Actually, there were no “organized” field trips today. It was basically just check-in/registration day. And that didn’t start until 7:45 PM. So I had the day to myself. And since I didn’t rent a car, I just hoofed it from the hotel to wherever I wanted to go. First on my list, was the Rio Grande Nature Centre State Park. I is located about a mile from the hotel. I started early, right after breakfast.
I saw four different species of dove on the way to the nature centre:
- Rock Pigeon
- Eurasian Collared Dove
- White-winged Dove
- Mourning Dove
I also saw a Greater Roadrunner in a front yard at 2745 Rio Grande Road.
This bird was very tolerant of my presence. It seemed to “hanging out” close to the sidewalk. Traffic whizzing by no more than 10 feet away.
The pond at the Nature Centre had many ducks and geese.
- Cackling Goose
- Canada Goose
- Wood Duck
- Northern Shoveler
- Green-winged Teal
- Ring-necked Duck
- Lesser Scaup
At the Nature Centre, there is a trail that goes down to the Rio Grande River. Along this trail, there were lots of American Crows, doves, a couple of Bushtits, a White-breasted Nuthatch, some Dark-eyed Juncos, LOTS of White-crowned Sparrows,some small groups of House Finch, and some Red-winged Blackbirds. A couple of American Coots were seen in a bit of water between the Nature Centre and the Rio Grande.River. Along the river, there were lots of American Robins, a couple of Western Scrub-Jays (this is my first LIFER of the trip), several Spotted Towhees, a Red-tailed Hawk sitting at the top of a small tree on the other side of the river and a Northern Flicker eating some kind of berry at the river’s edge.
Back at the nature centre, I spent some time looking at the numerous Cackling Geese.
And as I was thinking about leaving, about 20 or so Sandhill Cranes flew in the fields beyond the pond. And a few landed in an open space adjacent to the parking lot.