Sandia Crest is well known for being the easiest place to see all three species of Rosy-Finch. Having never been there, and since we are only 7 hours from the place, we decided to leave Friday after work. After sleeping in the Yukon at 10,000 feet and 15 degrees, we woke up early and hit the crest.
Unfortunately, the building doesn't open until 10am, so we bummed around for a while, finding my year Cassin's Finch and Hairy Woodpecker. We saw some Rosies before the store opened, getting nice looks at both Brown-capped and Black. When the store opened, we enjoyed some Hot Chocolate and more Rosy-Finches. The Black Rosy-Finches were most common.
I also made sure to get a photo of a Brown-capped Rosy Finch, just for the records (far left bird).
While waiting for a Gray-crowned to show up, we started talking with a guy from Ontario. After some conversation, he revealed himself to be Martin Bowman, younger brother of Scotty Bowman (aka the best NHL hockey coach ever)!
Finally, a Gray-crowned did show up, just one, but it was good enough for the Rosy-Finch sweep!
Back in Albuquerque, we stopped for a Winter Wren that has been around all winter. Given that it was very vocal, we quickly located it, and Garrett celebrated another lifer (#2 for the day). We also picked up Wood Duck and Downy Woodpecker, bringing the day total to 9 year birds. We then started the long drive back to Whitewater Draw.
Today is a lazy-Sunday. The only two big misses so far in AZ are Hepatic Tanager and Elegant Trogon, and it looks like I won't have time to get to Patagonia again, so these may not make it to my year list.