Wednesday, March 02, 2011

2 days in LA - Sunday 27 February

On Sunday morning we were up and about early so decided to head for the airport promptly, dropping off the car. We had a few hours to kill but both Helen and I had some work to catch-up on, before flying to Albuquerque, somewhere we've been planning on visiting since I attended a conference there in Spring 2010.

In preparation for visiting Albuquerque I'd done some research but nothing beats some local knowledge. Mark Wilson (formerly) a Northants birder (and now a Norfolk birder) visited the area a few years back and recommended a couple of extra stops. On the basis snow was forecast and with heavy winds (leading to a very uncomfortable descent) we decided to drive south to Socorro immediately, rather than hanging around. We got there sufficiently early to visit NM Tech, off Bullock Avenue, and headed to the pond Mark had recommended.

In the afternoon sunlight the Ring-necked Duck drakes were looking splendid:

Also present, American Coot:

and some 'land' birds, including White-winged Dove:

Eurasian Collared Dove:

And a Coopers Hawk having a look about:

The star of the show though was, as predicted, American Wigeon:

We headed to our hotel, the Best Western (if I had my choice again I'd pick the Holiday Inn next door), and then a short walk to a local micro-brewery and restaurant for dinner (which was very good, especially the beer) and an early night, because...

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