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by SantaFeJoe on Sat Oct 16, 2021 12:04 am
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I just returned from a short afternoon at Bosque del Apache. Of approximately 360 trips to Bosque, I must say that these were the worst conditions I have ever witnessed there. The outlook is very dismal for the fall. There is no water in the Crane Ponds, Flight Deck Pond, Dabbler Deck Pond, The Rookery, the fields by Coyote and Willow Deck and most other areas. The Boardwalk Pond did have some water, as well as another pond on the east side of the road near the Boardwalk. The fields on the North Loop have no corn or other crops planted. They only have native sunflowers that have gone to seed. I saw only about a dozen Snow Geese, 200 or so Sandhill Cranes, some Red-winged Blackbirds, a couple of Javelina, about ten Turkeys, a buck Mule Deer, a skunk, and a few ducks. Few hawks were present, but there was a White-tailed Kite at the Flight Deck that has been hanging around for about a month or so. Hopefully, the ponds will start filling up soon, but with no crops, I wonder if the birds will even stick around. I didn’t stop at the Ladd Gordon Complex to the north of Socorro, but I hope there are more crops growing there. That might be the better area this winter. I have very little hope for a good year at Bosque this season. If you decide to go, I highly recommend calling the refuge to check on current conditions. Water was very scarce this summer.

Some images(not mine) of White-tailed Kite here:

https://ebird.org/checklist/S96204886

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

by signgrap on Sat Oct 16, 2021 7:00 pm
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Joe, is lack of water in the ponds due to drought or management?  
Same question re the fields not being planted, drought or management?
Dick Ludwig
 

by SantaFeJoe on Sat Oct 16, 2021 7:44 pm
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Dick,
This is their explanation, and it is very true that we are in the middle of a heavy drought like I have never seen before in my lifetime:

https://www.fws.gov/nwrs/threecolumn.aspx?id=6442466393

https://www.drought.gov/states/new-mexico

I just watched this interview with the refuge manager and it is informative:

https://friendsofbosquedelapache.org/

Note that the Crane Ponds will not be filled this year. I really have no idea why there are no crops. I have never seen that before. I do know that all farmers were struggling with the water situation this year. If I hear anything new, I will post it here.

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

by signgrap on Sun Oct 17, 2021 8:42 am
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Thanks Joe, your post confirms my fears that it is drought/climate change that's the cause.
Dick Ludwig
 

by SantaFeJoe on Sun Oct 17, 2021 9:38 am
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As always, the photography ops are there, but it is an adjustment to what most visitors are used to. I don’t like the changes but, as noted by Scoreless in this previous thread, the opportunities will probably exist. It’s just not like before.

https://www.naturescapes.net/forums/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=294015

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

by Ed Cordes on Mon Oct 18, 2021 7:23 pm
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This is indeed sad news. It's been a long time since I was there, but it was super at the time. I feel badly for those who do not get to experience the wonders of the location at its best.
Remember, a little mild insanity keeps us healthy
 

by SantaFeJoe on Wed Nov 17, 2021 12:03 pm
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The refuge will have a few live streaming events over the next few days, including fly-outs and fly-ins. You can find the listings on this page:

https://www.facebook.com/BosquedelApacheNWR/

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

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