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dodgecitykitty
We are in Deming, New Mexico, under a ridge of the Florida (pronounced Flo Rita) mountains. Deming is on a flat plain below us and as we sit here, we can watch the dust devils rising hundreds of feet into the sky. I thought Texas was dry, but New Mexico brings new meaning to the word "dry". There is not any measurable humidity showing on our weather machine and I rub skin cream all over me twice a day to combat the dryness.

There are some uphill hikes here (Rockhound State Park) and we have found a lot of small rocks with crystals in them. The bigger ones are too big to carry! People are allowed to take 15 pounds of rocks from the park.

Saw a few museums in town today and had a really good lunch in a local restaurant. Tomorrow, we're going hiking in a nearby park where there are some imported Ibex and Oryx, though I don't count on seeing any.

Like Texas, the winds here come sweeping up out of the plains and buffet and blow most of the day, winds you can almost lean into! It is good at ameliorating the heat of the sun, but sometimes you just want it to stop for a while. Here in N.M. it stops at sundown; in TX it just roared all night.

Here's some of the great birds I've been seeing......
P3212512
Tufted Titmouse
P3212504
Black Chinned Hummingbird (couldn't get any closer)
P3212484
Cassin's Finch
P3212475
Chipping Sparrow
P3212470
White Crowned SparrowP3212466
?not sure about this one? Saw him in S.Llano River State Park in TX

That's all for tonight. Reception is slow here and it takes quite a time to get anything done!

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What sort of camera do you use DCK?

?DCK? My camera is an Olympus SP600UZ. I've had it about 3 years. The manual is only online and I've never been motivated to download it, so there are some things I don't know how to do with it and some things that it does and I don't know why! It has a pretty good zoom as long as things are not too far away. Do you know what that last pic of the little yellow bird is?

what size lens? You seem to get good close-ups.

Given the little I really know about cameras, this is what mine says on it's body: SP-600UZ; image stabilization; 12 megapixel; Olympus lens 15 X wide; optical zoom; 5.0-75.0mm; 1:3.5-5.4
I bought it in a Radio Shack in Las Vegas, Nevada about 4 years ago when I lost the battery charger for the camera I had then. (The charger subsequently turned up, a year later, under the seat buckle of the driver's seat in my car)!

There are some things I don't know about this camera, such as why it won't take more than 3 automatic pics at one time (my old one took up to 7) and why it gives me no notice when the batteries (4 lithium) are used up. It simply informs me that the battery is dead, so I always carry another packet with me. The camera notes in the camera menu tell me to check the battery icon, but since this icon always shows a full battery until the moment of death, that doesn't help!

But it does have a very good zoom, as long as things are not too far away. Oh, it also has the annoying habit of focusing on the nearest thing, so if a blade of grass is between me and the subject, I'll get a great pic of the blade of grass! Sometimes, it focuses behind the subject! Fortunately, I have a mega-chip, 8GB, and it will never fill up, so I can take as many pics as I want and delete the bad ones later. I make dvds after each trip and clear the chip to use again. I started using this chip Dec. 8th and I have 4519 pics on it right now. A lot of them will fall by the wayside when I get home.

DCK - Dodge City Kitty, No I don't know what the yellow bird is. I don't have a key to birds in that area I am afraid.

Sorry about the DCK; sometimes I'm a liiiittle slow on the uptake! :-D
I'm not sure if that little yellow bird is an immature goldfinch; I'll have to search my bird book again. Maybe one of the MANY warblers which are hard for me to identify. I'm putting up some more birds on my LJ today.

Re the goldfinch the shape of the beak would help as they have a fairly stubby beak, not a long thin one like a warbler. Cannot tell from the picture what shape the beak was. My first thought was some sort of warbler.

He might be; I'm leaning towards the Lesser Goldfinch. Sometimes the pics I take just don't seem to match anything in my bird book. The book has drawings, not pics, so it makes it a little hard to match my pics sometimes.

OK, I think I might have sorted out the mystery bird. I think it might be a female common yellowthroat. it has a yellow throat contrasting with a darker cheek, ring around the eye and pale dark stripe through the eye. bark is greyish with dark tips to the wing, but no wing bar. Taken from my guide to the birds of the western states.

I think you're right; my bird book does seem to look like my pic. Next time I'm in a book store, I'll see if I can't buy a bird guide with actual photos. I've had this one, National Geo Birds of North America, for 13 years.

I am sure it is not a goldfinch as there are no wing bars. It is just possible, I suppose, that there is a bird of the eastern States that was not in my guide, so I cannot be 100% certain. I thought that Sibley, Field guide to the birds of western NA was very good. Photo manuals are good, but even so birds are variable and sometimes don't look like the photos. This one was sitting in a puddle so the wet feathers would have taken on a slightly different hue. In the end I got it through looking at Sibley and then checked for images of the bird on the net - there are rather a lot.

And with a book with good drawings you get little tips written against the pictures to help with id, which you don't get with the photos. Warblers are not easy. I am off on a natural history trip to a new part of Europe in the summer and was checking a video on birds of some of the best parts of Europe and was feeling a bit uncomfortable about my warbler identification skills!

I find Warblers to be very hard to match; there are such small variations sometimes. You're right about the tips in the bird book; sometimes I find out what bird I've heard by matching the calls in the book.

I envy you your trips around the countries to bird watch! That's marvelous! Post some of your pics!

Well, although I will do some bird watching, the object of the trip is to spend 2 nights in a hide, a mile or two from the Russian border in Finland, where they put out food to attract brown bears, wolves, and if we are lucky wolverine. I have never been so far north before - it is around 100 miles or so south of the arctic circle.

http://viiksimo.blogspot.co.uk/

I also hope we might see white-tailed eagle. However you can't be envious. Europe is a set of small countries. On that scale with your trips to Florida, Tx etc you probably get to see as many different environments.

I suppose you are right. I'd just enjoy seeing all those totally different birds from here. I've been to England and Wales, but I wasn't into birding back then. (Early 70's; late 80's).

2 gorgeous birds on that site! I like the wolves also. Here, in North Dakota and New Mexico, wolves have been re-introduced, to bring back the balance that existed between animals before the wolves were exterminated there. Bears still have habitats, but some are stressed by development. Have seen Brown bears and Grizzlies in AK, in Washington and in Montana. Don't care to get too close!

I have one other small bird that I've seen in Las Cruces and in Deming. It may be a Finch, but I can't reconcile the leg color with any of the pics. I'll search some more; I've got 2 good pics of him.

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