Water in the Desert: Ring-Billed Gull Edition

One of my favorite spots in Albuquerque is the old Alameda Bridge at the north end of town. When they built a new multi-lane bridge across the river, they kept the old one, turning it into a foot-bike-horse bridge. It’s about 10 miles from my house, mostly paved trail, making it a perfect turnaround for a 20-mile ride.

The bridge crosses one of the old sandbar islands in the middle of the river, so you can look down on river and a mess of willows. There’s something about being out on the water that I just love. As a bonus, there’s a USGS stream gage on the river there, so you I can look up the streamflow when I get home from my ride (or, on the days someone on the ride has an iPhone, we can totally geek out by looking it up in real time out on the bridge). This picture, which I took with the cell phone camera last Saturday afternoon, sorry for the crappy quality, is looking north up the west channel. It was an energetic afternoon weather-wise, with a bit of a wild sky, as you can see. This time of year, a big flock of Ring-billed Gulls winters in the river just north of the bridge. You can’t see them, but they’re in the distance in this picture.

One Comment

  1. An interesting tidbit about that stream gauge. I talked with a USGS person working on it last year and it seems they use RADAR beamed down from the instrumentation to determine the height of the river. They combine that data with depth, determined by periodic soundings, along with the width of the channel, to calculate the flow.

    p.s., knowing where to look, I can see the tiny white dots of the gulls in your photo.

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