Geese and Cranes
The Bosque del Apache Wildlife Refuge, South of Albuquerque NM, is run by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service . It is an amazing place! It serves as a stopping off or wintering point for migrating birds traveling South in the Fall or North in the Spring. It’s located just South of a funky little settlement called San Antonio, New Mexico. When we visited, there were thousands of Sandhill Cranes and Snow Geese along with many varieties of other waterfowl. The best time to observe and photograph was at dawn or at dusk when the birds were taking off or gathering for the night. The cranes and geese appeared to be vying for lake territory, when one flock arrived, the other left but they seemed to get along together well.
We stayed at the ‘Birders RV Park’ just North of the Refuge where we experienced an unusual and not forecasted cold snap one night when temperature went down to 18 degrees. Our water pipes froze but thawed the next day without damage, fortunately. Cheryl decided the best way to stay warm was to crochet a blanket and lie under it while it was being made (actually for a friend’s new baby).
Colin felt ‘outgunned’ by the expensive camera equipment carried by a large group of ‘Pro’ photographers we kept on running into. However we were happy with some of the pictures we were able to take, so much so that we found it difficult to pick the best out of the 1,000 or so we took. So apologies for posting such a large number here, we hope you enjoy some of them. We laughed about the whole day we spent in Florida chasing a single pair of Sandhill Cranes contrasted with their abundance here.
Click on any thumbnail below to see larger image gallery.
The noise and quantity of birds taking off and landing were incredible. We tried to capture this in the following video.
Click on map below to see larger version
Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Reserve, New Mexico