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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre Bird Talk 
Thread started 14 Dec 2017 (Thursday) 14:34
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Headed to Bosque Del Apache refuge at the end of the year

 
RMyers
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Dec 14, 2017 14:34 |  #1

So, I have my 100-400, both with and without 1.4x TC all focus adjusted on both my cameras (7d2 and 5d4). A few tripods, lots of cards and batteries. Planning on cold mornings so packing good layers, boots and gloves/mittens.

What I'm considering is renting a gimbal head or tripod/gimbal combo. Does that make sense?

Anything I should consider bringing that I may not think of? I'm driving out so all my lenses are going, filters and lens cleaner. Of course, my laptop for downtime image processing.

Any advice on where to be in the early hours for the lift off? and what to do in the middle of the day waiting for birds to return?

thanks in advance.

ps. I'll probably be there 3 days. Might wander south to White Sands and Carlsbad too.


Rusty
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Grizz1
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Dec 16, 2017 23:51 |  #2

I've only been there once for a short time, we stayed close to headquarters and used the drive through area. It was also late morning and early spring so we were told that many of the migrant birds had left about 5 days before. It was for these reasons that I did very little hiking so did not get to know the area well but well enough that I've often thought of returning.
Even with my bad timing I saw a lot of wildlife. I got some good shots with out much effort. If prepared and going to this area with only photography in mind it should be an awesome experience.
We saw several birds of prey, roadrunners , snow geese, Canada geese, Mule Deer all from the driving area. Some of the ground cover is extremely thick so if you can just take the time there is plenty there through out the day to be photographing.
There is a log book inside the visitor center that should be checked out asap that lists what has been seen by others at which time and location. Not everyone shares their sightings but many do and there may be something that gets your attention, maybe a species you've not seen before or captured with camera. It may save you time getting into the right area to capture certain species. The Cranes had all left when we were there and the log book told the story, we were 4 days too late.
I would be prepared for the weather so you're comfortable, take binoculars to at least use from the parking areas from the vehicle, snacks and plenty to drink as you probably won't want to leave. I think it was the 3rd week in March when I was there, a light snow was falling at 10 AM and my thermos of hot coffee and another of hot Chocolate was consumed along with the lunch we had packed before schedule.
Not only the wildlife that can be seen there but the back grounds in the photos taken of the wildlife and waterfowl can be just awesome.
Please share some photos after your trip and let us know about your experience there. Have a great time!


Steve
2 Canon 60D's, 70D 18-135,-55-250, Sigma 150-500 OS,Sigma 50mm 1.4 ,Sigma 120-300 Sport,Sigma 10-20. 580EXII

  
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Tom ­ Reichner
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Dec 17, 2017 12:26 |  #3

RMyers wrote in post #18517911 (external link)
.
So, I have my 100-400, both with and without 1.4x TC . . .

What I'm considering is renting a gimbal head or tripod/gimbal combo. Does that make sense?

I'm driving out so all my lenses are going . . .

Well, whether or not it makes sense depends on which lenses you will be using. Is your 100-400 the biggest lens you have? If so, then it doesn't really make sense to take a tripod and a gimbal head, because that is not normally necessary for smaller lenses like the 100-400mm when photographing wildlife and birds.

If you will be using a big lens like a 500mm f4, 600mm f4, or 800mm f5.6, then it makes a lot of sense to have a tripod and a gimbal, and to use it for everything but the flight shots and the shots you take out of the car window. . A beanbag works best for the out-of-the-window opportunities.

.

RMyers wrote in post #18517911 (external link)
.
Anything I should consider bringing that I may not think of?
.

A folding chair or a ground tarp, for the times when you want to wait for birds at certain areas that are not right next to the road where your car is parked. . But this is pretty much an essential item for all wildlife photography trips, not specific to Bosque or to waterfowl.

I also suggest taking a cooler and keeping it packed with a lot of drinks and hearty snacks, so that you can stay out all day (if the light is good) and not have to leave the photo-ops to go get lunch somewhere. This time of year the days are so short that missing an hour or two to get lunch costs you valuable opportunities that one really can't afford to miss.

