Birding Along the Rio Grande & Botanical Gardens

Recently I took Scarlett for an early morning walk along the Rio Grande near Alameda Open Space.  There were lots of birds singing, enjoying the early summer weather.  I managed to get what is probably my best photo yet of a Summer Tanager.  For some reason I have a hard time getting a great photo of these birds.

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Summer Tanager

A Black Phoebe was feeding along the irrigation ditch next to the river.

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Black Phoebe

Then to my surprise, a whole flock of Cedar Waxwing flew in and started catching flying bugs along this ditch.  I didn’t know they did this.  They would fly out and snag a bug and fly back.  Not as graceful as the Black Phoebe, but still fun to watch.  I took several photos of them.  Who can resist photographing the beautiful Cedar Waxwings?!

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Cedar Waxwing

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Cedar Waxwing

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Cedar Waxwing

The day was so nice, so I decided to pop into the Botanical Gardens.

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Main path of the gardens

I figured the summer flowers should be blooming great by now.  And I was right!  The roses were especially nice.  Here’s a few of the best photos I took.

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There were quite a number of butterflies out, but most of them wouldn’t land long enough for a photo.  This Cabbage White was the most cooperative.

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Cabbage White

The Japanese Garden is always my favorite to visit.  I love the water features there.  I found this smaller waterfall that I never notice before.

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Black Phoebe

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While photographing the waterfall, I realized there were several dragonflies buzzing by.  I can never resist photographing dragonflies.  But they are such a challenge to get a crisp photo.  But I still try!

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I have wanted to get a photo of the red dragonflies for a long time.  I think the red color is so striking.  I finally had a cooperative subject!

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I also found a lot of dragonflies at the main pond of the Gardens.  The blue ones were very busy chasing each other.

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There were a lot of  bullfrogs singing at the pond.  And they have been busy reproducing!  I couldn’t believe how many tadpoles were in the water.

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This frog has a lot of Cottonwood Tree fluff stuck to him.

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Bullfrog tadpoles

On the main pond, there were a large number of young male Wood Ducks.  They look pretty scrappy changing into their adult plumage.

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Young male Wood Duck

The water lilies were blooming nicely in the pond.

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In the Memorial Garden area I saw this American Robin fly down and start basking in the warm sun.  He looked like he was really enjoying that sun bath.

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American Robin

Lots of House Finches were singing.  One of them was an Orange-Morph.  I don’t see this coloration very often.

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Orange-Morph House Finch

I need to visit the gardens more often.   They are very relaxing and provide lots of opportunities for photography.

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6 thoughts on “Birding Along the Rio Grande & Botanical Gardens

  1. Lovely series. There are some good books to ID dragonflies out there, like “Dragonflies and Damselflies of the East.Bugguide.net is a great online rresource. I hope you pick up the challenge and ID these. You photographed everything so well.

    Liked by 1 person

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