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SOCORRO, NEW MEXICO

Photographing the Sandhill Cranes and Snow Geese of Bosque del Apache

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Road Scholar
Program #19339RJ
5 Days | 4 Nights
ACTIVITY LEVEL: Active
While all of our learning adventures offer extraordinary value, our "Best Value" programs were rated by our participants themselves who thought their dollar went particularly far.
Love to learn in a small-group setting? This collection of programs has at most 10-24 participants.
See our Small Group programs.
EasyFor people looking to exercise their minds more than their bodies. There’s minimal walking and not too many stairs.
ModerateThese programs get you on your feet and include activities such as walking up to a mile in a day through a city and standing in a museum for a few hours.
ActiveFor people who enjoy walking as much as two miles a day, perhaps to explore historic neighborhoods or a nature trail.
Moderately ChallengingFor hardy explorers who enjoy a good physical challenge, spending most of their days on the go.
ChallengingGet ready to keep up with our highest-energy group. These demanding — and rewarding — programs are for seasoned outdoor enthusiasts.
Elevation Note
5,000 ft. see attached High Altitude Information Sheet

Equipment Requirements
Camera, lenses, tripod. A laptop will facilitate downloading and critiques in the field.

Itinerary for Jan 8 — Jan 12, 2014

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Type: Hotel

Contact info:
1100 N. California St.
Socorro, NM 87801 USA
phone: 575-838-0556
web: www.bestwestern.com

Room amenities: Cable TV, coffee maker, refrigerator, microwave, hair dryer, iron and ironing board, work area

Facility amenities: Fitness center, indoor pool, indoor hot tub, high speed internet

Smoking policy: Yes
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Check in time: 3:00 PM


Day One: Wednesday, January 08 - Arrivals and orientation
Arrive To: Arrival and motel check-in 3- 5:00 pm. Required orientation at 5:00 pm followed by dinner.

Dinner: Restaurant Meal

Evening: Orientation and Introductions; Instructor will lecture on etiquette for photographing wildlife and birds, conditions to be encountered, and best techniques for expected photo shoots.

Lodging: Best Western Socorro Hotel and Suites

Meals Included: Dinner
Type: Hotel

Contact info:
1100 N. California St.
Socorro, NM 87801 USA
phone: 575-838-0556
web: www.bestwestern.com

Room amenities: Cable TV, coffee maker, refrigerator, microwave, hair dryer, iron and ironing board, work area

Facility amenities: Fitness center, indoor pool, indoor hot tub, high speed internet

Smoking policy: Yes
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Check in time: 3:00 PM


Day Two: Thursday, January 09 - Bosque Del Apache Bird Refuge
Breakfast: Hotel Meal

Morning: Based in Socorro about 20 miles away, we will arise early, have a quick breakfast and be there in time to photograph the dramatic early morning “mass ascensions” of birds. We will then spend several hours driving the loop roads and photographing birds in several locations. During the day, large flocks of Snow Geese may take off suddenly from adjoining fields. The sight and sound of thousands of birds rising up in unison is a breathtaking experience you will never forget. Using hours of morning and evening light, participants venture each day to designated photo locations. Shooting opportunities may include: sunrise photography of the sandhill cranes leaving their roost; afternoon shots of geese and cranes feeding in the fields; porcupine, coyote, wild turkey, deer, and birds of prey; and flight shots at last light. This is a field photography program with instruction occurring on location rather than formal classroom instruction.

Lunch: Box lunch if in field or Restaurant Meal, after lunch a break will occur for rest, downloading of photos and critiques with the instructor. Critique sessions will be scheduled each day with those who want to participate.

Afternoon: Late afternoon birdviewing and photo opportunities along Rio Grande River (prime roosting areas) or locations in Bosque del Apache Preserve, evening bird fly-in. Instructor will use best judgement as to location selected for photography depending upon location of the masses of birds that frequently move.

