So far, things are looking pretty bleak. It's not the same as it used to be. Management seems to have let things go downhill really badly. The north loop has lots of wild sunflowers and little else. The south loop on the furthest point south has bare fields. It's been about four weeks or so since I've been down there, but at that time, all the wetlands were dry, with the exception of the Boardwalk Pond. They should be filling around now. There have been a lot of changes to much of the area. Many of the trees have burned and areas that offered cover have been cleared. It makes me sad to see what has become of a place that once was a real treasure. Whoever is in charge doesn't seem to know anything about where the wildlife and birds traditionally have hung around and the habitat that was important to all living creatures that call Bosque home. The Rookery has no trees anymore and the cattails have been cleared out, so even the Redwings and Black-crowned Night Herons have nowhere to take cover there. I've never seen it so mismanaged in 45 years or so. There will always be things to see and photograph, but it's definitely not like before. On the other hand, Bernardo (Ladd Gordon Complex) Refuge has plenty of corn and last year was excellent for Sandhill Cranes, Snow Geese and my personal favorite, Mountain Bluebirds. It's looking really good again this year.
I had known and seen the decline for quite a few years. I was fortunate to have had a pretty good year in 2019 but I have always gone to other locations....San Mateo mountains, Truth or Consequences and Bernardo. I can at least hit the other places but I am so sad about the decline. My first visit was 2003 and I returned most years. Thank you for the information......I was hopeful when I posted the question that I would get something positive....but unfortunately not so. I feel like it is a "point of no return" with the birds and wildlife to return......but sure hope that I'm wrong.