Lincoln County Bird Club
        Ruidoso, NM


25th Anniversary Celebration
Saturday, September 21, 2019
Lincoln County Bird Club (LCBC) celebrates 25 years of the joy of birding on Saturday, September 21 at Alto Lakes Golf and Country Club from 5 - 6:30 PM.  Cost: $10 for members and guests which includes hors d'ouevres and non-alcoholic beverages. RSVP to or call 575 257-5352 before September 14.

Upcoming Bird Field Trip
Saturday, September 14, 2019
Lincoln County Bird Club (LCBC) trains its binoculars on fall migrants at their annual autumnal equinox field trip along Monjeau Road. Anticipated species include Townsend's Warbler, Green-tailed Warbler, Olive-sided Flycatcher and Red-tailed Hawk as well as late summer wildflowers. Birders of all levels are welcome.  Carpools will leave from the gravel lot west of Brewer's Shell on NM 532 promptly at 8 AM. Bring binoculars, field guides or apps, water and snacks, cameras if desired. The trip is expected to conclude around 11 AM. Dress in layers in anticipation of weather changes due to elevation. Members and guests wishing to attend should contact LCBC President, Jim Edwards, 575-937-5416 or

Lincoln County Bird Club Trip Report
September 22, 2018
Monjeau Road, Lookout Tower, Skyline Campground

Note: for faster reference, a bird species list appears at end of narrative.

Members: Jim and Barb Edwards, Ernie and Anita Powell, Yvonne “EV” Lanelli, Pat Kelly, Carole Bleau
Guests:  Ron Hagquist, Gwyn Kaitis

Weather: sunny all day, temperature from 45 F. to 70 F.

Carpools left the gravel lot west of Brewer’s Shell on NM 532, Ski Run Road, at 8:11 AM.

Our goal was to see migrant species as well as natives. We ID’d 29 bird species as well as numerous wildflowers, plants and a mushroom.

The first significant sighting was lots of “little gray birds” flitting between large junipers. Occasional hummingbirds including a Rufous darted among them and a Dark-eyed Junco joined the fray. Careful observation of the birds and their behavior confirmed the little gray birds to be Bushtits, small social songbirds frequently in the company of warblers, kinglets and chickadees.

As vehicles crept slowly along Forest Road 117, we sighted Acorn Woodpeckers, Northern Flickers (easily recognized by their flashing orange wings in flight), Clay-colored Sparrows, Steller’s Jays, a Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Lesser Goldfinch and a White-breasted Nuthatch.The clay-colored sparrow is a migrant species and can be identified by its gray collar. The kinglet can be difficult to identify since the male’s “ruby crown” is usually hidden. Anita did well to ID it.

Stands of late summer/early autumn wildflowers still bloomed on this autumnal equinox day including Mexican Hat coneflower, trumpet gilia, mountain asters, four-o’clocks, cowpen daisies, tall sunflowers, harebells, groundsel and, sadly, hundreds of invasive musk thistles. EV observed wild strawberry plants. Everyone searched elderberry bushes for ripe fruit but none was to be seen.

We stopped at the switchback, always a reliable spot for sighting. A Red-tailed Hawk perched at the top of a tall southwestern white pine but soon flew away when we trained our binoculars on it. Warblers dashed into and out of elderberry bushes: Wilson’s, Townsend’s, Yellow, Yellow-rumped.

Various Hummingbirds investigated large purple thistle blooms. Western Bluebirds, Green-tailed Towhees, Hairy Woodpeckers and House Wrens added to the list. Jim heard a White-breasted Nuthatch. Two Common Ravens flew back and forth, high overhead.

On the way to Skyline Campground, we pulled over to observe more warblers. “This is Warbler Central. I don’t think I’ve ever seen this many warblers at this time here,” noted Anita, adding, “Their yellow color is beginning to change to winter drab.” Other good sightings here included Green-tailed Towhee, American Robin, Dark-eyed Junco, Olive-sided Flycatcher and Hermit Thrush.

Jim  pointed out the yellow blossom of the oyster plant, also called salsify. “Its  carrot-like root tastes like oysters.” Numerous white and pink cosmos flowers elicited a warning: hooked seeds attach to pant legs, wool socks and pet fur and are difficult to remove. Just before we drove away, a mixed fleet of ravens and Turkey Vultures filled the sky.

