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by MikeBinOK on Wed Nov 13, 2019 9:37 pm
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I visited Bosque in late November or early December several times from 2003 to about 2009. The snow geese blast offs and the Cranes were great! I’ve been doing other stuff the past ten years, but feel the urge to go again. Unfortunately if I go, I won’t be able to go till early January, probably leaving on New Year’s Day. Internet research has me a bit concerned though. It appears the refuge has new management, they aren’t growing the crops for the birds anymore, and Bosque may not be what it was. I see many pros offering tours there still, but when searching here, the photos from Bosque I see in recent years seem mostly typical wildlife refuge photos rather than the big blast offs. Of course if I’m disappointed, I will be in a car and can head off to White Sands or many other places, but I’m interested in the experiences of people here. Is Bosque still worth it?
Mike B. in OKlahoma
Oklahoma City, OK

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by SantaFeJoe on Wed Nov 13, 2019 10:44 pm
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Bosque is always worth it! January is perfect.

Here’s an similar thread from last year:

https://www.naturescapes.net/forums/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=279668

Joe
Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist.  -Pablo Picasso
 

by scorless on Thu Nov 14, 2019 10:15 am
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I was at the refuge this last weekend and believe this year is shaping up to be one of the best ever. I have never seen as many birds this time of the year as we have now. The cold weather up north has driven them down. The refuge is in good shape. There is plenty of food for the birds. The famers are no longer growing the crops it is being done by the refuge workers and volunteers. This crops are good, varied, and very plentiful. 

The far north loop is closed this year and they have returned to using the old farm loop. Right now the birds are so close to the road I was photographing at 200mm. As we all know as the season gets later the birds will move further from the road due to the food being cut further back. However, highway 1 ponds were fantastic this weekend and we are also seeing a lot of birds return to roasting around the flight deck. Because of these conditions there are going to be some wonderful opportunities to photograph both fly outs and fly ins. 

For me personally this last weekend was one of my very best shots in the 20 years I have been making multiply trips a year down there. Jan. is one of my favorite months down there because of the ice and the interesting behaviors that causes the birds to engage in. 

The refuge has been through some tough times in the last 10 years but the most current managers that has retire and has now been replaced with an acting manager has done a wonderful job of rebuilding and now it is starting to really pay off. I am guessing that most would really enjoy the photographic opportunities that the refuge now presents. 
Sandy Corless
 

by MikeBinOK on Fri Nov 15, 2019 6:27 pm
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Thanks, I guess my travel plans for the start of the year are fixed!
Mike B. in OKlahoma
Oklahoma City, OK

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by Campbell on Mon Nov 18, 2019 12:10 am
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Is there a current bird count some where?
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by SantaFeJoe on Mon Nov 18, 2019 11:21 am
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Campbell wrote:
Is there a current bird count some where?

This is the only one I’m aware of at this time, but numbers are not always posted:

https://ebird.org/hotspot/L127945

Joe
Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist.  -Pablo Picasso
 

by scorless on Mon Nov 18, 2019 11:59 am
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Last I have heard the refuge had made a decision not to post bird counts. I think the reason was that they did not have enough individuals to do a proper count as well as sometimes they were being criticized for the number of birds that could be seen by the public was greatly different than the count. This is a 89,000 acre refuge and only a portion is available to the public.
Sandy Corless
 

by SantaFeJoe on Mon Nov 18, 2019 12:19 pm
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What I was told, and was published, is that the funding was cut and it was not financially possible to do the counts. It’s not easy for inexperienced volunteers to do the counts accurately, either.

Joe
Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist.  -Pablo Picasso
 

by Campbell on Tue Nov 19, 2019 1:49 am
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SantaFeJoe wrote:
Campbell wrote:
Is there a current bird count some where?

This is the only one I’m aware of at this time, but numbers are not always posted:

https://ebird.org/hotspot/L127945

Joe


Thank you Joe
Jason Vaclavek
NSN 0062
http://www.JCVPhoto.com
 

by Ron Day on Wed Nov 20, 2019 8:42 pm
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I have been to Bosque in November-December and in early February. And February was best for me.
 

by calvin1calvin on Thu Nov 21, 2019 9:51 am
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I have not returned to Bosque since '16 due to other travel plans.  I have been on the fence about returning this year but it appears from what was said above that I need to prepare a trip in mid December or early January.  I love that refuge and the surrounding area and was returning every year since 2006.  I have never been disappointed with the photo opportunities in the area.  Dynamic sunrises, good sunsets, birds everywhere and good landscape opportunities.  What more can a photographer ask for.  On my last visit my wife and I went to the VLA, Very Large Array, and photograph it.  Did not do very well but if you were there at sunset with a full moon and a lot of stars it could be very good.  It is approximeately 50 miles from Socorro, outside of Magdalana, and worth an evening and/or night shoot.
 

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