Good stuff, Andrew!

A few things:

1. "Ted's clips" of Brewer's Sparrows are actually Nathan Pieplow's.

2. Interesting to compare Andrew's observations in Catron County, NM,
with observations from "up north" in Colorado. Pretty convergent, on the
whole, I would say.

3. Andrew says "presumed" Bullock's Oriole. Yeah, no kidding. It's got a
nasty suite of flight calls, some of which approach (overlap with?)
Western Meadowlark. By and large, I do not hear (presumed) Bullock's on
nocturnal migration in Colorado. Then again, Bullock's is our
molt-migration poster-child, with migrants dispersing before the summer
solstice! My impression is that they wander the Colorado grasslands
during the hot daytime hours in June and July. But by mid-August, and
down in New Mexico, they may be doing more of the nighttime thing.

4. Western Tanager. That's another nasty one. A few years ago, Will
Russell alerted me to a variant that is basically indistinguishable from
Swainson's Thrush. Also, the WesternTanager/BlackHeadedGrosbeak nexus is


P.s. Good dawn flight audible outside my window right now. Spizellas.

-----Original Message-----
[] On Behalf Of Andrew
Sent: Thursday, August 20, 2009 4:46 PM
Subject: [nfc-l] Night Flight, Catron County, New Mexico 18-19 August

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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