20161202-_i5a6323On our way to see Catherine’s family for an early Christmas celebration we stopped off at Bosque del Apache in New Mexico. Bosque is well known for its wintering flocks of Sandhill Cranes and Snow Geese.20161130-_i5a1432

20161130-_mg_2530It is an iconic site and on the bucket list for most bird photographers. It was our fourth trip (we went previously in December 2010, January 2012, & January 2015). The snow geese were abundant20161201-_i5a4464Bosque’s iconic shot is the dawn blast off of the snow geese when hundreds of snow geese take off at once to move from their overnight resting area to their feeding grounds. While we got a few of those shots, we had better luck with some midday ones, including one induced by a hunting coyote.20161130-_i5a3034

20161201-_i5a4449While the number of cranes wasn’t up to the past, and the it seemed like the black birds outnumbered the cranes at timeswe did not come home without some crane shots we liked As winter was arriving it was cold (17 degrees at sunrise) in Bosque which is in the high deseert (4500 feet.)  The led to some nice pictures of the ducks in the mist.20161130-_i5a0837A highlight was a Great Blue Heron.  You may ask a Great Blue, we have those at home, a common bird??  But trying to eat a humungous bullfrog?  Not an everyday event. We photographed for 20 minutes before it swallowed it and we arrived well after he caught it!20161201-_i5a3938This was the best of 309 pictures Jon took as we tried to get the perfect shot.

One thing we like about the cranes and geese is that they are our favorite type of bird – big, slow and colorful.  That makes them perfect candidates for blurs, and we got some good ones:20161130-_mg_2591

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20161130-7i5a0876We liked it so much that we plan on returning next year for a longer stay.

 

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