In honor of National Bird Day I went birding! 🙂
While driving into town I spotted a few birds along the road. We still have lots of snow in the East Mountain area. The birds were feeding along the road as that was the only place without snow. I found taking bird photos with bright white snow as a background was challenging.
Last Wednesday I had the opportunity to go out and hunt for the sighting of a Common Goldeneye. I went to the Duck Ponds at Tingly Beach. Before heading into the Bosque I stopped at the northern pond at Tingly. There were some folks there feeding the ducks. Those were some happy ducks!
Also in the pond were a couple pairs of Northern Shoveler. I love watching how they feed together…spinning in a tight circle.
I realized while I was there I didn’t have a decent photo of a pigeon. How many times have I seen them but never photographed them? So I made an effort to get some good photos.
I investigated the northern duck pond first. It was pretty quiet. A few ducks on the water but no goldeneye.
So I hiked over to the southern pond. I started on the west side of the pond. It was mostly frozen so the waterfowl were congregated in an area in front of the viewing blind on the east side.
I watched a man feeding apple slices to a Mallard. It was nice to see someone sharing the day with nature.
While watching them I saw the Common Goldeneye swim by right in front of them. So I quickly headed to the viewing blind.
And there he was! So close and handsome! I had only seen one once before at a great distance.
Since I wasn’t very far from the Botanical Gardens I headed over there. They have added bird feeders around the gardens and it has brought a lot of birds in to feed this winter. Plus I just love walking around the Japanese garden. They did a beautiful job creating those gardens. It is my favorite place in the park.
Scarlett has been training to be a therapy dog. She is doing so well. So since she is in training I could take her with me into the gardens. She’s a good birding dog as she just lays quietly while I take photos.
While at the feeder in the herb garden area I saw several birds.
But the biggest surprise was when a bright red bird flew over my shoulder to land in a bush in front of me. My first thought was Summer Tanager, but I know they aren’t here in the winter. The only other all red bird I know of is Northern Cardinal. Now they aren’t supposed to be here ever. So I tried my best to get a photo of that bird deep in the bush in the shade…tough job. But I did manage to get one photo that (after much post processing) I was able to see the bird. And to my surprise it was a Northern Cardinal! I posted the sighting on the Birdseye app and emailed my friend Joe. I was the first one in Albuquerque to spot this rare sighting! Joe said a Cardinal hasn’t been seen in Albuquerque since 2002. He also said two other birders posted the sighting the next day.
That was very exciting!
I also watched for some time a Red-Naped Sapsucker pound away deep inside a pine tree. Another challenging photo op.
I stopped at the pond in the gardens to see if there was anything interesting. Just the usual suspects. But there was no wind so the water looked like a mirror.
Yesterday I had a chance to stop in at the Rio Grande Nature Center.
Got a few nice shots.
Here’s wishing you a happy National Bird day!