Skyline Campground is also a good place for bird sightings. Ernie spotted a Red-naped Sapsucker. Many Western Bluebirds dashed from tree to fence. Identify Western bluebirds by their rust-red vests beneath bright blue backs. They are easily distinguished from Steller’s jays which are larger, darker blue and with a black head surmounted by a distinctive topknot. Other notable species included an Orange-crowned Warbler, Green-tailed Towhee and Hermit Thrush with its distinctive brown spots on the breast and orange-red tail. Ernie’s favorite bird song is the hermit thrush’s call during nesting season. “It’s so sweet as it echoes down the canyon.” Anita played the song on her smartphone’s Audubon bird app.

In addition to birds, we ID’d more wildflowers. Jim introduced Gwyn to stinging nettle, stickleaf and wild rosemary. She in turn discovered a shaggy-mane mushroom which Jim pronounced “Delicious, but there’s not enough to go around!” He added, “We used to pick morels here but the Little Bear Fire destroyed their mycelia, the mushroom’s equivalent of roots.”
We also admired a fragrant red plant that grew profusely throughout the woods. We couldn't ID it, however. Can any member ID it from pictures I took? 

Skyline’s wide vistas were not lost on Ron who was visiting from Austin, Texas. Looking off toward Capitan Gap, he observed, “It’s interesting to look down at buzzards.”

Leaving the campground and heading up to the Tower, Jim spotted sunlight shining off the intense white breast of a hawk sitting at the top of a tall dead tree. For a few seconds until it flew off, everyone trained their binoculars on it to get field marks. We concluded it was a Swainson’s.

At Lookout Tower, only ravens and vultures made appearances, so we discussed the history of the original tower built by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), its destruction in the LIttle Bear Fire and its new construction. Jim and Ernie pointed out landmarks such as Wizard’s Roost, portions of Crest Trail and Pajarito Mountain on the Mescalero Apache Reservation.

Although we planned to do more birding on the sideroads, it became obvious that at the late hour -- 11:30 AM -- the birds were no longer moving. We returned to the parking lot where a Barn Swallow flew over Ernie and Anita. Trip concluded at 11:40 AM.

Next field trip is Saturday, October 13 along Lincoln Nature Trail in Lincoln as well as surrounding areas.
Images include the unknown red plants, various members sighting birds, wildflowers including harebells, cowpen daisies, trumpet gilia, mountain asters, Jim showing Gwyn stickleaf and stinging nettle, oyster plant, shaggy mane mushroom, wild rosemary in Jim's hand, groundsel, Lookout Tower and views from it. In case you're wondering why no bird pix, it's because birds fly away. Flowers don't.
-----submitted by Yvonne Lanelli

Species List
Western Bluebird
Northern Flicker
Olive-sided Flycatcher
Lesser Goldfinch
Hummingbirds (sp?)
Steller’s Jays
Dark-eyed Junco
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
White-breasted Nuthatch
Common Raven
American Robin
Red-naped Sapsucker
Clay-colored Sparrow
Barn Swallow
Hermit Thrush
Green-tailed Towhee
. Orange-crowned
House Wren
Turkey Vulture

Trip Report
Quebradas Back Country Byway
March 10, 2018

Members: Jim & Barb Edwards, Anita Powell, Pat Kelly, Yvonne “EV” Lanelli and  John Pijawka.
Weather: Sunny then overcast, high 60s, no wind

Summary: Although this 24-mile trip saw fewer than a dozen species, members gained much knowledge and appreciation for the area’s geology and pronounced the trip a complete success.

Carpools left the gravel lot west of Brewer’s Shell on NM 523, Ski Run Road, at 8:15 AM. Although we expected to see various raptors along NM 37 and US 380, only two Common Ravens  and one American Kestrel appeared.

At 9:45 AM, we turned north onto County Road A 129, a graded gravel road, and five minutes later arrived at Stop #10, the southernmost of the ten designated stops along the Byway. (The Guide numbers its ten stops from north to south; members elected to go in reverse to finish the trip closer to Socorro for a meal and fuel.)

At each stop members consulted the Geologic Guide to the Quebradas Back Country Byway published by New Mexico Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources, available at the Socorro Field Office of the Bureau of Land Management or online ( Socorro Field_Office).

