Winter Days at Bosque del Apache NWR, Dec 2015  -  p 1 of 1


29 Dec 2015

Another year and, heart surgery notwithstanding, another trek to Bosque del Apache NWR.  It's still my favorite place in the world to photograph birds, although the Pantanal in Brazil runs a close second.
   Cold weather has added an extra  challenge this time.  Lakes normally teeming with geese, ducks, and cranes are silent, covered by ice and snow.

   Channels near the ponds having moving water; many ducks have taken up residence here.  Northern Shovelers fly up if approached too closely.








Shoveler-in-flight.jpg (270994 bytes)

more-Cranes-in-snow2.jpg (545796 bytes)
Most of the Sandhill Cranes are found not in Bosque, but at Ladd Gorden Wildlife Area north of Socorro.  There's plenty for them to eat, and they seem to all be
keeping an eye out for coyotes and the like.
Lots of Snow Geese were spending the day at Ladd Gordon.  More flew in from the west as the sun was setting into a bank of clouds.

geese-and-sun.jpg (121073 bytes)

Ring-necked-Pheasant.jpg (694071 bytes) This Ring-necked Pheasant was also making a go of it at Ladd Gordon.  When alarmed, it scurried back into the corn patch and wouldn't come oujt..

30 Dec 2015

The snowfall is also tough on the flock of Gambel's Quail near the Visitor's Center.  Most are reduced to scratching around in the bare ground under shrubs.

Gambel's-Quail.jpg (452626 bytes)
WC-Sparrow.jpg (461330 bytes) This morning the limbs of trees and shrubs along the Rio Grande were covered not with snow, but with hoarfrost.  This photo of the ever-so-common White-crowned Sparrow would have been better without that one darn twig in front.
Even ducks like American Wigeon are ruduced to foraging out in the snow.  This being central New Mexico, the snow will soon melt; both both birds and birders will be the happier for it. Wigeon.jpg (426396 bytes)