Hi all,
I was in western New Mexico for a brief but eventful visit from 17-19
August 2009.  The birding highlight was almost certainly (large Pinyon
Jay flocks is a close top highlight too) the nice nocturnal flights on
the evening of 18 August continuing into the morning of 19 August near
Quemado, NM in the high desert at approximately 7,200 ft.  Conditions
were suprisingly calm, and amazingly clear.  At times in the hours
just before sunrise, and before civil twilight, I was hearing 3-4
calls per minute.  Most of the species composition was spizellid, with
many Chipping Sparrows and presumed Brewer's Sparrow (based on
previous recordings that I've reviewed from my own diurnal
collections, Ted's clips, and those diurnal recordings that Lanzone
and I made in spring 2005 in AZ).  Also moving in the nocturnal flight
were Wilson's Warbler, Yellow Warbler, Lark Sparrow, Western Tanager,
presumed Bullock's Oriole, Passerina bunting and a suite of
unidentified 5+ kHz calls that were probably emberizids.  There was
also a small, visible morning flight, including Bullock's Oriole (two
birds giving flight calls) and many sparrows, including decent numbers
(50-60 per hour) of Brewer's Sparrows (many birds giving flight
calls).  This flight also included a nice movement of hummingbirds,
including numerous Broad-tailed and Rufous Hummingbirds (no birds, not
surprisingly, giving flight calls).


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