We delighted in the fascinating layering of yellow, gray, pink and red sandstones, limestones and siltstones; faults and “tombstone topography” of the Meseta Blanca Member of the Yeso Formation at Stop #4.  Fossils appeared at several stops including on colites  in the Torres Member of the Yeso formation of the Permian Period at Stop 7 and Crinoid fragments in limestone of the Madera Group of the Pennsylvanian Period at Stop 3.

Geologic Periods represented at Quebradas include Pennsylvanian, Permian, Triassic, Cretaceous, Tertiary and Quaternary.  Prominent Stratigraphic units that members saw and photographed include Bursum Formation, Abo Formation, Yeso Formation, Glorieta Sandstone, San Andres Formation, Artesia Group and Chinle Group.

In addition to exposed strata, one can view surrounding mountains and peaks such as the Chupaderas, Socorro Peak, Strawberry Peak, San Mateo Mountains. Magdalena Mountains, Polvadera Peak, Sierra Ladrones and Cerro de la Campana.

As for birds, only the occasional junco swooped past, however, at the end of the trek, at Escondida Lake and Park, we observed waterfowl: Ruddy Duck, Mallard, Redhead, American Wigeon and hybrids of mallard and Domestic Duck. In-route to Socorro, we saw two more American Kestrels.

Trip concluded at 2 PM and we dined at Socorro Springs Restaurant before returning home.

-------submitted by Yvonne “EV” Lanelli.

Species List
Ruddy Duck
American Wigeon
hybrids of mallard and Domestic Duck
American Kestrel
Common Raven

Trip Report
Bitter Lake National Wildlife Refuge
February 1, 2018

Members: Jim Edwards, Anita and Ernie Powell, Pat Kelly,
Yvonne "EV" Lanelli

Weather: Sunny, high 40s and low 50s, no wind

 Members departed in one car from Beall's parking lot on US 70 in Ruidoso at 8:07 AM. On two ranch ponds east of Arabella, we observed many Canada geese. Turning onto Picacho Road and crossing the Rio Ruidoso, we stopped at a pond about 100 yards off the highway and observed a Great Blue Heron, Belted Kingfisher, American Wigeon, Mallards, American Coots, Hairy Woodpecker, Hooded Merganser, and more Canada Geese. Just west of Roswell we saw a Red-tailed Hawk, American Kestrels and Rock Doves on a power pole plus several pronghorn.

 In Roswell, we stopped at WalMart and saw many Great-tailed Grackles. Returning to East Pine Lodge Road, we saw White-winged Doves.

 Arriving at the Joseph R. Skeen Visitor Center of the Bitter Lake National Wildlife Refuge about 9:45 AM, we were met by Volunteer John who surprised us by saying, "We've been expecting you!" He had heard our announcement on KENW-FM.

 We began our road tour about 10 AM. Driving south, we observed on the right side of the road many White-crowned Sparrows, plus two sparrows of unknown species and spent much time observing two Sage Thrashers posing on mesquite bushes.

 At the Sandhill Crane Overlook, a Northern Harrier flew in wide circles over the water in which Northern Shovelers and Ruddy Ducks paddled plus Lesser Sandhill Cranes and a large raft of Snow Geese, including several blue morphs. Jim estimated the geese "at about five to eight thousand."

 As the loop turned east, we scanned ponds along the roadside amid cattails, sacaton grass and phragmites. Pintails, coots, mallards, shovelers were in abundance plus Pied-billed Grebe, Bufflehead and Red-winged Blackbird. We spent much time at the Oxbow Nature Trail observing waterfowl, including Gadwall. As the car turned north, a Northern Harrier erupted in front of the car, his distinctive white rump patch clearly visible. High in the northern sky, two large flights of cranes swirled.

 We were disappointed when we arrived at the Pajaro Observation Blind because it was closed due to "unsafe conditions." Nevertheless, from the open boardwalk, we observed Song Sparrow, Canvasback, Bufflehead, Killdeer, Ruddy Duck, Western Meadowlark. When orange flames appeared to be erupting from a Northern Shoveler, that was positive identification as the duck scratched with its orange foot. Anita commented, " That was a great view of this common duck. Those feet made him appear as if he had brilliant orange plumes on his face." Greater Yellowlegs and Snowy Egret finished the expedition on an exciting note, as the noon sun lit up the egret's plumes and yellow feet, its distinctive field mark differentiating it from a Great Egret. As we watched, it caught a fish and ate it before disappearing into brush.

 The trip ended at 12:30 and members adjourned to Red Lobster in Roswell for a late lunch.

