The spring weather here has been very fickle. One day it’s nice, the next it’s cold, rainy or even snowy. So I’ve had a difficult time getting out and walking much this past week. I had a couple hikes to interesting places scheduled, but had to cancel them due to the weather.
Yesterday looked promising to not rain even though there were big storm clouds moving across all day. So I got up early and met up with the weekend bird walk at the Rio Grande Nature Center. I haven’t been on one of their walks for quite some time. I like them because they take you into areas where you normally cannot walk.
Overall it was a quiet morning for the small song birds. But the Cooper’s Hawks were very active. I saw one almost get a Red-Winged Blackbird not 5 feet from me. Then another trying to catch a Greater Roadrunner. That one gave up quick when that roadrunner fought back! I wish I could have gotten some photos of that but it was too far away and happened too quickly.
Here’s a few of the birds I got on the walk.
After the tour was over, I walked around the Nature Center checking on the feeders. You can always see something interesting at them. This day I was surprised to see Gambel’s Quail. I’ve never seen them there before. From what I heard they have been clearing a lot of brush nearby that may be flushing them to the center.
I was also happy to see a Black-Headed Grosbeak. The males are so colorful.
I also got my best photo yet of a Cinnamon Teal. He swam right by me 🙂
The highlight of my walk was getting several good photos of a hummingbird feeding on some cactus blooms.
Next I headed into the bosque behind the center. I thought I would check on the Great Horned Owls. I saw and heard lots of birds.
The Rio Grande was full of activity. Trying to get a picture of swallows on the wing is so difficult! And that Chat was a ways away just singing.
I finally made it to the owl nest. Both babies have left the nest. I only saw one of the young and it was way up high and buried in the foliage. I only saw one of the parents.
When I was leaving the center, there was a volunteer standing in the parking lot holding this Great Horned Owl. He had been injured on power lines at the petroglyphs. He lost part of his wing so is unable to fly. I couldn’t resist the opportunity to photograph this beautiful bird.
I wasn’t ready to end the day. So I headed over to the Botanical Gardens. They were having an Orchid Show. So many beautiful orchids to see. After viewing the orchids I toured the gardens. Lots of spring flowers were in bloom. It makes you happy to see pretty flowers in bloom…especially as I write the blog and it’s snowing outside!
There’s a Black-Crowned Night Heron that lives on the pond in the Japanese Garden. Several years ago it was injured somehow and lost his toes on one foot and the tips of toes on the other. I’ve seen him here at the gardens for several years now. I spoke to the man that feeds the Koi in the pond, and he says the heron comes over and eats the fish food from his hand. That’s one smart bird!
Overall I saw/heard 49 species of birds! And Scarlett and I walked 7 miles! That’s a good day out!