Monday, November 26th, off to south Texas to look for the Hook-Billed Kite again. We got about a block when I asked, 'why go for a bird that is rarely seen, when the rosy finches in New Mexico were seen yesterday?' So we angled northwest across Texas into New Mexico. That night we stayed in a Motel 6, of course, in Santa Rosa. My favorite I-40 restaurant, the Silver Moon Cafe, was just across Route 66. I recommend the blue corn chicken enchiladas. Lovely!
Not so early the next morning, we started for Sandia Crest, northeast of Albuquerque. Is that spelled right? From 5000 to 10000 feet in 20 miles. Another beautiful spot John's big year has brought him to. We met some other birders on the way up and up there. At the top, there is a restaurant/gift shop with feeders on the deck. You can watch the rosy-finches from inside while sipping hot chocolate or eating the even hotter chili! All three species appeared while we were there. They would come in double digit numbers briefly then take off for an hour. The only one that 'counted' for John, was the Black Rosy-Finch. It was a life bird for both of us, and number 678 for John's big year! Turns out the facility will close for the month of December, so we were wise to go there when we did. There are plans to put a feeder down by the lower parking lot. You need to check before you go.
Back down to the I-40, turn south on the I-25, stop by Bosque del Apache for a snow goose/sandhill crane fix. You have got to visit there in the winter. It is a natural wonder. Tonight, Lordsburg! Have you seen the movie 'Stagecoach'? Tomorrow, we will try for the Baird's Sparrow in San Rafael Grasslands AZ. It hasn't been reported lately. :-( We will try for the Black-Capped Gnatcatcher again too. If he doesn't get it, John may have to call on Melody Kehl again. Did I spell that right? Good night!