Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Rio Grande Nature Center

We found the Rio Grande Nature Center in Albuquerque, New Mexico, about a month ago online; so on the 11th we went there. They charge five dollars and on their website they said they had Wood Ducks. They were our target bird for the day. The first bird we saw was a pair of Greater Roadrunners. They were very used to people and we were about five feet from them! Which is almost impossible out in the wild.

Greater Roadrunner

Greater Roadrunner

Song Sparrow
Then we went to a pond and saw some turtles, some Mallards, some Ring-billed Ducks. They also had a bird feeder next to the pond and the Mallards were taking advantage of the seeds that had fallen on the ground. We spotted a Song Sparrow and Spotted Towhee at the feeder. If anyone has any ideas as to what turtles they are I'd love to hear it.

We didn't see any Wood Ducks so we made our way to the path, we had two hours and decided to go down both paths. The first bird we came to was a Downy Woodpecker. Then we saw some little birds hopping around in a low tree and of course, they turned out to be Dark-eyed Juncos.

Continuing down the path we came across this sweet elderly woman and she stopped and told us about a pair of woodpeckers she saw and she also described a bluebird. We walked a little further and guess what we saw....a pair of woodpeckers! Not sure which one since they both flew off. Then I spotted the Eastern Bluebird, the picture turned out okay but the background is a little blinding.
Eastern Bluebird

We went a little further got down to the river and saw....nothing. A little disappointing but we headed back and spotted the Northern Flicker up in the tree.
Northern Flicker

We saw a little bird on the ground but didn't get a good picture at it and was unable to identify it. It went up in some brush and couldn't find it again. That's always a little of a bummer when that happens.

We had made it back to the vistor center and looked through the bird blind to the pond and there they were a male and female WOOD DUCKS!  Simon has wanted to see some in the wild for a long time and now he has! They have a very pretty facial pattern and we got some good pictures too. They were number 178! Slowly we are making it!!

Wood Ducks

As we were making our way back to the parking lot we spotted a Ring-necked Pheasant feeding on the ground by the bird feeders. We also seen some House Finches and a White-breasted Nuthatch. We wanted to see the Roadrunners again so we headed over to the first pond where we first saw them but they were no where in sight. There was two couples looking through a scope and let us look through at four Sandhill Cranes. One was a juvenile and the other three were adults.

White-breasted Nuthatch
Sandhill Cranes

Rio Grande Nature Center wasn't filled with new birds but it was a good spot and we plan to go back since we get through the area often. We only got one new bird; Wood Duck, but all in all it was better than getting no birds!
Happy Birding!!

PS~ I've got two more birding adventures to blog about hopefully they will be posted today! One in CA and another in OK!

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