The official bird count while I was in Bosque last week was absolutely perfect, that is it was showing almost no birds on the reserve. This is fine by me since it keeps all the inexperienced and unknowledgeable people away including other workshop and tour leaders. So my week there was peaceful, quiet and empty before the festival crowds hit and it was just about perfect. Always remember, there are never any birds in Bosque before the crane festival!
Cranes flying in front of dark storm clouds lit by the first rays of the sunrise is my favorite lighting setup at Bosque. The only problem is that these images are so dramatic looking that all of your other images are a little boring by comparison.
The weather this year was a blessing, two huge low pressure systems collided somewhere over the southwest bring lots of clouds and wind to Bosque but the precipitation stopped about 10 or 20 miles to the east of Bosque but in areas to the southeast in Texas there were temps in the teens with snow and rain.
We waited on the eagle deck watching and waiting for a nice sized group of geese to do something for at least an hour and sure enough, the group finally blasted off right at us and even circled a few times. The wind was from the WSW so this was the spot to be in. My group and I were the only people there of course.
Seriously though I don’t know who runs the birds counts at Bosque but they must sleep in until 10 AM and by then the birds are all spread out foraging in different areas in many cases outside the reserve. The count is accurate for other birds like raptors that like to sit on perches in the morning but that’s okay with me, I would never complain since the low numbers don’t bother me at all.
The number of cranes at Bosque this year was pretty surprising and the numbers don’t peak until later in the season. There were big changes this year at the crane pools though. My all-time favorite, the north crane pool is now 95% overgrown and since they closed the parking lot completely, I have a feeling there are no plans to flood the area again. The good news is that the larger south crane pool has a new paved parking lot and the shooting area is now closer to the cranes.
This year I am glad to report there is nothing but good news from Bosque but there are always people will find things to complain about and like to moan and groan about how good the reserve was in the good old days and yes it was spectacularly good 10-12 years ago, but Bosque is still an awesome place to visit and create striking images that are just as good or better than photos made 10 years ago. If you would like to visit Bosque and enjoy a photo tour there, let me know or follow the link below for more info, I am not about to stop making trips there anytime soon don’t worry. See you in New Mexico in 2019!
For more info on my 2019 is available here: http://www.robertotoole.com/bosque-tour/