Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Bitter Lake National Wildlife Refuge

Birder Noelle

Noelle and I have spent three winter seasons working at Carlsbad Caverns National Park, so we were a bit puzzled as to how we spent about 18 months living in southeast New Mexico and never made it up to Bitter Lake. We rectified that situation today. This morning we packed up the car and headed north. It was a bit windy as we entered the refuge. We checked out the nice visitor center and then hit the loop road to do some exploring. We immediately found a bunch of interesting birds. There were lots of snow geese and coots, but we also saw some northern harriers, a few white-faced ibises, and sandhill cranes.

We stopped at all the overlooks along the road, checked out the scene from the bird blind,
Bird Blind

and even hiked the two mile long Oxbow Bend Trail.
Hiking the Oxbow Trail

Along the Oxbow Bend Trail we saw several snowy egrets and caught a glimpse of the Pecos River and the distant Capitan Mountains.
Hiking  Towards Capitan Peak


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