It has been one of the most spectacular weeks in memory at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge and the Festival of the Cranes in Socorro, New Mexico. The birds are in and close, the light has been simply wonderful (even by NM standards, which is saying a lot), and there is a lot of action in the flocks. This “dance” is part of the year long mating ritual, and it is a behavior you will see if you spend any time watching cranes. Sony RX10iv in my customized Birds in Flight adaptation of Program Mode. Processed in Polarr.
Sandhill Cranes taking off in the early light at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge in Socorro New Mexico. This has been the best year in the past 10 years for birds and weather at Bosque. Sony RX10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode. Processed in Polarr.
The dawn flyout at Bosque del Apache is one of the great wildlife spectacles of North America and this morning was one of those days that make it memorable. I was out with a field workshop of aspiring Point and Shoot Nature Photographers at the Flight Deck Pond just at sunrise this morning when the Snow Geese rose to go to their day feeding fields. Wonderful light. Amazing action. Shot with the Sony RX10iv in my specialized Birds in Flight mode adaptation of Program mode. Processed in Polarr.
We spent the morning at Estero Llano Grande State Park and World Birding Center in Weslaco Texas yesterday. It was overcast but the birds were still beautiful on the pond by the Visitor Center, there was lots of activity around the trails. This White Ibis is caught in a classic pose over its reflection. Sony RX10iv at 600mm equivalent. Program mode. +1EV to deal with the bird silhouetted against the bright water. Processed in Polarr.
As we got out of the car at Fronteria Audubon in Weslaco Texas the other day, we looked up and into a huge swirl of White Pelicans moving over. They slowly circled over us, the center of the circle moving north slowly until the were behind the trees. Very impressive! I don’t know where they were coming from or where they were going, but the beauty of will remain. Sony RX10iv at about 250mm equivalent. Program mode. Processed in Polarr.
This is the magic of being on Safari in Kenya. Standing up in the Safari Van, with our heads above the open roof, the wildlife often came to us. Of course it was the the skill of our pilot, John Osege, to put us in the right place at the right time for these views, and, over and over, he managed to do just that. There is nothing like it! Sony RX10iv at about 110mm equivalent. Program mode. 1/1000th @ f4 @ ISO 100. Processed in Polarr.
We also saw Warthogs everywhere we went on our Kenya Safari, but I did not come back with many photos. Again, put it down to prejudice. I have yet to learn to like Warthogs, and they are so common…or put it down to they were always far off and generally running fast. Or put it down to I never saw The Lion King. All of the images above, except the first, are from Hell’s Gate National Park, where foot and bike traffic has acclimated the Warthogs to human presence, and they don’t bolt as soon as the van stops. The first image of the Warthogs feeding is from Amboseli and was taken at full telephoto from a distance. I am sure Warthogs have many redeeming characteristics when you get to know them. Evidently “tastes good” is not one of them, or there would be far fewer of them. Sony RX10iv mostly at 600mm equivalent. Program mode. Processed in Polarr.
We saw Thompson’s Gazelles in every park or reserve we visited in Kenya. The images above are from Tsavo East, Amboseli, Crescent Island on Lake Naivasha, and Masai Mara. They were, on our visit at least, by far the most numerous of the antelope species, perhaps because their preferred habitat is also the most common in East Africa. They are on the smallish size, smaller then either the Impala or Grant’s Gazelles they often associate with…and the black slash on the side makes them stand out even at a distance. Sony RX10iv at various focal lengths at the long end of the zoom. Program mode. Processed in Polarr.
We only stayed one night in Tsavo West, at Ngulia Lodge far in the southern section. On our way back out the next morning we went to Mzima Springs for Crocodiles and Hippos and whatever else we could find, and as we left the springs on our long drive to Amoboseli we encountered a large group of Baboons right by the road. Like any troup, there were baboons of every age, from full grown males and females to infants, and everything in between. They were moving along beside us so we slowed and stopped and they proceeded at a long diagonal past the van and across the road ahead of us. Sony RX10iv at various focal lengths. Program mode. Processed in Polarr. You can view any of the images a full screen by clicking or tapping the one you want.
This little Chipmunk seemed to think he needed to explore me while I was walking the trail at Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge Headquarters in Wells, Maine. I first saw him near the trail, but when he saw me he scampered back into the woods, only to make a loop at about 12 feet, and come back toward me. He eventually ran out into the trail and around me in a tight circle, inches from my feet, before heading back into the woods on the same side as he started from. Who knows? These three shots were taken at close to my lens’ minimum focus distance of 4 feet at 600mm equivalent. Sony RX10iv in Program mode. Processed in Polarr.