November 3, 2016 Bosque del Apache NWR, New Mexico

Pintails Over Bosque del Apache

Week One at Bosque del Apache NWR

Pintails over Bosque del Apache

Not that many cranes here yet, and very few Snow Geese, but incredible numbers of Pintail Ducks, with plenty of Mallards and a few Widgeons also. In the top image of ducks over the foliage, there actually is a pair of Cinnamon Teal hidden amongst the pintails.

Pintails over Bosque del Apache
Pintails over Bosque del Apache
Mallard Pair over Bosque del Apache

All the shots above were taken from the Flight Deck at Bosque, but without the normal thousands of Snow Geese ( yet ), the birds are all landing quite a ways out in the barely flooded field, too far away from the deck to get any great shots. Once the geese arrive and crowd the area, birds will be forced closer to the deck and there should be better chances of getting some nice flight shots.

The one good point is that with very few birds here now, I have the flight deck all to myself instead of having to fight for a space to shoot from.


The Pintails are amassing in the thousands along the South Loop pond and in the narrow waters next to the road.

Pintail Doing What I Don’t Know

I have seen ducks assume this position before, but I have no idea of what they are doing or what it may mean.

Pintail Preening
Pintail Preening

The preening routine I am familiar with.

Pintail Preening

One handsome fellow!

Leucistic Sandhill Crane in Flight

Had my second sighting of the leucistic Sandhill Crane this morning at the ponds along the highway.

Leucistic Sandhill Crane in Flight

Overcast skies in the early morning hours and the cranes’ far off travel path along the opposite shore of the pond resulted in less than perfect shots, but this second sighting gets my hopes up that maybe I will get some good shots of him sometime during my stay here.

Predawn Takeoff

While waiting for the leucistic Sandhill Crane to take off, I had the opportunity to shoot many other cranes as they headed out from their night roosting spot to the surrounding fields to forage for the day. Again, because of the very dim light, not very many turned out sharp enough to use, but I kind of liked the feel of this one shot. Later in the season, when this pond sometimes has a thin coat of ice on it, these morning takeoff shots get quite interesting.

Bosque del Apache Coyote

This week I ran into three different coyotes here in the refuge with this guy being a fairly good sized animal, about the size of a German Shepherd. Their coats look pretty bad because of all the seedheads and burrs that are stuck in their fur.

Bosque del Apache Coyote
Bosque del Apache Coyotes

Liked the composition here where the large coyote pictured above approached what I assume was probably his mate.

Some really lousy weather is forecast for the next several days, rain, rain, and more rain with possible localized flooding so it looks like I won’t be out taking photos for a while.

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One thought on “November 3, 2016 Bosque del Apache NWR, New Mexico”

  1. I’ve been on vacation & still trying to catch up on everything. I don’t often comment here. However I want to thank you for fighting the crowds at Bryce. I’ve never seen Bryce at sunrise. I appreciate your pictures. Also I like your description of Capital Reef photos “It looks as if the rock has melted and run down the canyon wall.” Beautiful! I really enjoy your photography. In this your more current location I like to see the bird’s reflection on the water and wow a bobcat! Congrats!

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