Wildlife at Bosque (Day 3) (23 January 2013)
* *  Mike Umscheid PHOTOGRAPHY & STORM CHASE BLOG   * *

About This Shoot
Date: 23 January 2013
Location: Bosque del Apache NWR, New Mexico
Shoot Type: Wildlife
The morning shoot and evening shoot were both focused on the Crane Ponds. The morning shoot included more in-flights of cranes as well as some behavioral shots. After that, there were some Northern Shovelers close by at the Crane Pond which made for some nice images. Was concentrating on backlight shots at the Crane Pond, but nothing too exciting... until sunset. An amazing sunset with some clouds finally, provided for excellent wildlife-in-landscape scenes at the Crane Pond.

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23 January 2013

Wildlife at Bosque (Day 3)

Thu, 24 Jan 2013 04:26:20 -0700
Bosque del Apache Day 3 - January 23
1739 combined total frames shot from the morning and afternoon/evening
shoot. It was another spectacular day highlighted by not one, but TWO
close encounter Snow Goose liff-offs. I was fortunate enough to
successfully capture both of them quite well. Other highlights of the
shoot included morning Sandhill Cranes in flight (shot with the 80-400mm
lens instead of the 600mm), male Shoveler in excellent light showing
iridescence in the head, and an interesting shot of Pintails splashing in
front light upside down under water with its webbed feet. The day was
capped off with a spectacular sunset as high cirrus clouds moved in. What
a day!









(click on thumbnails for pop-up of larger images)

Wed, 23 Jan 2013 21:20:32 -0700
-Snowstorm- The unison liftoff of Snow Geese is one of the most awe inspiring wonders of nature. Bosque del Apache. 23 January 2013
A little more about this shot-
This was photographed at a location called the South Crane Pond area that
is a part of the Bosque del Apache NWR. The typical routine at Bosque is
the morning (usually 10-25 minutes before sunrise) flyout of Snow Geese
from one of their traditional roosting spots around the Flight Deck area.
On this morning, I decided to focus my efforts on "birds in landscape" at
sunrise as morning light first hit the Chupadera Mountains west of the
refuge. Shortly before sunrise, a large flock of Snow Geese descended upon
the pool I was photographing. I was already set up for doing
birds-in-landscape shots, as I had my 80-400mm lens on the tripod with most
of my frames at the short end of this range. I was also shooting with a
large depth of field with the f-stop at f/13. So, I was already set up,
basically, for what was about to come my way. Without any warning
whatsoever (and this is usually the case), the large pile of geese shot up
in a thunderous wave. It's interesting how Snow Geese lift off. They all
don't lift off at once... they lift off in a wave... usually starting at
one end. At the time, I was focusing on trying to get some close Sandhill
Cranes in my landscape scene, but once I heard the initial "thunder" and
loud calling, I knew what was happening, so I swing the camera around on
the gimbal mount and went to work. I caught the liftoff fairly early,
capturing 7-frames per second. Since I was at f/13, every element of the
scene was pretty much in focus. I feel pretty lucky to have been at the
right place at the right time for this shot and capturing one of nature's
most amazing spectacles -- at very close range flying in my direction!
(click on thumbnail for pop-up of larger image)