Friday, December 04, 2015

Geese and more

This is a fairly big photo update covering the past 6+ months, including:

  • Images of a sphinx moth in Newton Hills State Park last summer, and a few other images around the park and my yard.
  • Trail camera images from March to September from my cameras in Wind Cave National Park, including the full sequence (7 shots) of an elk trying to scratch itself with its antlers. As you may notice, there are some color differences between the Reconyx images at the start and the Moultrie images later on. The Reconyx images appear greenish, and the Moutrie images appear reddish. I've tried to remove the color cast to some extent, but I'm not going to fiddle with it too much. By the way, I am retiring the very old Bushnell which suffers from inferior image quality and short battery life. I have a new Primos camera on order that I will deploy at some point. The biggest problem I see with trail cameras is image quality. The Primos is relatively inexpensive but is supposed to have above average image quality. We'll see.
  • A few shots from a November trip to New Mexico, including Bosque del Apache NWR and White Sands National Monument.
  • A recent quick trip to Squaw Creek NWR in northwest Missouri.

The trips to the two wildlife refuges in late November and early December were quite different experiences. I have been to Bosque del Apache NWR in New Mexico many times. For this late in the year I was expecting many cranes and geese, and a number of raptors. For whatever reason, the migratory bird numbers were down and there were no raptors in view. On the positive side, the snow geese were close enough to provide opportunities to photograph individuals and small groups. A highlight was seeing a leucistic sandhill crane. The crane had mostly white feathers, but it still had the red patch on the head and colored eyes so it was not an albino. Refuge staff said this was the bird's second year on the refuge. Seeing this bird reminded me of the leucistic penguin I saw in Antarctica 12 years ago.

I've also been to Squaw Creek NWR in Missouri many times. Even though the geese were further away than in New Mexico, there were such massive numbers that it was easy to get the huge group shots you will see in the slide show. I also saw 15 eagles and a few hawks in the refuge, which is a low number compared to previous years, but I've included a few shots of those.

Click on one of the images below to start the 53-image slide show.

Newton Hills

Trail Camera

New Mexico


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