November 6, 2013 Bosque del Apache NWR

Snow goose landing
Snow goose landing

I stopped at the sandhill crane roosting ponds on the west side of Route 1 before the sun came up this morning and now, after two largely unsuccessful attempts at getting some shots here, I have concluded that I don’t have the right stuff to get any great shots in the ultra low light situation here. These two are the only passably decent shots I was able to come up with.

Sandhills leaving the roost
Sandhills leaving the roost
Sandhills leaving the roost
Sandhills leaving the roost

 

 

 

 

 

I spent a couple of hours around the ” Flight Deck ” this morning attempting to capture snow geese in flight and landing. Brilliant white birds and bright sunlight are combining to produce few results for hours of effort. Eventually I gave up and decided to wait until closer to sunset when the light would be more at my back and return then.

Snow goose landing
Snow goose landing
3 snow geese landing
3 snow geese landing

 

 

 

 

 

I returned in the late afternoon and nestled down right next to the water and waited while the geese came in, getting a few decent landing shots.

Bosque del Apache snow geese
Bosque del Apache snow geese

At times the birds were settling in as close as 30 feet from where I was sitting. Probably 300-400 geese within 30 feet of me, had me afraid to move for fear of sending the whole flock up in panic.

Snow geese panic
Snow geese panic
Coyote stalking geese
The Intruder

Then, without me moving at all, they did just that…. I thought it might have been me, but then I noticed an intruder wading across the very ground where the geese were just moments before. I stayed put for another hour after the coyote’s intrusion and took hundreds of more images of geese landing, but even with the sun low and mostly behind me, the brilliant white of the birds and bright sun just don’t give one much of a chance of getting anything decent.

Snow geese landing
Snow geese landing
Snow goose landing
Snow goose landing

 

 

 

 

 

 

I guess I will just wait for a cloudy or overcast day before I attempt this again, that is, if there ever is such a thing as a cloudy or overcast day here at this time of year. In the meantime, tomorrow I will have to concentrate on some more sandhill crane flight shots.

Blue morph snow geese
Blue morph snow geese
Snow geese landing
Snow geese landing
Snow geese landing
Snow geese landing

November 5, 2013 Bosque del Apache NWR

Sandhill crane
Sandhill crane

( As always, click on any image for a larger, higher quality view )

Wow! it’s nice to get back to “work”. Went out before sunrise tis morning to try and get some sandhill cranes before they left their roosting ponds. That means 5:30 in the morning. That also means temps around freezing. Unfortunately, nothing to show today for the morning effort.

Sandhills flying to the roost
Sandhills flying to the roost

 

Sandhills flying to the roost
Sandhills flying to the roost
Sandhills flying to the roost
Sandhills flying to the roost

 

 

 

 

 

However, I did return for the evening show as the sandhills returned to their roosting ponds and had a little better luck.

After striking out with the morning sandhills, I proceeded into the refuge looking for some snow geese. I had been told the sandhills were here in fairly large numbers, though not as numerous as they will be soon, but the snow geese were just starting to arrive. Turns out, there were plenty of them here, but bright sunlight makes photographing white birds difficult to say the least. Still managed to get some shots at the ” flight deck “.

Snow Goose
Snow Goos

Snow Goose
Snow Goose
Snow Goose
Snow Goose

 

 

 

 

 

All in all, a good first day back at work.

Sandhill crane
Sandhill crane
Sandhill cranes
Sandhill cranes
Snow Goose
Snow Goose

 

 

 

 

 

Snow Geese
Snow Geese
Snow Geese
Snow Geese
Snow Geese
Snow Geese

 

 

 

 

 

Snow Geese
Snow Geese
Blue morph snow goose
Blue morph snow goose