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January 1st, 2011
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San Rafael Valley, Patagonia

Birding again with Joe Corcoran from Baltimore, we missed our main target of Baird’s Sparrow in a freezing San Rafael Valley. We were compensated with a SHORT-EARED OWL at 7.30am, a half mile east of Vaca Corral. We also saw a pair of WHITE-TAILED KITES, a PRAIRIE FALCON and a GRASSHOPPER SPARROW.

Short-eared-Owl-San-Rafael-Valley-11-0101-01

At the Patons’ house, the freezing conditions continued. The feeders had frozen over in the short time since Michael had filled them earlier in the morning. With the feeders fully revived, the continuing VIOLET-CROWNED HUMMINGBIRD came in for several visits. Over the next hour we watched a variety of birds collecting sugar water at the hummingbird feeders – the expected Anna’s Hummingbird plus Gila and Acorn Woodpeckers, House Finch and a hungry Yellow-rumped Warbler which visited every feeder in turn. There was plenty of action at the other feeders as well, including several smart LAZULI BUNTINGS.

Thanks as always to Michael for his amazing work, and especially to Donna for the tea!

And thanks also to Joe Corcoran, with whom I’ve spent the past five days. Joe is a great birder and great company. It was a genuine pleasure. Click here for more information about my birding guide service.

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