It’s no Yolo Bypass, but the Albuquerque Metropolitan Flood Control Authority pond up by my work is testament to the fact that if you add water to an arid ecosystem, stuff happens. Located at the end of the concrete-lined North Pino Arroyo, the pond is a holding basin, design to trap sediments and contaminants before the water is passed on to the main flood control channel that carries it on out to the Rio Grande.
It always has water, which means it always has birds. Today, when I stopped by on my bike ride, I saw two American kestrels, a pair of male red-winged blackbirds, a huge number of pigeons (I counted 144, but never believe anyone who tells you they’ve counted that many pigeons), a killdeer and 12 mallards. With the power plant behind it, the pond has what a colleague described as a sort of post-apocalyptic feel, but I’ve grown rather fond of it.
It’s the first time I’ve seen the killdeer or the red-winged blackbird there since September. Sign of spring?