Monthly Archives: November 2010
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.
The Canada Geese in the photo give you an idea of how small this little grebe is.
When we walked over to the Visitor’s Center pond, we were delighted to see a Double-crested Cormorant posing nicely for us.
A female Belted Kingfisher was hunting from the cottonwoods near the pond.
Even though it was overcast that day, the autumn colors were really spectacular.
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.
It was a beautiful sunny day, and the Painted Turtles and Red-eared Sliders were enjoying the nice weather at the Visitor Center pond.
An American Coot was very obliging in showing off his bright red eyes and red beak spot for us.
I was so happy to see that Hooded Mergansers are beginning to appear at the Nature Center.
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.
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.
The geese were coming right up to the blind, which is located at the east end of the parking lot.
There were Ring-necked Ducks in the Candelaria Wetlands pond …
… and American Wigeon too.
There is a beautiful view to the east across the Candelaria Wetlands pond to the Sandia Mountains.
It was a lovely day at the Nature Center.
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.
The pond at the north end of the refuge held thousands of Snow Geese.
It was lovely to watch the Snow Geese against the fall colors.
There were hundreds of Northern Pintails in the pond with the Snow Geese.
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.
Sandhill Cranes were in many of the shallow ponds in the refuge …
… and we watched them fly over our heads 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.
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.
As we left Bosque del Apache after a wonderful day, we watched a new moon set over the mountains to the west.
It was a wonderful day!