Mallards, Western Tanangers, Mosquitos, Romping Doggies

Field Log 5/15/10 Alameda Ditch north of Alameda Road

First distinctive life forms encountered this morn on ditch entered at Alameda Road (NOT Blvd) were 3-4 male  Mallards with not a female in sight. They were lounging in the sand of the opposite  side-of-ditch road – they eyed Maginaw the dog, but did not budge from their spots. Wonder if these were young teen Mallard boys.

Next to notice: Western Tanagers in a field east of ditch and then in bosque neighborhood close by ditch.  Spotted while the males flew away and could see the back with outstretched wings: yellow tail, black band mid back, then yellow shoulders. This view not in photos at Cornell Bird website. First noticed the predominant yellow, later noticed the orange heads. Also spotted a few of the green-grey with yellow edged females – so it is breeding season as Cornell territory map shows.  http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Western_Tanager/id

Delivered the book to Beth & Jim’s home where they spoke of mosquitos being alive and well at their evening meal outdoors. Maginaw behaved herself with Buck who she hasn’t seen in a few years. Beth’s mom Marilyn said they too have seen the Tanagers in their denser Bosque area, which is two stones throws from the Rio Grande. Maginaw started snapping at mosquitos. “She would eat bees when she was a puppy,” as I explained how her stray mother was found with litter and rescued by Watermelon Mountain Ranch.

Going back home on the ditch, Maginaw’s 6 years and weak back knees showed a bit as she romped with the Chavez pup. Her spirit and desire to play still strong and she did enjoy herself. But her speed is not up to par and she is totally tuckered on the porch right now.

Mag lounging those weak knees


Postscript:  I thought I had published this! Alas, it was just a draft still tonight when I finally dug into my hole again after some crazy week or two. And guess what? W. Tanagers are nesting in the Sandias (according to Judy’s new post on “It’s a Bird Thing”), and mosquitos are floating around my head now in early evening moonlight. And we are working on placing these Eagles and Mallards on the Bosque mural panel …

Bernalillo Mid School Manassah's Eagles & Brando's Mallards


1 Response to “Mallards, Western Tanangers, Mosquitos, Romping Doggies”

  1. May 31, 2010 at 3:40 am


    I’m so glad I can comment on this post. What a field log for that day. All things put down with stories attached. Mag has the spirit. Rescued by the ranch. There are good people in this world. Now I’ve got to look up the Tanangers to see what they look like.

    They’re beautiful! We don’t have that spectacular bird here, but I’m going to continue to look. What colors. (Peterson’s Guide, p. 266, was my source.)

    So, the mallards did not move. Hmmm, must have been teenagers, as you say. You do have quite a place to hike and stroll to find such creatures and walk the dog. Mag and my Old Yeller lab could get along, I just know it. My Old Yeller dog: we adopted five years ago as a stray on our place. He’s scared of thunderstorms and is dominated by our schnauzer female–go figure. I love him to death!

    More field log, please.


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