Tag Archives: dragonfly

A Summer Visit to Bosque del Apache

A couple of weekends ago Bosque Bill and I decided to visit Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge. Bill is very enthusiastic about dragonflies, and there are many of them at Bosque del Apache in summer. I am always up for a road trip. It had been several years since I had visited there in summer, and I was looking forward to seeing the refuge. I knew it would be hot, and so I packed lots of cold drinks along with a cold picnic lunch.

We arrived at the refuge at mid-morning. As usual, the view across the refuge toward the hills was lovely.

Looking across the refuge toward the hills, Bosque del Apache NWR.

Looking across the refuge toward the hills.

It was interesting to see that in summer, the areas which in fall and winter are ponds for migrating birds are covered with plants that will become food for ducks, geese and cranes when the ponding areas are flooded in fall.

Pond area, Bosque del Apache NWR

In fall this area will be flooded and will become a pond for migrating waterfowl.

With temperatures hovering near 100ºF there was not a great deal of bird activity, but we did see a few birds:

Great Blue Heron

A Great Blue Heron hunts in an acequia

Black Phoebe

A Black Phoebe hunts for insects at a pond on the Marsh Loop.

An unruly gang of Neotropic Cormorants were roosting on snags along the Seasonal road.

Neotropic Cormorants

Neotropic Cormorants

We saw Blue Grosbeaks and Northern Mockingbirds and a few raptors. Either they were too far away for photos, or I was not quick enough with my camera. What we did see were dragonflies. They were beautiful!

Red Saddlebags (Tramea onusta)

Red Saddlebags (Tramea onusta)

Black Saddlebags (Tramea lacerata)

Black Saddlebags (Tramea lacerata)

Blue Darter

Blue Darter

By early afternoon Bosque Bill and I were hot and tired, and we took a break to eat our picnic lunch and tour the Visitor’s Center. After a lovely lunch we walked around the Visitor’s Center. Bosque Bill flushed a large covey of Gambel’s Quail sheltering from the midday sun under a Three-Leaf Sumac. I don’t know who was more startled, Bill or the quail. I was laughing so hard that I didn’t get a photo.

I sat in the (blessedly) air-conditioned Visitor’s Center and enjoyed watching the birds at the feeders. Black-chinned Hummingbirds and Rufous Hummingbirds were very busy defending the food source. I took some photos through the viewing window.

Male Rufous Hummingbird

A male Rufous Hummingbird vigilantly guards the feeder.

Black-chinned Hummingbirds, Rufous Hummingbird.

Black-chinned Hummingbirds share the feeder with the Rufous Hummingbird.

Black-chinned Hummingbirds, Rufous Hummingbird.

Another look at the hummingbirds around the feeder.

There were Bullock’s and Scott’s Orioles at the feeders as well.

Scott's Oriole

The hummingbirds fled when a Scott's Oriole landed on the feeder.

Scott's Oriole

This Scott's Oriole likes hummingbird nectar.

Bullock's Oriole

A Bullock's Oriole watches from a nearby tree …

Bullock's Oriole

… and announces his arrival at the feeder.

Very few people visit Bosque del Apache in summer. It is hot, and it lacks the large numbers of migratory waterfowl that are present in the other seasons. There is still a great deal to see.

Flowers

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Wordless Wednesday-Wings on Wednesday, a Variety

Great Egret

Variegated Meadowhawk

Monarch Butterfly

Common Buckeye

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A Walk in the Corrales Bosque

Yesterday Bosque Bill and I took a walk in the Corrales Bosque to see if the fall migrants were beginning to come through. We saw quite a few Wilson’s Warblers, but they were too deep in the dense cottonwood foliage to get photos of them.

Common sunflowers (Helianthus Annuus) were blooming profusely along the ditch banks.

Common sunflower, Helianthis Annuus

The Western Tanagers are on their way back through New Mexico, and we saw this lovely female high in a cottonwood.

Female Western Tanager

There were many hummingbirds in the bosque. Although most of them were high in the cottonwoods feeding on insects, I was fortunate to see this female Black-chinned Hummingbird sipping from a sunflower.

Female Black-chinned Hummingbird

Western Wood-Pewees were high in the trees.

Western Wood-Pewee

We saw a very attractive bull snake sliding along the path. He got a bit grumpy when I wanted to pick him up and play with him.

Bull Snake

When we approached the Rio Grande we found Northern Pike in an area where runoff goes into the river.

Northern Pike in the Rio Grande

As we walked back along the irrigation ditch we saw a Black Phoebe hunting in the coyote willows.

Black Phoebe

We also saw a beautiful female Blue Grosbeak in this area, but my photos of her are candidates for the blurry photo contest.

On our walk back we saw many dragonflies and damselflies.

Flame Skimmer

Female Variegated Meadowhawk

Damselflies, American Bluets

It was a beautiful day for a walk in the Corrales Bosque.

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