Late Fall Birding around Albuquerque

Over the last few weeks I was able to get out and visit some of my favorite birding spots around Albuquerque.

My first outing was to Valley Irrigation Road in Moriarty, NM. It’s about 20 miles east of Albuquerque. There wasn’t any bird activity except for a juvenile Swanson’s Hawk enjoying the last of the day’s sunshine.

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Swanson's Hawk juvenile

My next outing was to the Piedras Marcadas Petroglyphs park. Over the last two years I’ve gone there hoping to see a Sage Sparrow which would be a new bird for me.  They are only here during the winter months.

While hiking I saw a few Rock Wrens. One was very friendly and I was able to get a few good photos.

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Rock Wren

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Rock Wren

After hiking for about an hour, I was starting to believe I wouldn’t see the Sagebrush Sparrow on this visit. Then on my way back to my car I saw one sitting atop a bush. Success!

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Sagebrush Sparrow

Next I decided to visit the Tingley Beach duck ponds. The weather that day was just gorgeous. I figured I’d see some of the waterfowl that visit us every winter. I wasn’t disappointed.

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American Widgeon

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Redhead

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Mallard

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Cackling Goose - smaller cousin to the Canada Goose

Every winter a Belted Kingfisher always winters at the duck ponds. And every year I try to photograph that bird. But its so shy and flies away as soon as it sees you. Well this year I was lucky! The cattails had grown pretty tall so I was able to hide behind them and peak around to get a photo.

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Belted Kingfisher female

Since the day was so pretty and it was lunch time I decided to go eat on the patio at Church Street Cafe in old town. I love feeding the House Sparrows.

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House Sparrow female

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House Sparrow male

On another outing I decided to walk along the Rio Grande behind Corrales. I hadn’t been there for awhile so it was a real treat to see it again. There were lots of birds about but most of them were determined to hide in the foliage. Along with lots of birds I saw a few other treasures.

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Black-Capped Chickadee

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Song Sparrow

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Porcupine - look closely and you can see a foot

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House Finch

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Adorable Alpaca

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I taught Scarlett how to cross the Irrigation ditches

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I thought this stump looked like an owl πŸ™‚

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Sandhill Crane - my first sighting this season

Lastly I headed out one day to the Rio Grande Nature Center. I hadn’t been there in quite some time. It was a beautiful day and there were lots of birds out.

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Mourning Dove

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Dark-Eyed Junco - I liked the golden background

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Gadwall

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Pied-Billed Grebe

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Wood Duck

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White-Crowned Sparrow

While there someone filled the duck feeder and it was a feeding frenzy!

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Wood Ducks

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Wood Ducks and Mallard

Under the feeder I was excited to see a Mute Swan. Everyone there was commenting on how this was the first time we’ve ever seen one here at the center.

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Mute Swan

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Mute Swan

Then a Canada Goose jumped on the feeder and the party was over for everyone else.

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Canada Goose with female Wood Duck

Before leaving I visited the other pond next to the parking lot. I got there in time to see a flock of Canada Geese taking off. Beautiful!

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Canada Geese

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Canada Geese

After revisiting these hikes I’m ready to get out there again soon! Hopefully I will heal up quickly and the weather will cooperate and I can get out hiking and birding.

6 thoughts on “Late Fall Birding around Albuquerque

  1. Great post! I know what you mean about those skittish kingfishers, and super shot of that Wood Duck about to fly. Good for you in getting that Sagebrush Sparrow (its new name since the AOU split in 2013), and whoa, Scarlett’s turning into a big dog!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You really had a great day. Great photos and your dog is getting “Big” You labeled one bird as a House Finch. I would call it a female House Sparrow. I’ve never seen a House Finch without any stripes on its breast. But maybe you grow them differently out there in NM. Thanks for sharing

    Like

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