---------submitted by Yvonne "EV" Lanelli

Species List

Mammal: Pronghorn


Greater Yellowlegs
Snowy Egret
Song Sparrow
Ruddy Duck
Western Meadowlark
American Coot
Northern Shoveler
 Pied-billed Grebe
Red-winged Blackbird
Northern Harrier
Lesser Sandhill Cranes
Snow Geese
White-crowned Sparrow
Sage Thrasher
Great-tailed Grackle
 White-winged Dove
Rock Dove
Canada geese
Great Blue Heron
Belted Kingfisher
American Wigeon,
Hairy Woodpecker
 Hooded Merganser
Red-tailed Hawk
American Kestrel

LCBC Bosque del Apache NWR Trip Report

Saturday, November 11, 2017
  Members:  Jim & Barb Edwards, Pat Kelly, Yvonne Lanelli.  
Guest: Paula Madriles
 Weather:  Sunny, high cirrus clouds gradually disappearing

A complete list of species follows the narrative. 

Carpool departed gravel lot west of Brewer's Shell on NM 532, Alto, at 7:30 AM.

During hour and a half drive to San Antonio, we observed eleven Common Ravens either perched on power poles or scavenging along US 380, as well as three Red-tailed Hawks perched on power poles.

Crossing the Rio Grande, we admired lush red-gold cottonwoods and spotted an American Kestrel on a pole. Driving through San Antonio, we saw a White-Winged Dove and a Kestrel on a wire.

On NM 1 just after entering Bosque, we stopped at a wetland to observe Mallards and many Northern Pintails. Jim pointed out to Paula the differences between males (brown head with white neck stripe,
gray body with white patch near rump and the distinctive long pointed "pin tail") and the female's mottled brown coloration. When the pintails turned upside down, appearing to stand on their heads, Jim explained these were "dabbling" ducks.

Just before we turned into the Visitor Center parking lot, a large gaggle of Snow Geese spun like a small tornado about a half mile southeast, wheeled and landed in a wetland. Later, we would observe them from a scope at the V C.  As we exited the car, Paula was delighted to hear them honking from that distance.

Leaving the V C, we entered the South Loop (paying no admission because it was Veterans Day). At our first stop, we observed male Northern Shovelers close to us and Canada Geese farther away. A Northern Harrier circled close by, appearing to show off its field marks for us, especially its white tail band. Two Ravens flew past.

Our second stop, Dabbler and Diver Deck, is an overview with scopes. Hearing the sound of rushing water, Jim noted that an adjacent field was being flooded. We observed Sandhill Cranes,  Buffleheads, Northern Pintails and Mallards. 

At Marsh Trail we spent much time along the boardwalk that was lined with cottonwoods, willows, phragmites (aka common reeds) and cattails. Our first sighting was not a bird but several Western Painted Turtles (terrapins) basking on logs, their necks extended and showing almost iridescent in the
sun. One Painted Turtle displayed its vermilion carapace markings as it moved across the log, slid into the water and emerged to mount another log. American Coots paddled across the pond. Across the pond in a shaded overhang, Jim spotted what at first we took to be a Great Blue Heron, but when it spread its wings, we saw it was an immature American White Pelican, a first for Yvonne. As it paddled into the sunny area of the pond, it displayed its wings with black edges.

Proceeding to the pond on the south corner of South Loop, we saw male and female Northern Pintails and Mallards.

Pat was keen to see a Great Blue Heron, since "I see one every time I'm here." Her patience was rewarded as we turned northward. On the left, a Great Blue Heron stood still on the side of the road, its back to us. We slowed to admire and image it, but vehicles behind us passed too quickly for the bird's comfort and it flew about 30 yards ahead. This time, all vehicles stopped. The heron posed in profile for several minutes before taking to wing again.

Before leaving South Loop, we encountered an immense display of feeding Sandhill Cranes, their distinctive "purring" audible even before we left the car. Even for experienced birders, this sighting proved as exciting as it was to our first-timer. 

Continuing to North Loop, we searched for eagles which had appeared in relative abundance on our previous trip. We had just about given up when an adult Golden Eagle spied us from his perch on a cottonwood's dead branch.

North Loop seemed drier than on our last visit, so this part of the drive passed quickly. At Flight Deck, a sizable raft of Snow Geese fascinated us, their "barking" audible from a closed car. Backlit, the raft appeared indeed like snow. Thus, we continued to Eagle Scout Deck on the road that separates North and South Loop for a front-lit view of the geese. Jim spotted a dark morph individual. He also speculated Ross's Geese may have been with the Snow Geese but couldn't definitely say.

