That nice Beez gave me a tiny little Flip video camcorder for Christmas. Since it is much smaller than my regular camera, about the size of a cell phone, I brought it along Saturday morning when we went on a guided bird walk down at the Mesilla Valley Bosque State Park. Starting our walk along the Picacho Drain (a hundred-year old irrigation ditch), we moved through meadows to a man-made mitigation wetland,* then along the Rio Grande.
The bird activity is picking up at the Bosque. The weather is warming and that helps the birds (and us). Last time we were there, about a month ago, it was very cold, damp, muddy, and windy; and bird activity was minimal. This time we saw or heard Ruby-Crowned Kinglets, Say's Phoebes, Bewick's Wrens, a Northern Flicker, Red-Winged Blackbirds, Cooper's and Sharp Shinned Hawks, Northern Harriers, a Great Blue Heron, White-Winged Doves, Crissal Thrashers, Western Meadowlarks, Shovelers (ducks), Mallards, Mexican Mallards (considered a subspecies of the Mallard), American Pipits, Least Sandpipers, a Red-Tailed Hawk, and American Coots. There were also some gulls--always a surprising sight so far inland--but we can't remember their names. Phew! Thank you, Auntie Bucksnort, for helping me with this list, which I would never have remembered on my own.
I understand that the park's bird list has reached 175 species. The ranger told us that many raptors would be arriving in March, and that May is the big month for warblers.
Now, grab some popcorn (you'll have to eat it quickly) and sit back to watch my very first try at movie editing with this camera and a new MacBook laptop. I'm afraid you are going to be guinea pigs for my movie experiments for a while. It's not that easy, making a video the first time with unfamiliar equipment and software. This very brief one--45 seconds long--took hours to edit from my several minutes of raw footage, giving me a renewed appreciation for professional film editors.
That's our own Auntie Bucksnort wielding the binoculars, by the way.
Next time I'll remember to turn off the camera before swinging it toward the ground, or at least to make sure I edit out that part so you won't get seasick. Tricky stuff, this high-tech business.
*"Wetland mitigation is the replacing of wetland areas destroyed or impacted by proposed land disturbances with artificially created wetland areas." See Answers.com discussion of wetlands for the source of this quote and for more information.
At the Mesilla Valley Bosque State Park, wetlands were reconstructed along the old Rio Grande flood plains to replace the wetland areas that were removed during the construction of the visitor center.