Tag Archives: Double-crested Cormorant

An Early Spring Visit to Bosque del Apache

A couple of weekends ago Bosque Bill and I went to Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge. Winter is the usual time to visit the refuge because of the many Sandhill Cranes and Snow Geese that winter there. Because birding has been pretty slow in northern New Mexico lately, we decided to travel to Bosque del Apache to see if there were any interesting birds.

It was a gorgeous early spring day. The light was beautiful.

A beautiful day at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge.

A beautiful day at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge.

At one pond along the Marsh Loop we saw several Black-necked Stilts wading and feeding.

Black-necked Stilts

Black-necked Stilts

In another pond on the Marsh Loop we saw Neotropic and Double-crested Cormorants.

Neotropic and Double-crested Cormorants

Neotropic and Double-crested Cormorants.

Neotropic Cormorants

Neotropic Cormorants.

Juvenile Neotropic Cormorant

Juvenile Neotropic Cormorant;

There were quite a few Painted Turtles sunning themselves in the pond where we saw the cormorants.

Painted Turtles

Painted Turtles.

We saw Redheads in still another pond on the Marsh Loop …

Males and female Redhead

Males and female Redhead

… and Cinnamon Teal in the same pond.

Male and female Cinnamon Teal

Male and female Cinnamon Teal.

There was a Pied-billed Grebe in that pond too.

Pied-billed Grebe

Pied-billed Grebe.

As we continued around the Marsh Loop, we saw a pretty Say’s Phoebe in a New Mexico olive tree.

Say's Phoebe

Say's Phoebe.

A Red-tailed Hawk flew through the cottonwoods.

Red-tailed Hawk

Red-tailed Hawk.

There were many Northern Shovelers in the Farm Loop pond …

Male and female Northern Shovelers

Male and female Northern Shovelers.

… and there were many more Cinnamon Teal in the Farm Loop pond as well.

Cinnamon Teal

Cinnamon Teal

We had been told at the Visitors’ Center that the Sandhill Cranes had left for the year, and so we were surprised to see several hundred Lesser Sandhill Cranes at the Crane Pools as we left the refuge.

Lesser Sandhill Cranes fly in at sunset.

Lesser Sandhill Cranes fly in at sunset.

We went to Bosque del Apache with few expectations, and we had a lovely time. The green chile cheeseburgers that we had for lunch at the Buckhorn Saloon were outstanding too!

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A New Mexican in Florida-Part I

I am 62 years old, and until I attended the Space Coast Birding and Wildlife Festival this year I had never been to Florida. I was beside myself with anticipation as I boarded my plane for the Sunshine State. After flight delays, flying through a storm, renting a car in the middle of the night and driving through the remnants of the storm, I finally made it to Titusville in my Nissan Cube at 1:30 a.m. I was a New Mexican in Florida, and I was ready for a birding festival.

The first thing that I signed up for was a tour of the Ritch Grissom Memorial Wetlands at Viera, more commonly known as the Viera Wetlands. When I arrived at 5:30 a.m. I was barely conscious. I did not remember to adjust my camera at all, so most of my photographs are not very good. I did, however, manage to take a few photos that are recognizable as birds.

It was a cold, sunny morning at Viera. A busload of birders shivered in the early morning cold.

Ritch Grissom Memorial Wetlands.

A cold morning at Viera Wetlands.

As the day got warmer, I was able to enjoy the beautiful scenery, which is quite exotic to someone from New Mexico.

Viera Wetlands.

Beautiful Florida sunshine.

I saw birds that I had never seen before. My favorite was the Limpkin.

Limpkin at Viera Wetlands.

Limpkin

Limpkin, Ritch Grissom Memorial Wetlands.

Limpkin, another view.

And there were other new birds as well.

An Anhinga sunning on a cabbage palm stump

An Anhinga sunning on a cabbage palm stump

I also saw White Ibis, Glossy Ibis, American Bittern, Palm Warblers, Eastern Phoebe, Common Yellowthroat, and a Red-shouldered Hawk, all of which are not found in New Mexico. My photos of these are not good enough to share.

I was pleased to see old friends in a new location.

Great Egret at Viera Wetlands.

Great Egret

Great Egret at Viera Wetlands.

Great Egret, another view

Double-crested Cormorants, Viera Wetlands.

Double-crested Cormorants

Sandhill Crane, Viera Wetlands.

Sandhill Crane

Green Heron, Viera Wetlands.

Green Heron

And a first for this New Mexican: an alligator in the wild. Can you see him in the vegetation?

American Alligator, Viera Wetlands.

American Alligator

By the afternoon I had returned to semi-consciousness, and I had remembered to adjust my camera. I was in Florida, and I was ready to see more birds! Stay tuned.

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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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