Dinner: Restaurant Meal

Evening: Wrap up for day and planning session for next day

Lodging: Best Western Socorro Hotel and Suites

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Hotel

Contact info:
1100 N. California St.
Socorro, NM 87801 USA
phone: 575-838-0556
web: www.bestwestern.com

Room amenities: Cable TV, coffee maker, refrigerator, microwave, hair dryer, iron and ironing board, work area

Facility amenities: Fitness center, indoor pool, indoor hot tub, high speed internet

Smoking policy: Yes
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Check in time: 3:00 PM


Day Three: Friday, January 10 - Bosque del Apache Wildlife Refuge and Vicinity
Breakfast: Hotel Meal

Morning: Early morning flyout, locations will vary each day in the Bosque del Apache
Bosque del Apache translates as "Woods of the Apache". Native Americans often camped at this river-side forest, and the area was occupied by Pueblo Peoples for centuries before the Spanish explorers established the Camino Real (the Royal Road from Mexico City to Santa Fe) in the sixteenth century. The Camino Real ran right through the present-day Refuge.

Lunch: Box lunch if in field or Restaurant Meal, after lunch a break will occur for rest, downloading of photos and critiques with the instructor. Critique sessions will be scheduled each day with those who want to participate.

Afternoon: Late afternoon travel to Rio Grande River Valley and/or Bosque del Apache for evening bird fly-in. The Refuge is an important wintering home for Sandhill Cranes, and will host as many as 14,000 during the winter months. Cranes will begin arriving in November, and will leave as late as the end of February, heading for Monte Vista National Wildlife Refuge and Alamosa National Wildlife Refuge for a month or two before migrating onwards to Greys' Lake, Idaho, their breeding grounds.

Dinner: Restaurant Meal

Evening: Wrap up for day and planning session for next day

Lodging: Best Western Socorro Hotel and Suites

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Hotel

Contact info:
1100 N. California St.
Socorro, NM 87801 USA
phone: 575-838-0556
web: www.bestwestern.com

Room amenities: Cable TV, coffee maker, refrigerator, microwave, hair dryer, iron and ironing board, work area

Facility amenities: Fitness center, indoor pool, indoor hot tub, high speed internet

Smoking policy: Yes
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Check in time: 3:00 PM


Day Four: Saturday, January 11 - Bosque del Apache and Vacinity
Breakfast: Hotel Meal

Morning: Early morning flyout, locations will vary each day in the Bosque del Apache. As well as Sandill Cranes, The Bosque is also home to over 32,000 Snow Geese and Ross Geese, dozens of Bald Eagles and Goldens, Great Blue Herons, Occasional Pelicans, Avocets, and many, many other birds. Small herds of Mule Deer and families of Coyotes are also at home on this beautiful refuge.

Lunch: Box lunch if in field or Restaurant Meal, after lunch a break will occur for rest, downloading of photos and critiques with the instructor. Critique sessions will be scheduled each day with those who want to participate.

Afternoon: Late afternoon travel to birding sites depending upon bird locations and then return to Bosque del Apache for evening bird fly-in. Seeing the sunset "Fly In" and the dawn "Fly Out" is an experience you will never forget! If you are lucky you can also see what we call "Puffs" of Snow Geese, thousands rising into the air, sometimes within 10- 20 feet of you. The sound of wings and the sound of geese talking is a fantastic, primordial experience, guaranteed to "wow" you out of your worries and "wow" you out of your own body, and guaranteed to lift your soul to join them.

Dinner: Restaurant Meal

Evening: Wrap up for day and week, share and critique photos

Lodging: Best Western Socorro Hotel and Suites

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day Five: Sunday, January 12 - Check-out after breakfast
Breakfast: Hotel Meal

Morning: Check-out after Breakfast

Meals Included: Breakfast

Important information about your itinerary:
Please know that while we do everything we can to finalize all aspects of our programs well in advance, there are logistics that occasionally must be altered. Our website will reflect the most recent information, and we are committed to providing you with final program details no later than eight weeks prior to the start of programs outside the U.S. and three weeks prior to the start of programs within the U.S. If you ever have questions about your program, please don't hesitate to contact us and we will be happy to assist you.
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Our Value Promise To You

You won't find a better value.

Included
at no additional cost on this date ...
4 nights of accommodations
11 meals: 4 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 4 dinners
8 Expert-led lectures
6 Field trips
6 Hands-on experiences

Ratings

5
Ratings are determined by participant evaluations.

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