Welcome back. Sorry it’s been so long. I took a great trip a while back. Outdoor Photography Magazine listed Bosque Del Apache as on of their 25 best nature drives in the country.
I would have to agree.
One of the biggest treats of the Bosque is the natural hot springs have been diverted to create wetlands as a refuge for migratory birds every winter. Sandhill cranes, Canadian geese, Snow geese, different types of ducks, all sorts of waterfowl make this their winter home.
I guess that’s the nice thing about hobbies… They put you into places where you wouldn’t ordinarily be, at times you wouldn’t think of being outside, or even awake. To witness the majesty of Bosque Del Apache in the winter, you have to be in place before the sun rises. Dress warm, it is incredibly cold. If you find yourself in the neighborhood of San Antonio, NM, (90 miles South of Albuquerque on I-25, 10 miles South of Socorro, NM), the refuge is a great place to see. Make your way out to one of the flight decks, or just grab a piece of shoreline around the marsh and listen for the birds, the closer to sunrise, the more noise.
Just after dawn, and just before the first full light of the day, one of the geese will give out a yell, then others will follow, and then in one glorious display of chaos… all of the geese will take to flight in one instant. Just imagine, each goose weighing approximately 10 to 15 lbs. Approximately 2,000 geese in the air at the same time, What is that? Somewhere in the neighborhood of 20,000 to 30,000 lbs. of gooseflesh in the air at exactly the same time?
A word of warning. Geese taking of en masse can be a bit disorienting, and noone knows exactly which way they’ll fly. So, if a few happen to fly overhead, DO NOT LOOK UP!!! If you’ve ever seen the seagull display at Sea World, you’ll understand what I’m saying. One of the early morning photographers was given a token of appreciation from an overhead passing goose. If I was a believer in omens, I believe this gentleman will have a prosperous year judging by the green substance that fell on him from the sky above. That, or he was just standing in the wrong place at the right time.
I thought it was impressive.
Here are a few stills I shot.
Hope you enjoyed the pix.
If anyone is wondering, the camera used for the stills is a Canon T2i, except for the first pic, that was taken with a Canon S95.