Back at the V C, we spent much time in the newly designed Arboretum, acquainting ourselves with the flora of the Chihuahuan, Sonoran and Mojave Deserts. A plastic-covered Guide helped ID the over 100 species of cactus and other desert plants. Joining us were a Yellow Warbler, Red-winged Blackbirds, Scrub Jays and many White-winged Doves.

At 2:30 PM we left the V C and re-located to the Buckhorn restaurant in San Antonio for green chile’ cheeseburgers, pleased that we arrived fifteen minutes before closing.

Species List

Western Painted Turtle  (terrapin)

Common Raven
Northern Harrier
Red-tailed Hawk
Greater Sandhill Crane
American Kestrel
White-winged Dove
American Coots
Northern Pintail
American White Pelican
Great Blue Heron
Snow Geese
Golden Eagle
Canada Geese
Ross’s Geese
Northern Shovelers
Yellow Warbler
Red-winged Blackbird
Scrub Jay
-- Report submitted by Yvonne Lanelli

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“Birds ‘n’ Blossoms” August 8 2017  8 - 10:30 AM
Monjeau Road (FR 117)  Lincoln National Forest

Members attending:  Jim & Barb Edwards, Anita & Ernie Powell, Yvonne Lanelli, Sue MacFarlane, Sandy Scarborough

Weather: overcast, 65 degrees F. no wind

Note: For quick reference, following this narrative report are lists of birds and flora.

Heavy monsoon rains interspersed with sunny days filled the forest with a carpet of heavy green grass and an explosion of wildflowers--in short, typical August flora. Heavy overcast, however, made identifying birds challenging.

As soon as we turned onto FR 117 (Monjeau Road) from NM 532 (Ski Run Road), Anita ID’d a female American Kestrel on a power wire (females are larger than males).

First stop: the intersection of Laguna Drive and FR 117.  A Turkey Vulture circled overhead. Dead trees silhouetted Say’s Phoebe and Olive-sided Phoebe. Several Western Bluebirds flitted between two live Ponderosa Pines. A Lesser Goldfinch, identified by its small size and black wings, zoomed over Ernie’s head. Anita noted, “Lesser Goldfinch are in our area during the summer but move south for the winter. Then  American Goldfinch move into our area for the winter.” Soft cooing drew us to Mourning Dove; sounds of tapping to an Acorn Woodpecker. We heard but did not see a Broad-tailed Hummingbird.

Jim warned everyone about the large stand of Stinging Nettle beneath a massive Gambel Oak as we wandered through patches of Hooker’s Evening Primrose, Apache Plume, Penstemons, tall Yarrow, red Mexican Hat, Cut-leaf Coneflower, Mountain Asters, and a cluster of non-specific yellow Daisies. New Mexico Vervain, also called  Spike Verbena, poked its hairy purple spikes above a cluster of gooey Gumweed’s small yellow blooms. Cranesbill Geraniums bloomed amid the occasional Blue Flax, Western Dayflower, Cosmos (both pink and white) and Salsify, also called Oyster Plant because its roots allegedly taste like oysters. None of us verified that.  One Globemallow and one scarlet Cinquefoil each showed a single flower. The most prevalent species appeared to be tall spikes of yellow-blossomed Common Mullein, also called Flannel Mullein, Woolly Mullein or Bunny’s Ear.

Just before leaving this area, Anita suspected she heard a Western Wood-Pewee. To verify, she played its song using her free Audubon app. To everyone’s delight, the bird responded.

Along FR 117 to Dry Mills Canyon Road, masses of bright red Skyrocket Gilia (also called Scarlet Trumpet or Scarlet Gilia) bloomed in open areas. At Dry Mills Canyon Road, we ID’d Goldenrod, White Clover and Fleabane Daisy beneath gray-blue droopy branches of the Rocky Mountain Juniper. Jim pointed out this is one of three species of juniper in this area: Rocky Mountain, Alligator and One-seed. The most prominent species at this stop were fields and fields of Mountain Asters and, sadly, invasive Musk Thistles. Amidst the mountain asters were two unusually large Inky-cap Mushrooms which Jim immediately imaged because of their size. The only bird we saw at this stop was a White-breasted Nuthatch.

