a far away Cooper’s Hawk, a woman told me excitedly that she heard an eagle down the path! I took the time to explain what it was, and my imitation of the call convinced her.
On my second transect, I almost couldn’t count all the hummingbirds! There were literally hundreds of them, and many zoomed right up to my face (probably due to my purple hat). I had the privilege of watching a lady hummer delicately bathing in the drops of dew on the leaves of a Russian olive tree. Couldn’t get a picture of her, but a few others cooperated! Otherwise it was quiet, probably due to the continued presence of the hunting Cooper’s Hawk family. One of the Green Herons they’d been terrorizing decided I was a lesser threat, and posed for multiple pictures! Later I spied two Roadrunners ahead of me on the path, posing on a branch. I always enjoy seeing them, New Mexico’s state bird, no matter how often!
My last transect, on Thursday, was so peaceful. I had the luxury of really taking my time, enjoying all the little sights around me. A cicada casing glowed orange in the sunrise; a small flock of mixed warblers migrating through the bushes, and tracing animal tracks in the soft dirt of the path. Of course, I had to check out a big pile of steamy fresh bird poo. The X-shaped tracks revealed it to be from my friends, the Roadrunners! Their cuckoo footprint, with two toes pointing forward and two pointing backwards, led Native Americans to believe the wily bird was trying to trick them by disguising whether it was coming or going!