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.


Summer Tanager

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


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?!


Cedar Waxwing


Cedar Waxwing


Cedar Waxwing

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


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.


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.


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.


Black Phoebe


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!


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!


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


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.


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


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.


Young male Wood Duck

The water lilies were blooming nicely in the pond.


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.


American Robin

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


Orange-Morph House Finch

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






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 is a great online rresource. I hope you pick up the challenge and ID these. You photographed everything so well.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.