A bit further up, we stopped to ID Sulfurflower, or Buckwheat, and Lupine but were stymied by an unidentifiable yellow Daisy.

At the source of Little Creek, where FR 117 bends sharply left and up, we stopped to examine Blueberry Elders, commonly referred to as elderberry bushes, and noted one already showed its characteristic white blossom clusters. In mid-Sseptember, berries will be ripe for picking. Members enjoy making jelly, jam, syrup or pancakes from the tart elderberries.  Also at this stop we saw Four O’clocks, Locoweed, Stickweed which Jim demonstrated on Sandy, Harebells, Nodding Onion, and Indian Paintbrush almost invisible in fields of gilia plus more lupine. Birds:   House Wren and  Northern Flicker, its orange wings apparent only in flight serving as its best field ID. Looking above the curve into a bowl-shaped meadow, Sue commented, “Take away the dead trees and it’s a beautiful view.”  Indeed,  black skeletons of trees burned in 2012’s Little Bear Fire marred not only that lovely meadow but also much of the area.

Our last stop: Skyline Campground where the clouds began to break up, allowing better imaging and ID-ing. Two large Common Ravens pecked at campfire remnants then settled in a tree across the road. A Turkey Vulture soared above, possibly the same one we sighted earlier. This stop proved better for birds than the previous ones. Several low-flying Violet-green Swallows swooped back and forth over us. Ernie pointed out its white flank patch visible in flight, a definite field mark. While walking along a narrow path, we were startled when an American Robin erupted from the grass in front of us, flew into a nearby Wild Rosebush then disappeared into a Southwestern White Pine. Anita followed a Grace’s Warbler with her binoculars for several minutes before turning her attention to a House Wren. She also sighted a Yellow-rumped Warbler. Occasional bursts of sunshine made birding easier and one member was heard to comment, “I don’t know whether to look up at the birds or down at the flowers” as Western Wallflowers, Penstemons, Western Dayflowers, Salsify, yellow Cinquefoils, Cranesbill Geraniums, Goldenrod and Yarrow vied for attention with Eurasian Collared-Dove, Steller’s Jay, Dark-eyed Juncos, and two Hairy Woodpeckers. Jim and Anita heard “something like a finch” but couldn’t make a definite ID.  Ernie saw a Thrush which “might have been a hermit thrush but I could not see its tail.”  The Hermit Thrush is the only Thrush species with a reddish tail. Anita played its song on her app, but it didn’t respond.

The trip concluded at Skyline at 10:30 AM. Members agreed it had been successful for flowers as hoped, but overcast made birding difficult. Ironically, just as we left the Campground, the clouds began to break up and move on.

Members’ next event will be a feeding frenzy, also known as picnic, on Thursday, August 24 at 4 PM at a location yet to be determined. Members, do you know of a pavilion we can use?  Contact Jim: or 937-5416.

-----Submitted by Yvonne “EV” Lanelli

For quick reference:  
Mourning Dove
American Kestrel
Northern Flicker
Say’s Phoebe
Olive-sided Phoebe
Western Bluebird
Acorn Woodpecker
Turkey Vulture
Western Wood-Pewee
Broad-tailed Hummingbird
Lesser Goldfinch
White-breasted Nuthatch
House Wren
Common Raven
Hairy Woodpecker
Dark-eyed Junco
Violet-green Swallow
Eurasian Collared-Dove
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Grace’s Warbler
American Robin
Steller’s Jay

-----submitted by Anita Powell.

“We stopped by Alto Lake on the way home and saw a flock of Bushtits and a Black Phoebe.  I did not put them on the list because our trip was "officially" over.”

Ponderosa Pine
Gambel Oak
Stinging Nettle
Hooker’s Evening primrose
Mexican Hat
Cut-leaf Coneflower
Mountain Asters
non-specific yellow Daisies
New Mexico Vervain, also called  Spike Verbena
Cranesbill Geraniums
Blue Flax
Western Dayflower
Cosmos (both pink and white)
Salsify, also called Oyster Plant
Apache Plume
Cinquefoil (both scarlet and yellow)
Common Mullein, also called Flannel Mullein, Woolly Mullein or Bunny’s Ear.
Skyrocket Gilia (also called Scarlet Trumpet or Scarlet Gilia) Goldenrod
White Clover
Fleabane Daisy
Rocky Mountain Juniper
Mountain Aster
Musk Thistle
Inky-cap Mushrooms
Sulfurflower, or Buckwheat
Blueberry Elder
Four O’clocks
Nodding Onion
Indian Paintbrush
Wild Rose
Southwestern White Pine
Western Wallflower



