I swear I got a good look at it. But it’s really not supposed to be here.
Is I’ve mentioned before, I’m not a terribly experienced birdwatcher. But lately I’ve spent a lot of time at it, making lists using eBird, keeping close track of my yard birds, and dragging the books and binoculars with me when we go on our walks wherever.
This afternoon, Lissa and I were walking one of our favorite trails in the foothills (from the parking lot at the east end of Indian School for you Albuquerque folks). The trail winds up past a big city water tank and an earthen flood control dam, then crosses an alluvial plain to a notch where the bedrock pushes water to the surface. I figured we’d see birds there.
Not so much. But on the side of the dam, right next to the trail, I caught a clear look of a bird in the bushes that I’d never seen before. Clear facial markings (black throat, black stripe across the eye, gray crest). The book had an unmistakable picture: the Bridled titmouse. I dutifully wrote it down.
Here’s the problem. The book, the Cornell web site and eBird all say it should not be this far north, all the way up here in Bernalillo County. None of the eBirders have ever reported seeing one in Bernalillo County. Have I seen my first rare bird? Or am I just full of it?
I reported it to eBird. They have a cheerful “are you sure?” check-off box when you report a rare bird. I thought hard, then checked “yes”.