The beauty of Bosque, more than the obvious...
Snow Geese & Cranes in early AM light @ Bosque Del Apache NWR, NM
When most people think of Bosque Del Apache NWR they think of the spectacle of tens of thousands of Snow Geese and Sandhill Cranes. While certainly this is impressive to see, I always like to appreciate the local species that are IMHO every bit as impressive!
Gambell's Quail trio digiscoped @ Bosque Del Apache HQ, Leica APO Televid & C-Lux 2
The area surrounding the refuge is among the best spots ever to observe large groups of Gambell's Quail like the trio digiscoped above doing their best "top shelf" impression! Here 2 males flank their favorite girl!
adult White-crowned sparrow, Bosque Del Apache NWR 11/15/07
White-crowned Sparrows were everywhere in the brush throughout the area. This one selected a thorny perch in the wonderful desert light that makes Bosque a favorite amongst photographers. Note the area between the bill and eye lacks a dark line, making this bird either the "mountain" or "Gambell's" subspecies. I believe from the bill color, this is likely the latter.
By looking through hundreds of White-crowned Sparrows, you will eventually run into some other sparrow. One of the most common "other" sparrows I saw in the brushy desert terrain around Bosque were Brewer's Sparrows. This little bird gave me one of the most accomodating views I've ever had of this species, even allowing me to train my scope attach my camera and rattle of 5-6 frames! Others spotted Sage Sparrows as well.
Other desert denizens were common in this area as well, and birds like the Pyrrhuloxia shown above, Canyon Towhees, and Curve-billed Thrashers predominated. These birds offered a very different feel than I'm accustomed to seeing here in Florida, however, there were always Northern Mockingbirds nearby to keep me from being homesick.
Despite the beautiful fall colors behind this bird and the cool AM air (days started in the low 30's), the Curve-billed Thrasher above chose to sing away anyway..... Optimistic?!?