Melissa left early in the morning for Death Valley on a research trip, and I was already missing her in the afternoon. So I did a little late afternoon birding in the bosque at Tingley Beach and at the nature center.
At least two ponds are hidden in the bosque just south and west of the fishing ponds at Tingley Beach. Ducks here can avoid all the fisherman, aggressive hybrid/domestic waterfowl, and the remote controlled boat enthusiasts who enjoy chasing any living thing on the water.
Other birders had reported Canvasbacks from these ponds earlier in the week. This is one duck species I still hadn’t seen in the county and I hoped to find at least a few still around. About a dozen Canvasbacks (Bernalillo bird 165) happily swam with over 100 other ducks, geese, coots, and grebes including Mallards, American Wigeon, Ring-necked Ducks, American Coots, Pied-billed Grebes, and one lone male Northern Pintail.
The Candelaria wetlands at the Rio Grande Nature Center didn’t have too many birds actually on the water, but over 100 Mallards wheeled around the fields just beyond it. A beautiful male Hooded Merganser swam out in the open.