Friday, February 3, 2012

Bosque del Apache NWR

When i stuck my head out of the hotel room this morning, it was cool, overcast, and looked like it had snowed! I knew that the storm was going NE, and checking, it seemed to be a nice day to go South the the Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuse.

The refuge in about 100 miles from Albuquerque. Exit 139 on I-25. Go east about a hald mile to the flashing yellow lite (Old Highway 1) at San Antonio, NM. Right (South) 9 miles to the refuge.

Now I am not a birder, and photographing birds surely has not been my strong suit. Might as well try it. What better place than the refuge - with all of the migratory birds!

I stopped at the Visitor's center for my pass and visit with the staff. Talking with they lets me tell them what my goal is. They then gave me some suggestions to enhance my experience at the refuge.

Started with the Marsh Loop. The first large flock of birds I saw were the Snow Geese - just as I turned when the road turns one-way. Think I startled them - because most flow off a little further from the road.

Just past the Snow Geese, I walked partway down the John Taylor Memorial Trail. I did not make it to the end (where it looks like there was a blind there). My legs were not willing.

Not going to bore you with all of the details and lots if photos. After all, its a learning shoot for me! I had my telephoto zoom lens, I could get some pretty good shot. The problem was when i wanted to follow a bird 9or a flock) to get the bird in focus. When i get homw on the larger monitor, i will be able to see how good 9or bad) I did.

Continuing on the Loop Road, at the cross connector, I was on the Farm Loop. At the North of the Farm loop I found the cranes. Almost done, I stopped at the Flight Deck.

I did not bring my bicycle on the excursion. There was some comment on the web site that the Loop Road was closed to bicycles from Oct through April. Bicycles could ride the East Low Flow Conveyance Service Road. The volunteer at the Visitor's Center told me that studies showed that bicycles scared the birds. Walkers and cars do not bother them, but bicycles cause problems.

Back into San Antonio, it was a little after 1 and i was getting hungry. Stopped into the Owl Bar and Cafe for one of their "world famous hamburgers". I did not have one of theor burgers - opted for the patty melt. North back toward Albuquerque.

Stopped into Socorro for gas. As i recalled, there was some mountain bike trails around Socorro. Found the Chambers Tourist office. No trail maps, but was able to refer me to a local groups - Socorro Striders and Riders. Will have to check it out for my next trip South from Albuquerque.

The busy day was topped off with a couple beers with my cousin and a friend of his. Planning to sleep in!

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