May 31, 2016: Audubon center, and some shopping

As planned, we headed for the Randall Davey Audubon Center this morning, timing it so we’d get there right when they open at 8 AM. We were actually five minutes late, but the gate was still locked anyway. A young woman showed up after a minute or two and unlocked it, and we headed up the nature trail. The place is full of hummingbirds, and we saw several of both common local species — Broad-tailed:

Brod-Tailed Hummingbird

And Black-chinned:

Black-Chinned Hummingbird

And though you wouldn’t know it from those pics, we did get to see both the purple collar on the Black-Chinned and the rose-red throat on a Broad-Tailed.

The nature trail leads up into a Bear Canyon, which has some water and some fir trees; as we climbed up, we heard a repeated Pee-ee! call from across the wash. I spotted a bird in pine tree, and it was clearly an Empidonax flycatcher. Now, which one? It had a yellow belly and very short wing primaries. I played the Cordilleran call and it flew right over, but this bird’s call didn’t match. After a little more testing, we all agreed that the call was clearly Dusky. And the very short primaries are a good field mark for Dusky anyway. Another lifer!

Randall Davey Audubon Center

After the nature trail, we talked to a woman in the visitor center, who recommended the Santa Fe Canyon trail. It’s actually on Nature Conservancy property, and it goes up one side of the Santa Fe river and back on the other. In the process it goes by a large pond that was once the reservoir for Santa Fe, as well as several beaver ponds. It was a nice hike, although we didn’t really see anything that noteworthy.

Santa Fe Canyon

After the hike we had lunch and rested a bit, then walked over to the Santa Fe Plaza and the Governor’s Mansion. At the latter, a whole row of artisans had set up blankets with stuff for sale – always Robin’s downfall.

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We had a nice walk in the old city, and left much poorer. Tonight, tapas!

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