Category Archives: photos

Birds and more in Alameda Bosque, north of Albuquerque, New Mexico

We visit the area around Alameda frequently. There is a large free parking area just southeast of the bridge. This area is the northern end of the miles-long Paseo del Bosque bike trail through the bosque. Within an easy walk are the old bridge, now closed to cars but used by walkers, cyclists, and equestrians, as well as unpaved trails radiating east, south, and north along both sides of the river. In fact, there are multiple levels of trails along the acequias and closer to the riverbank. What a fabulous area to hike, especially early in the day. (The shade is great but may not be cool enough by late afternoon, even in late spring.)

Birds are an an added bonus to the other natural beauty of the area, which includes wonderful views of the Sandia Mountains and the Rio Grande river,

On our most recent hike, we saw blue grosbeaks and summer tanagers, among other birds. On previous occasions, we’ve seen hawks galore, as well as porcupines and a camel.

Los Lunas – Belen – Bernardo Birding Daytrip

I took a day trip to various birding hotspots south of Albuquerque, but not as far south as Mecca (Bosque del Apache). My guide was Birding Hot Spots of Central New Mexico, by Judy Liddell and Barbara Hussey, plus GPS and some time spent with Google Earth beforehand. One trip is not enough to evaluate these spots – their inclusion in the book may be enough of a rating. Certainly, I will return to Bernardo, which is so much closer than Mecca but *almost* as beautiful and bird-full (no place is as beautiful as Bosque del Apache). I wish Bosque del Apache would mimic the blinds and overlooks at Bernardo, which has two fantastic trails through high bushes around a pond.

Highlights included quite a few kestrels, a northern harrier at Whitfield Wildlife Conservation Area, lots of sandhill cranes and snow geese, a song sparrow, and several rufous-sided towhees, all at Bernardo.

Los Lunas – Belen – Bernardo, New Mexico

Note: Photos contain GPS data and can be mapped online.

I had not luck locating Belen Waterfowl Management Area off Jarales Road (a lovely drive). The official map of the area is dreadfully vague. Nor did I see any indication along the road of Casa Colorada WMA.

See Judy Liddell’s blog for much more information: It’s a bird thing…

The Rio Grande Bosque is a treasure we all need to visit more

We’ve walked in various parts of the bosque (riparian woods, primarily cottonwoods) within Albuquerque over the years. A year ago, our walk resulted in one of my favorite photos of the year (coyote with ducks, a prize winner). This year, we watched a Northern Harrier (Marsh Hawk) stand in the river, one foot pinning its prey in the current. And there was a disheveled merlin, a handsome shoveler, a snipe, and a plethora of robins. I’ve added 9 pictures to the album (19 total).

A Walk in Albuquerque’s Bosque

Lucky Timing (from the Photo Archive)

American avocets

I go to Chaco Canyon every year (except for this one). In 2008, I also traveled to a couple of outliers west of Chaco. The road into Kin Bineola (“where the wind whirls,” Navajo) crosses a dirt dam. I had never seen any water on either side of that dam before, but on this trip in May, there was a small pond near the dam, well below the road. I saw something circle over the pond. I stopped on the dam to consider taking a picture. The two adult avocets were cute enough – and seemed out of place enough – to warrant a photo. I just got lucky that the babies flew in just as I clicked. I respect photographic skill, experience, and equipment, but lucky timing is the most valuable asset a photographer can’t buy. I never expected to photograph shorebirds in the desert.

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The Builder (from the Photo Archive)

nesting material

I watched this robin gather grass for nesting material in our small sideyard a few years ago. It was a windy day and the robin kept dropping what it already had in its beak as it tried for more. (Called to mind Aesop.) After numerous attempts, the robin gathered up a good bundle. It took off from the grass and paused just long enough in a gap in the fence. Click. Thank you. With all the wind, I didn’t expect this photo to be in focus.

Robins love to bathe, perhaps moreso than any other birds I’ve seen in our yard.

robin bathes

 

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[From the Photo Archive is an irregular series of photos I’ve taken some time ago but want to revisit.]

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