29 July 2017 - 10 AM
Smokey's Garden, Smokey Bear Ranger Station, Ruidoso, NM

Presenters: Jim Edwards, EV Lanelli, Anita Powell, Craig Cathey

Members: Barb Edwards, Ernie Powell, Barbara Cathey, Beth  Hood, Bob & Sue Macfarlane

Guests: John & Carol Howell, Winston Macy, Sharon and Larry Stephenson, Merrilee Hayes, Helen Weicker, David Hamill, Sean Clark, Deborah Burk, Amanda Foust, Pam & Ubaldo Skinner,
Erin Hegle, Carolyn Lindau, Jeff & Carol Bleau, Mike Anderson, Susan Elrod

Smokey Bear Ranger staff:  Jodie Canfield, Dan Ray. Not present was Larry Cordova, member and SB Biologist, who invited us to present.


Introduction: Jodie Canfield, District Ranger, SBRS

LCBC Welcome:  Jim Edwards,  LCBC President

Bird ID:  EV Lanelli using research material and graphic handouts provided by Anita Powell and Dan Ray, Fuels Specialist at SBRS.

Attracting and feeding do's and don't's: Anita Powell

Imaging hummers:  Craig Cathey

Drawing for hummer photo: Jim drew the name of Deborah Burk of Ruidoso

Mini-field trip led by Dan Ray to a hummer nest discovered in a tree on SBRS grounds

Event concluded approx. noon.  General consensus was that Event was "complete success."  Both Jodie and Dan expressed delight in large enthusiastic turnout. We can expect to be asked again.  In addition, Anita reported gaining six new members. Board meeting held immediately afterward.

PHOTOS COURTESY:  Yvonne "EV" Lanelli


Field Trip Report
Bitter Lake National Wildlife Refuge
Thursday, February 2, 2017

Members: Anita, Ernie Powell; Roger, Carolyn Dullum; Jim Edwards, Patti Van Dusen, EV Lanelli, Jake Wolfhart
Guest: Carol Bleau
Weather: sunny, no wind, temperature in high 40s.

Members departed at 8 AM from Beall’s parking lot on US 70 in Ruidoso. Enroute we observed many Common Ravens alongside the highway or pecking at roadkill. Alongside the Country Club bypass, a herd of pronghorn observed us. On Pine Lodge Road ( NM 246), three American Kestrels, White-winged Doves  and a flock of Rock Doves perched on power poles.

We arrived at the Joseph R. Skeen Visitor Center on E. Pine Lodge Road at 9:30 AM. This is a relatively new facility with displays of all the environments contained on the Refuge including an aquarium, a video theatre and east-facing viewing area with scope. There is no admission or car fee.

One video introduces the Refuge, explaining its geology, geography along the Rio Pecos, wildlife and management efforts of natural sinkholes to provide food and shelter primarily to migrating species. Although it is primarily a bird refuge, it also provides sanctuary for rare amphibians and mammals. The second video focuses on dragonflies and promotes the September dragonfly festival. Over 100 species of dragonflies and damselflies populate the Refuge, according to a volunteer.

The Refuge covers 24,536 acres and was established in 1937. Bird activity occurs year round, but waterfowl concentrations rise in the winter. Thus we saw many individuals and flocks along the gravel trail’s pullouts.

At the first stop, we spotted a Snowy Egret with distinctive yellow legs, White-faced Ibis (loses its white face in winter), American Avocet (easily recognized by its upturned beak), Scaled Quail on the ground and a Northern Harrier that flew into a desert willow. Many Canada Geese paddled on the edge of the lake, which some members noticed was at a different level than on a previous visit.

Moving to a different body of water closer to the road, we observed many Northern Shovelers  “standing on their heads” as they dabbled for food.

In the distance, skeins of circling Snow Geese reflecting sunlight appeared as clouds of smoke as they descended to the water in slow spirals. As we drove to their landing, we heard their loud honking. Although the vast majority were mature, we observed the occasional dark immature individual. Paddling also were Gadwall and Ruddy Ducks. A Loggerhead Shrike sat atop a nearby mesquite bush. This shrike is noted for its ability to impale its prey.

