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Cranes taking flight

Julie and I finally made a winter visit to Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge to see the winter homes of a number of water birds, most importantly the sandhill crane.

This is a birders’ paradise. We probably saw over 15 water bird species, plus a mature male bald eagle. There was a time when I would have hauled a 400mm or 600mm lens here and camped out for a few days. Maybe someday in the future I’ll be prepared to haul around wildlife photo gear again.

We arrived at the park about 45 minutes before sunrise and started on the south loop. We soon saw giant clusters of seemingly frozen huddled cranes and geese in the large ponds. We worked our way around the ponds to get the sun behind us to listen and observe through sunrise. We didn’t get the large group liftoff we were hoping for but we were treated to peaceful chatter and perfect light for seeing the smaller groups take off.

Mule deer doe

Also spotted a few large families of mule deer. Birds we positively identified included mallards, American coots, buffleheads, Canada geese.

Couldn’t stay long as we are off to Flagstaff for a few days. See you in AZ.

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