Wildlife: New Mexico, Florida and ABA

Hello everyone and welcome to my first Blog of 2012. It’s a new year and with that brings many updates from me and for Migration Productions.

A look back at December and January had me traveling to New Mexico for a nine day photo trip with some fellow photographers and friends from Massachusetts and Pennsylvania. From December 3rd to 11th I spent time in Albuquerque and just south about 75 miles in the town of Socorro and Bosque Del Apache National Wildlife Refuge. While I’ve spent time there before it had been many years and I was really looking forward to this trip. The highlights of which were photographing Greater Roadrunner, Sandhill Cranes, Snow Geese, Javelina or Collared Peccary among others. If you have not spent time in New Mexico and Bosque del Apache NWR it is well worth the trip in late November and December. Viewing some eight thousand Sandhill Cranes and over ten thousand Snow Geese with Ross’s Geese mixed in is a sight to see and hear. During this trip I recorded lots a video and tried my best to get good audio to go along with it. I have only posted one small video clip of the Snow Geese taking off at first light, stay tuned for more later in the year.

Click on the photo to see video of Snow Geese taking off at first light.
Sandhill Crane, Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico
Friends and fellow photographers: Amanda, Sam, Dr Karl and Shawn

If you are planning a trip to photograph at Bosque del Apache NWR I would also recommend spending at least one afternoon at Bernardo Waterfowl Management Area. Located just 25 miles north of the town of Socorro you could spend the morning at Bosque then after lunch drive north to Bernardo which is exactly what we did. Please note I would not recommend this location for a morning shoot. We spent two afternoons here and both were VERY good for getting flight shots of Sandhill Crane of which there were hundreds. We also had Says Phoebe and Western Meadowlark but the real focus was on the hundreds of Sandhill Cranes flying well within range of a 400mm lens or a larger telephoto.

Bernardo Waterfowl Management Area, New Mexico (click photo to see album)

Other updates include a three week trip to the Gulf Coast of Florida towards the end of December and beginning of January. The photography this years was VERY GOOD! Possible the best I can remember in many years and Myakka River State Park which is my favorite place to photograph in the Greater Sarasota area was in fact the BEST I can remember in my 15+ years of going there. On several days I counted over 50 Spoonbills and more Sandhill Cranes then I can ever remember seeing in the park at one time. One of my best morning “shoots” was Christmas Day, with good numbers of Spoonbills, Wood Stork and Tri-colored Heron just to name a few. Click here to view web galley of more photos from my recent trip to Florida.

Spoonbill, Myakka River State Park, Sarasota, FL Canon Mark V with Canon 400mm f5.6, ISO 500, 1/800 @ f8

Other big news for me is the January cover of the American Birding Association magazine “Birding” which features one of my photos of the North Lookout from Hawk Mountain. To read more about my cover photo, click on this link.

Hawk Mountain Sanctuary, North Lookout © Shawn P. Carey

This year I have undertaken a 365 photo project or Photo of the Day, only this being a Leap Year it will be 366. Every day I take at least one photograph and post it to web gallery. You can follow my 366 by clicking on this link.

Short-eared Owl, photographed in Massachusetts February 27 many years ago.

As always enjoy the outdoors and please help to protect wildlife and wild places.

Shawn P. Carey
Migration Productions