Last weekend I was fortunate to have birding friends from Colorado come to New Mexico to visit. One place I always enjoy taking visiting birders is the Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, which is located southeast of Socorro, New Mexico. Fall is a particularly lovely time to visit the refuge.
We arrived to find the bosque cottonwoods in full fall color.
Cottonwoods showing fall colors at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge.
The pond at the north end of the refuge held thousands of Snow Geese.
Snow Geese at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge.
Snow Goose at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge.
Snow Geese at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge showing color morphs.
It was lovely to watch the Snow Geese against the fall colors.
Snow Geese flying past the cottonwoods at Bosque del Apache.
There were hundreds of Northern Pintails in the pond with the Snow Geese.
Female Northern Pintail.
Male Northern Pintail.
Northern Pintail pair.
A Bald Eagle would occasionally circle the pond, causing the Snow Geese and Northern Pintails to take to the air amid a flurry of honking and quacking.
Bald Eagle takes flight, disturbing the ducks and geese.
Snow geese take flight after being disturbed by a Bald Eagle.
The Northern Pintails were disturbed by the Bald Eagle too.
Sandhill Cranes were in many of the shallow ponds in the refuge …
Sandhill Cranes wade in a shallow pond as Northern Pintails fly by.
… and we watched them fly over our heads for most of the day.
Sandhill Cranes flew overhead for most of the day.
As we drove over to the crane pools to watch the evening fly-in, we saw a variety of birds.
American Kestrel hovering.
Greater Roadrunner surveys the terrain.
Lilian's Eastern Meadowlarks singing in the trees.
White-tailed Kite, almost out of camera range.
As evening drew near we drove to the crane pools to watch the evening fly-in. There were not huge numbers of cranes there yet, but still, it is a wonderful spectacle.
Sandhill Cranes, evening fly-in.
Sandhill Cranes coming in for a landing at the crane pools.
Sandhill Cranes circle in against the fading light.
As we left Bosque del Apache after a wonderful day, we watched a new moon set over the mountains to the west.
New moon at sunset.
It was a wonderful day!