Can you imagine yourself surrounded by a thousand of cranes? How about ten thousand ducks?
It’s possible in places, where seasonally migrating birds take rest on their way from the north to the south and backwards. Usually those places have a lot of shallow water, where birds can stay and feed themselves.

Once I was lucky to visit such a place on the border of Belarus and Ukraine during a spring flood on Preapat river.

This time it was a migrating birds refuge in New Mexico. The lakes of Bosque del Apache host thousands of big birds each year from November through February. Every day local rangers inform about an approximate number of birds on the local lakes. During my three day stay there those numbers were like this:
Polar gees – 30,000
Canadian gees – 50,000
White gees – 60,000
Gray cranes – 3,000
Ducks (around 100,000) are the smallest birds, rangers count.

A wise organization of an open part of the park allows you to comfortably photograph birds without a possibility to physically reach them (due to a lake water or a separating canal). Thus birds are familiar with photographers around and live their normal life.

Of course one needs patience, free time and a long lens to enjoy taking pictures and observe birds. It’s also important to be on the spot very early on freezing morning. The reward though is unforgettable. My brightest reveries are 10,000 ducks, launching over my head with a crazy morning sky on the background, and the slow waking up of a thousand cranes on a frozen mountain lake not farther than one hundred feet away from me.

Take a look.

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