At the next stop, a Red-tail Hawk flew above cattails and tall sedge along water in which two American Coots paddled. At our approach, a male and female Northern Shoveler took flight over another pair who didn’t notice us because they were “standing on their heads.” We spent much time at this spot observing Buffleheads, Northern Pintails, Lesser Scaup, Ruddy Ducks and in the far distance, a Great Egret.

At the Oxbow Trail Loop, three members walked the loop while the rest, concerned about possible rattlesnake encounters, remained roadside.

The final stop includes a handicapped accessible boardwalk to a covered observation blind. Here we observed Lesser Yellow Legs, Mallards, a male and female Northern Harrier pair, two Snowy Egret individuals, Cinnamon Teal, a Canvasback pair, and Pied-billed Grebe.

Leaving the Refuge, we observed Western Meadowlark and several Great-tailed Grackles.

Many members ate lunch in Roswell, at either Red Lobster or Golden Corral. We returned to Beall’s parking lot at 5 PM.

By Yvonne “EV” Lanelli
Field Trip Report
Bosque del Apache NWR • Dec. 21, 2016

Jim Edwards, President
Yvonne Lanelli
Larry Cordova (who drove USFS van w/pax Lanelli, Edwards, Van Dusen, Hood)
Beth Hood
Patti Van Dusen
Pat Miller
Randall Robbins
Mr., Mrs. Randy Ross
Annett Teter
Peggy McCart
Alston McCart
John Haigis
Ross guest
Carpools left from parking lot west of Eagle Creek Shell in Alto at 7:17 AM in overcast weather. Along NM 37, we observed  many Common Ravens and a murder of American Crows.
Along US 380, seven Common Ravens, one Red-tailed Hawk, one Golden Eagle, an American Kestrel and a Swainson's Hawk perched on various power poles.
On NM 1, overcast conditions made specific ID impossible as a flock of non-specific black birds scattered from the pavement upon our approach, an additional flock flew overhead, a hawk observed us from a power pole, ducks paddled on a roadside pond and another group of ducks flew past the van. A lone Snow Goose paddled with the ducks.
We arrived at the Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center about 8:45 AM where Biologist Megan Boyette and Refuge Volunteer Elzi Volks guided us into closed areas to observe wildlife and current managing efforts.
In the Bosque proper, ID improved as Biologist Megan Boyette pointed out White-crowned Sparrows, many Canada Geese alongside the road and two Bald Eagles perching in snags in flooded ponds. Paddling in ponds were many Ruddy Ducks, Buffleheads, American Coots, large flocks of greater and lesser Sandhill Cranes, Northern Pintails, Mallards, Green-winged Teal, three Trumpeter Swans and Common Merganser. An immense flock of Sandhill Cranes fed in a freshly mowed cornfield. Gambel's Quail scooted near the road.  A Golden Eagle perched in  a cottonwood. Meadowlarks perched on phragmites and in coyote willow.  Two bald eagles, one immature, one mature, perched side by side in a cottonwood.  A Greater Roadrunner crossed the road as we approached a large flock of Rio Grande Turkey hens (no toms) that fled into deep cover.
A first for many birders was sighting a Dark Morph Red-tailed Hawk and a Black-crowned Night-Heron.
Megan  updated us on recent Refuge activities including (1) controlling invasive species: bullfrogs, Russian olive, perennial pepper weed and parrot feather, an aquatic plant; (2) restoring amaranth seed projects on land formerly inhabited by invasive salt cedar, which had been mechanically removed, burned in a wildfire, or fallen victim to the defoliating Tamarisk beetle.
The tour ended at the Visitor Center at noon, and Megan and Elzi joined us for lunch at San Antonio Crane before we returned to Alto, arriving there about 3:45 PM.

By Yvonne “EV” Lanelli


Our regular hike days are Monday and Wednesday, with Wednesday for the easier (shorter or less strenuous) hike. We're currently meeting at 08:30 AM at the entrance to Eagle Creek Sports Complex / Winter Park Snow Play area on Ski Run Road. (Later in the year we begin meeting at 08:00 AM).

Anyone wishing to hike can just show up there Mondays or Wednesdays at 08:30 AM. They can send e-mail to: Trail Snails
if they wish to be added to the e-mail list to receive hike reports and announcements prior to each week's hikes.
For more information contact Jim
Email: Trail Snail
Phone: 575-415-4554