I am a coffee addict, and like to drink hot coffee all day long. . My two big thermoses, 32 oz and 40 oz, are usually all empty by 12 noon. . So I take a small camping stove and plenty of the fuel cartridges for it, along with a coffee percolator pot. This way I can make coffee right where I am while I wait for birds to come in, and don't have to leave my post.

When selecting snacks, try to pick ones that have a lot of fat, protein, and carbohydrates. . These are the fuels that will keep you going all day long. . Tree nuts are good, as are cheese, egg nog, beef jerky, pudding, whole grain crackers, and bananas (although they change texture if they freeze or get too cold).

I have found it best to prepare and pack so that you can be out there shooting (or looking for things to shoot) all day, every minute from dawn to dusk, and not to miss any shooting time.

.


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RMyers
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Dec 17, 2017 16:06 |  #4

Checking the log book is excellent advice. Thank your for that.

Both of you suggested food and drinks and I had considered minor snacks and always carry water, but I will pack more food and drinks based on those comments.

I've already set aside chairs and have binoculars ready too. I don't usually use the 1.4 TC with the 100-400, but will just go with my normal ball head.

I'm a year round motorcyclist and have so much gear for dealing with cold. I can even rig a battery pack to my heated gear if needed. And used to cross country ski so I have all sorts of gloves and mittens of different thicknesses and layering. Keeping feet and fingers warm are important for comfort. Core warmth is essential.

Thanks for the advice.


Rusty
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Grizz1
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Dec 17, 2017 23:14 |  #5

IMAGE: https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7136/6895729884_48b0e1cc1c_b.jpg
IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/bvmq​fy  (external link) Blue Heron (external link) by steve findling (external link), on Flickr
IMAGE: https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7094/6895739054_f1e841cbed_b.jpg
IMAGE LINK: https://flic.kr/p/bvms​YE  (external link) Roadrunner (external link) by steve findling (external link), on Flickr
Rusty, hope you don't mind me adding a couple shots to your thread, these were taken in Bosque , March 10th, 2012 and with a 55-250 on a 60D. These were taken from a road that could be used as a drive through. The heron and roadrunner are at the edge of some of the thick vegetation I mentioned before, some of it appears to be a weed like plant and the rest is woody brush like stuff. They had trimmed some of it with a brush cutter and some critters were using that mowed area to dry off next to heavy cover. Behind the Heron it is actually water, not sky.
These pics were cropped very little if at all so just think what may be possible with more time and better gear. Saw many birds of prey but just didn't have the reach to get good shots. I'd like to go back with my 120-300,150-500 and 2x, probably would pick up a 7DII to play with.

Steve
2 Canon 60D's, 70D 18-135,-55-250, Sigma 150-500 OS,Sigma 50mm 1.4 ,Sigma 120-300 Sport,Sigma 10-20. 580EXII

  
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Mike ­ Dodd
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Dec 18, 2017 11:34 |  #6

I just got back two weeks ago. We stayed in Socorro 20 min away to the headquarters . I would check with the rangers when you get there. They will be able to tell you all you need to know for your first day. The birds move during the day and different birds are at different places.
Two weeks ago they had a lot of sand hill cranes and a lot white geese with a mixed sample of other waterfowl and raptors.

I would also recommend taking one of the guided tours the one we took was very good . They take you on the roads that only park personnel can drive on, get you closer to the action, and know where the wild life has been recently. The guides we had were excellent new the native wildlife and wanted you to experience the park as they have. You can look online to see if they are still doing them if they are I would highly recommend taking one.. I just checked the web site they have tours available fri.,sat. & sun through feb.
excluding xmas and new years. The tour guides we were with had seen a mountain and two cubs a few days before we took are tour. They took us by the spot but no lion.




  
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RMyers
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Dec 18, 2017 16:06 |  #7

A mountain lion would be cool to see. I have a friend here that has gone several times and I got a chance to chat with him too. We plan to arrive the day after Christmas and stay until Saturday. Might extend another day or just head south to White Sands and Carlsbad caverns.

I'm really looking forward to this trip and appreciate all the comments.


Rusty
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Headed to Bosque Del Apache refuge at the end of the year
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