19339
Socorro
Photographing the Sandhill Cranes and Snow Geese of Bosque del Apache
Come to Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge to observe stunning species in their natural habitats and join an expert nature photographer to learn how to take the perfect shot.
Rating (5)
Program No. 19339RJ
Length
5 days
Starts at
1,049
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5 days
4 nights
11 meals
4 B 3 L 4 D
DAY
1
Check-in, Registration, Orientation, Welcome Dinner
Socorro, NM
D
Best Western Socorro Hotel and Suites

Dinner: We enjoy a popular local restaurant where we order off the menu.

Evening: Orientation and Introductions; Instructors will discuss with the group etiquette for photographing wildlife and birds, conditions to be encountered, and best techniques for expected photo shoots.

DAY
2
Bosque Del Apache Bird Refuge
Socorro, NM
B,L,D
Best Western Socorro Hotel and Suites

Breakfast: Continental Breakfast in Hotel

Morning: From Socorro, we travel by van to Bosque del Apache Preserve about 20 miles away. We will arise early, have a quick breakfast and be on location 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: We enjoy a popular local restaurant where we order off the menu. After lunch a break will occur for rest, downloading of photos and critiques by appointment with the instructor.

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. Instructors will use best judgement as to location selected for photography depending upon location of the masses of birds that frequently move.

Dinner: We enjoy a popular local restaurant where we order off the menu.

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

DAY
3
Bosque del Apache Wildlife Refuge and Vicinity
Socorro, NM
B,L,D
Best Western Socorro Hotel and Suites

Breakfast: Continental Breakfast in Hotel

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: We enjoy a popular local restaurant where we order off the menu. After lunch a break will occur for rest, downloading of photos and critiques by appointment with the instructor.

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: We enjoy a popular local restaurant where we order off the menu.

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

DAY
4
Bosque del Apache and Vacinity
Socorro, NM
B,L,D
Best Western Socorro Hotel and Suites

Breakfast: Continental Breakfast in Hotel

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: We enjoy a popular local restaurant where we order off the menu. After lunch a break will occur for rest, downloading of photos and critiques by appointment with the instructor.

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: We enjoy a popular local restaurant where we order off the menu.

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

DAY
5
Program Concludes
Socorro, NM
B

Breakfast: Continental Breakfast in Hotel

Morning: Check-out after Breakfast