Did I miss the peak?

I’m kicking myself thinking I may have already missed the Rio Grande’s runoff peak.

Earlier in the week, the river’s flow jumped up over 2,000 cfs through Albuquerque, which ain’t much as rivers go, but there’s at least a chance that’s the best we’ll see this year. The peak usually comes much later, late May-ish, but this year has been absolutely freakish with March drying out and warming up dramatically. There’s a possibility, based on some of the modeling I’ve seen, that the river could come back up in late April-early May. I hope so.

I was finally enough over this flu thing this evening to go out for a walk on my favorite riverside path, in the woods south of the Central Avenue bridge. Out on the river I saw gadwall and a cinnamon teal and got a glimpse of the massive gray back of a great blue heron flying low over the river. Up in the swampy reeds at the south end of one of the habitat restoration project ponds, a muskrat was driving a marsh wren absolutely crazy. I mostly heard the wren, which was making a racket, but got a glimpse through the still-brown reeds left over from last year. Life bird number 248.

No picture of the wren, but here’s the dusky Rio Grande:

Dusky Rio Grande

Dusky Rio Grande, by John Fleck, April 7, 2012