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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14 Comments

Filed under Albuquerque birds, New Mexico birds, Rio Grande Nature Center

14 responses to “Autumn at the Rio Grande Nature Center

  1. What a great place! I really like the photo of the Grebe in front of the Geese..it looks so small.

  2. Lovely, Linda. Reading this post is like taking a mini vacation. We went to the Nature Center recently, and it’s fun to see how much you can see that we don’t (although we had a great time)–lots to explore right in our backyard!

  3. Kerry

    Nice Linda like this post. Nice looking place and like the photos.

  4. Love this post – As Will notes it’s like taking a mini- tour of your area… thanks for sharing… beautiful photos of birds and the landscape.

  5. What splendid birds and views! Lovely post full of spectacular moments in time with nature!

  6. Wonderful photography!
    You would be welcome to contribute and help to begin a new endevour called “World Bird Wednesday” a chance for bird photographers to share and spread word of their blogs to others!
    Visit http://pineriverreview.blogspot.com/ and check it out!
    Springman!

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