Monthly Archives: November 2010

Wordless Wednesday-Wings on Wednesday

Sandhill Cranes, Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico.


Sandhill Cranes, Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico.


Sandhill Cranes, Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico.


Sandhill Cranes, Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico.


Sandhill Cranes, Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico.

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Autumn at the Rio Grande Nature Center

One of my favorite places in the Albuquerque area for birding, walking and clearing my head is the Rio Grande Nature Center. This fall I went on two separate days to take photos. The first time that I went, the rumored appearance of an Horned Grebe was a major attraction. Sure enough, this cute little water bird was swimming in the Candelaria Wetlands pond. Bosque Bill and I were able to get excellent views of this lovely little bird.

Horned Grebe at the Candelaria Wetlands pond.

Horned Grebe at the Candelaria Wetlands pond.

Horned Grebe, Rio Grande Nature Center.

Horned Grebe

The Canada Geese in the photo give you an idea of how small this little grebe is.

Horned Grebe and Canada Geese

Horned Grebe and Canada Geese

When we walked over to the Visitor’s Center pond, we were delighted to see a Double-crested Cormorant posing nicely for us.

Double-crested Cormorant

Double-crested Cormorant

A female Belted Kingfisher was hunting from the cottonwoods near the pond.

Female Belted Kingfisher

Female Belted Kingfisher

Even though it was overcast that day, the autumn colors were really spectacular.

Fall colors at the Rio Grande Nature Center.

Fall colors at the Rio Grande Nature Center.

When I went back two weeks later with friends from Colorado, the first thing we saw when we walked into the Nature Center was the little face of a Pocket Gopher peeking out of his hole.

Pocket Gopher

Pocket Gopher

It was a beautiful sunny day, and the Painted Turtles and Red-eared Sliders were enjoying the nice weather at the Visitor Center pond.

Painted Turtles and Red-eared Sliders

Painted Turtles and Red-eared Sliders.

An American Coot was very obliging in showing off his bright red eyes and red beak spot for us.

American Coot

American Coot

I was so happy to see that Hooded Mergansers are beginning to appear at the Nature Center.

Male Hooded Merganser at the Visitor Center pond, Rio Grande Nature Center, Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Male Hooded Merganser

We walked across the Bosque Trail and over to the Rio Grande. Although we didn’t see any birds, the views across the river to the bosque on the other side were lovely. You can see the volcanoes on Albuquerque’s West Mesa in the distance.

Looking across the Rio Grande to the Bosque.

Looking across the Rio Grande to the Bosque.

Closer view of the volcanoes

Closer view of the volcanoes.

Afterwards, we walked over to the Candelaria Wetlands pond. There were many Canada Geese on the pond, flying over the pond, and taking off from and landing on the pond.

Canada Geese, Candelaria Wetlands pond, Rio Grande Nature Center.

Canada Geese

Canada Goose flying over the Candelaria Wetland pond, Rio Grande Nature Center.

Canada Goose

The geese were coming right up to the blind, which is located at the east end of the parking lot.

Canada Goose at the Candelaria Wetlands pond blind.

Canada Goose at the Candelaria Wetlands pond blind.

There were Ring-necked Ducks in the Candelaria Wetlands pond …

Male Ring-necked Duck at the Visitor Center pond, Rio Grande Nature Center.

Male Ring-necked Duck

… and American Wigeon too.

Male American Wigeon at the Candelaria Wetlands pond

Male American Wigeon

There is a beautiful view to the east across the Candelaria Wetlands pond to the Sandia Mountains.

Sandia Mountains seen looking east across the Candelaria Wetlands pond.

Looking east towards the Sandias.

It was a lovely day at the Nature Center.

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Wordless Wednesday-Wings on Wednesday

Northern Pintail female, Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico


Northern Pintail female, Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico.


Northern Pintail female, Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico.


Northern Pintail female, Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico.


Northern Pintail male, Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico.


Northern Pintail male and female, Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico.


Northern Pintails and Sandhill Cranes, Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico.


Northern Pintails take flight, Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico.

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An Autumn Visit to Bosque del Apache

Last weekend I was fortunate to have birding friends from Colorado come to New Mexico to visit. One place I always enjoy taking visiting birders is the Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, which is located southeast of Socorro, New Mexico. Fall is a particularly lovely time to visit the refuge.

We arrived to find the bosque cottonwoods in full fall color.

Cottonwoods showing fall colors at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge.

Cottonwoods showing fall colors at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge.

The pond at the north end of the refuge held thousands of Snow Geese.

Snow Geese at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge.

Snow Geese at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge.


Snow Goose at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge.

Snow Goose at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge.


Snow Geese at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge.

Snow Geese at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge showing color morphs.

It was lovely to watch the Snow Geese against the fall colors.

Snow Geese flying past the cottonwoods at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge.

Snow Geese flying past the cottonwoods at Bosque del Apache.


There were hundreds of Northern Pintails in the pond with the Snow Geese.
Female Northern Pintail, Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge.

Female Northern Pintail.


Male Northern Pintail, Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge.

Male Northern Pintail.


Male and female Northern Pintail, Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge.

Northern Pintail pair.

A Bald Eagle would occasionally circle the pond, causing the Snow Geese and Northern Pintails to take to the air amid a flurry of honking and quacking.

Bald Eagle takes flight at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico.

Bald Eagle takes flight, disturbing the ducks and geese.


Snow geese take flight at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico.

Snow geese take flight after being disturbed by a Bald Eagle.


Northern Pintails take flight at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico.

The Northern Pintails were disturbed by the Bald Eagle too.


Sandhill Cranes were in many of the shallow ponds in the refuge …
Sandhill Cranes and Northern Pintails at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge.

Sandhill Cranes wade in a shallow pond as Northern Pintails fly by.

… and we watched them fly over our heads for most of the day.

Sandhill Cranes at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico.

Sandhill Cranes flew overhead for most of the day.

As we drove over to the crane pools to watch the evening fly-in, we saw a variety of birds.

American Kestrel at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico

American Kestrel hovering.


Greater Roadrunner at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico.

Greater Roadrunner surveys the terrain.


Lilian's Eastern Meadowlarks at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico.

Lilian's Eastern Meadowlarks singing in the trees.


White-tailed Kite at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico.

White-tailed Kite, almost out of camera range.

As evening drew near we drove to the crane pools to watch the evening fly-in. There were not huge numbers of cranes there yet, but still, it is a wonderful spectacle.

Sandhill Cranes, evening fly-in at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico.

Sandhill Cranes, evening fly-in.

Sandhill Cranes, evening fly-in at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge.

Sandhill Cranes coming in for a landing at the crane pools.


Sandhill Cranes, evening fly-in at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico.

Sandhill Cranes circle in against the fading light.


As we left Bosque del Apache after a wonderful day, we watched a new moon set over the mountains to the west.
New moon at sunset north of Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico.

New moon at sunset.


It was a wonderful day!

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Wordless Wednesday-Wings on Wednesday

Snow Geese at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico

Snow Geese at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico


Snow Geese at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico

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Wordless Wednesday-Wings on Wednesday

American Wigeon


American Wigeon


American Wigeon

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