Friday, December 26, 2014

Another Trip to the Bosque

At the end of our visit in Las Cruces, Danielle and I took another trip to the Bosque del Apache. The trip started out cold and wet but the weather cleared out by the time we got to the NWR. It remained quite cold and we saw very few Sandhill Cranes and no Snow Geese.  I guess they were all back in Texas.

We spent some time watching Northern Harriers hunt along the southern loop. This adult female made an attempted snatch nearby but it looked like it missed.

We also went in search of a rare reported Lesser Yellowlegs.  We saw a promising candidate at the boardwalk trail.  Though still uncertain, I am now assuming this is actually the Greater Yellowlegs which is more common for the area. The bill length on this one is somewhere between being obviously less or greater.

During out lunch break at the park headquarters, we saw a large group of Gambel's Quail foraging. Once I got my camera out, I spent a considerable amount of time waiting for them to make an appearance where I could get a shot. It was interesting to listen to them calling to each other from various bushes. As the troop moved and had to cross a clearing, they each took a turn to quickly scamper across.

In the late afternoon, we stationed ourselves to view the cranes. Last year we watched from Willow Deck and saw many thousands of birds. This year, from the North Pond, we only saw 50 or so. We were quite surprised by the small showing. On the plus side, the arrival path came right over our heads offering a great view of  the cranes in flight.

Our sunset view this year was much colder and only offered a smattering of ducks in flight.

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