Sunday, December 13, 2009

Bosque del Apache II

Although Bosque is better known for the large winter migrant concentrations of Sand Hill Cranes and Snow Geese, there are other winged creatures that are considered locals, but not less spectacular. This White-Crowned Sparrow was photographed on the grounds of the Refuge Headquarters. Its range is widespread and also seen back East. It is one of those beautiful little birds that receive little attention due their abundance

The second day that I was there, I happened to go to one of the observation decks with my camera. All of a sudden a Ring-necked Pheasant flew from left to right and I was lucky to be at the right place, at the right time, with the right light conditions and with the camera settings correct for capturing the image below.

My first encounter with Gambel’s Quails. These are very shy and not easy to photograph but at Bosque’s Headquarters, there is a cactus garden where these birds are easily seen with a bit of patience. The seem to follow trails and where there is a clearing, they can be photographed. Above is a male, which as in most occasions among birds, are better dressed than the females.

The female Gambel’s Quail is less colorful but also wears a tuft of feathers on the head. These
birds are abundant in the Southwest in desert and canyon areas.

One day we found a long-eared owl perched on a tree next to the road. This owl appeared to have no fear of humans and could be easily approached. First saw the owl one early morning and when I returned in mid-afternoon, it was still perched in the same location. I am sure this was the most photographed bird in the park that day.

The Canyon Towhee was also a new bird for me. It is kind of a non-descript bird or rather not exotic. But as all towhees makes a living searching for food in the underbrush.

This image of a warbler perched on a dried up thistle seems ideal for use as a Christmas
postcard. I do not know its name, so please me know if you know what it is.

During the winter months, the abundance of wildlife at the park attracts digital hunters by the hundreds. They can be seen all over the refuge with their big telephotos but it appears
that the birds s are not concerned with these optical hunters. I was surfing the web earlier and there are hundreds of posting by photographers from all over the world who visited in November.

And finally as another day closes, there is a wonderful sunset with the Magdalena Mountains as a background. This final image is an HDR composite using 5 images.


SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

A wonderful selection of birds in this post Jose. Our sparrows are not half as pretty as this one. In this kind of photography there is nothing like being in the right place at the right time, the trick is to have your camera on the right setting, so you were very lucky. :)

That owl is fantastic. It has such a long body, not like the stubby, fat ones I usually see.:)

You are right, that bird on the weeds would make and ideal Christmas car picture.

I simple love the HDR picture again. There is something so appealing to reflections in water.

Thanks for sharing these images. It was a great trip by all acounts.

jeannette stgermain said...

You have enough great pics to make Christmas cards:)
The warbler, the reflection, and the log eared owl are my favs.
Oh yeah...and the pic of the photographers!

JPT said...

I like the shot of the pheasant.

gidje said...

Greetings to you!

I really like the HDR shot and the coloring of the landscape at sunset. You can almost feel the sense of being there. The image of the warbler on the thistle is also very nice.

great post. ;o)

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