Bitter Lake NWR, New Mexico.

Hallelujah it's my last trip post!  I am by no means sick of things like Scissor-tailed Flycatchers and Magnificent Hummingbirds, but it's time to move on to the rad locals that are getting jealous.  But for now, a last post, from Bitter Lake NWR just next to Roswell where I spent the night not getting abducted.

The greeters at headquarters included a Chipping Sparrow and a Say's Phoebe, but the first bird I saw once on the auto tour was a Great Horned Owl!

One of the next birds I saw was my first Blue Grosbeak!!

Nearby a Bullock's Oriole was perched in a tree...

At one point I stopped to scan the water below and realized there were three Scaled Quail hanging out right in front of me...

Cool birds!  Down by the water were a couple of usual suspects...

 White-faced Ibis

Black-necked Stilt

 Wilson's Phalarope

Next up is a kingbird that I would like to be a Cassin's...

Yes?  I also have this fuzzy shot of a meadowlark that I would love to be an Eastern...

Maybe?  On the last little section of the auto tour I was scanning the water while driving slowly when some movement in the road caught my eye..

Freakin Snowy Plover stopping traffic!  Pretty damn cute.

And lastly, on my way out of the refuge a Loggerhead Shrike posed for me...

And that's it!  It's over!  I haven't counted my total number of species seen, but I have at least 48 lifers (50 if the two in this post are right).  Amazing!  HUGE thanks to everyone who put in their 2 cents about where I should go (Seagull Steve, Jeremy Medina, Laurence Butler, Laura Whittemore, birding couple at Fernhill Wetlands whose names I forget) and everyone else who has followed along and helped with ID's and general morale.  Oh and of course all of my awesome friends who I got to see on this trip!  Wouldn't have been the same without you.  GOOD times!!


  1. I've really enjoyed all your trip posts. It makes me want to get down there into drab bird country.

  2. Scaled Quail, nice! I've only ever seen them twice. Yes Flycatcher Jen, you are right about the kingbird...I would lean towards Western on the lark of meadows, but it's just a lean.

    1. Yeah kingbird! Boo meadowlark! Yay 49 lifers... I think you guessed I'd get 50 so you should've lied about the lark.

  3. It's been fun reading all about your rad adventures! I felt similarly when I visited SE AZ....lifers around every corner and habitats 180 degrees from the lush Northwest. Glad you got so many tips from locals and tourists alike - yay, internet friends!

    1. Yes, and thanks again for the Miller Canyon suggestion! It was definitely awesome.

  4. Jen, I enjoyed reading and seeing all the birds from your trip. What great birds you saw. Now I am leaning toward a Southwest trip myself for next year. Your photos and birds are just wonderful. Have a great weekend and happy birding.

  5. Well done Jen. You should get a medal and government stipend for this tour of duty.

    49 species is out-freakin-standing! The birds seem drawn to you walk around with seed in your pockets??

    It looks like this was a great trip. Thanks for sharing it with us all. I'd still like to know your final tallies too, when all is said and done.

    1. Yes a government stipend would be much appreciated, unlike the $250 speeding ticket I picked up in Texas. Final tallies soon, trying to find a way to count birds on eBird, without actually having to count them myself.

  6. I would lean toward Cassin's on the kingbird; very dark gray hood and a contrasting white throat, as if she were carrying a cotton ball. I won't try to call a silent meadowlark from a photo. When I lived in central Kansas, I would usually find easterns closer to water and westerns in drier habitats. Looks like a great trip!

  7. WOW JEN, 48 lifers? Thats just rock. The Scaled Quail is a WOW bird---im still saying wow!!

  8. Greetings from that couple you met at Fernhill Wetlands! We're Carol and Mitch Cruzan. Looks like you had a great trip to Arizona and Texas. Your photos are awesome!


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