Tag Archives: Bosque del Apache

A Summer Visit to Bosque del Apache

A couple of weekends ago Bosque Bill and I decided to visit Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge. Bill is very enthusiastic about dragonflies, and there are many of them at Bosque del Apache in summer. I am always up for a road trip. It had been several years since I had visited there in summer, and I was looking forward to seeing the refuge. I knew it would be hot, and so I packed lots of cold drinks along with a cold picnic lunch.

We arrived at the refuge at mid-morning. As usual, the view across the refuge toward the hills was lovely.

Looking across the refuge toward the hills, Bosque del Apache NWR.

Looking across the refuge toward the hills.

It was interesting to see that in summer, the areas which in fall and winter are ponds for migrating birds are covered with plants that will become food for ducks, geese and cranes when the ponding areas are flooded in fall.

Pond area, Bosque del Apache NWR

In fall this area will be flooded and will become a pond for migrating waterfowl.

With temperatures hovering near 100ºF there was not a great deal of bird activity, but we did see a few birds:

Great Blue Heron

A Great Blue Heron hunts in an acequia

Black Phoebe

A Black Phoebe hunts for insects at a pond on the Marsh Loop.

An unruly gang of Neotropic Cormorants were roosting on snags along the Seasonal road.

Neotropic Cormorants

Neotropic Cormorants

We saw Blue Grosbeaks and Northern Mockingbirds and a few raptors. Either they were too far away for photos, or I was not quick enough with my camera. What we did see were dragonflies. They were beautiful!

Red Saddlebags (Tramea onusta)

Red Saddlebags (Tramea onusta)

Black Saddlebags (Tramea lacerata)

Black Saddlebags (Tramea lacerata)

Blue Darter

Blue Darter

By early afternoon Bosque Bill and I were hot and tired, and we took a break to eat our picnic lunch and tour the Visitor’s Center. After a lovely lunch we walked around the Visitor’s Center. Bosque Bill flushed a large covey of Gambel’s Quail sheltering from the midday sun under a Three-Leaf Sumac. I don’t know who was more startled, Bill or the quail. I was laughing so hard that I didn’t get a photo.

I sat in the (blessedly) air-conditioned Visitor’s Center and enjoyed watching the birds at the feeders. Black-chinned Hummingbirds and Rufous Hummingbirds were very busy defending the food source. I took some photos through the viewing window.

Male Rufous Hummingbird

A male Rufous Hummingbird vigilantly guards the feeder.

Black-chinned Hummingbirds, Rufous Hummingbird.

Black-chinned Hummingbirds share the feeder with the Rufous Hummingbird.

Black-chinned Hummingbirds, Rufous Hummingbird.

Another look at the hummingbirds around the feeder.

There were Bullock’s and Scott’s Orioles at the feeders as well.

Scott's Oriole

The hummingbirds fled when a Scott's Oriole landed on the feeder.

Scott's Oriole

This Scott's Oriole likes hummingbird nectar.

Bullock's Oriole

A Bullock's Oriole watches from a nearby tree …

Bullock's Oriole

… and announces his arrival at the feeder.

Very few people visit Bosque del Apache in summer. It is hot, and it lacks the large numbers of migratory waterfowl that are present in the other seasons. There is still a great deal to see.

Flowers

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An Early Spring Visit to Bosque del Apache

A couple of weekends ago Bosque Bill and I went to Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge. Winter is the usual time to visit the refuge because of the many Sandhill Cranes and Snow Geese that winter there. Because birding has been pretty slow in northern New Mexico lately, we decided to travel to Bosque del Apache to see if there were any interesting birds.

It was a gorgeous early spring day. The light was beautiful.

A beautiful day at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge.

A beautiful day at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge.

At one pond along the Marsh Loop we saw several Black-necked Stilts wading and feeding.

Black-necked Stilts

Black-necked Stilts

In another pond on the Marsh Loop we saw Neotropic and Double-crested Cormorants.

Neotropic and Double-crested Cormorants

Neotropic and Double-crested Cormorants.

Neotropic Cormorants

Neotropic Cormorants.

Juvenile Neotropic Cormorant

Juvenile Neotropic Cormorant;

There were quite a few Painted Turtles sunning themselves in the pond where we saw the cormorants.

Painted Turtles

Painted Turtles.

We saw Redheads in still another pond on the Marsh Loop …

Males and female Redhead

Males and female Redhead

… and Cinnamon Teal in the same pond.

Male and female Cinnamon Teal

Male and female Cinnamon Teal.

There was a Pied-billed Grebe in that pond too.

Pied-billed Grebe

Pied-billed Grebe.

As we continued around the Marsh Loop, we saw a pretty Say’s Phoebe in a New Mexico olive tree.

Say's Phoebe

Say's Phoebe.

A Red-tailed Hawk flew through the cottonwoods.

Red-tailed Hawk

Red-tailed Hawk.

There were many Northern Shovelers in the Farm Loop pond …

Male and female Northern Shovelers

Male and female Northern Shovelers.

… and there were many more Cinnamon Teal in the Farm Loop pond as well.

Cinnamon Teal

Cinnamon Teal

We had been told at the Visitors’ Center that the Sandhill Cranes had left for the year, and so we were surprised to see several hundred Lesser Sandhill Cranes at the Crane Pools as we left the refuge.

Lesser Sandhill Cranes fly in at sunset.

Lesser Sandhill Cranes fly in at sunset.

We went to Bosque del Apache with few expectations, and we had a lovely time. The green chile cheeseburgers that we had for lunch at the Buckhorn Saloon were outstanding too!

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Wordless Wednesday-Wings on Wednesday

Spotted Towhee, Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge.

Spotted Towhee, Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge.

Spotted Towhee, Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge.

Spotted Towhee, Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge.

Spotted Towhee, Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge.

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Wordless Wednesday-Wings on Wednesday

Harris Hawk

Harris Hawk.

Harris Hawk.

Harris Hawk.

Harris Hawks.

Harris Hawk.

Harris Hawk.

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Special Edition-Bosque Bill and the Bird

This past weekend Bosque Bill and I decided to attend a photo workshop at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge. After leaving for Socorro at 5:30 a.m. in the bitter cold, we met at the crane pools for some early morning photos. There was still quite a bit of snow on the ground from the previous week’s storm.

Crane pool at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge

Crane pool at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge

We toured around the refuge as a group, using the opportunity to take some photos of birds …

Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron

… and wildlife.

Coyote

Coyote

During our classroom instruction we were excited to learn that Matt Mitchell was going to bring his two Harris Hawks out for us to photograph in the afternoon. The hawks were beautiful.

Matt Mitchell and one of his Harris Hawks.

Matt Mitchell and one of his Harris Hawks.

The birds very obligingly perched on low bushes …

Harris Hawks preparing to fly so that we can photograph them.

Harris Hawks preparing to fly so that we can photograph them.

… and flew toward us.

Harris Hawk taking off.

Harris Hawk taking off.

Harris Hawk flying toward us.

Harris Hawk flying toward us.

I guess you can never predict where a hawk will land.

Harris Hawk and Bosque Bill.

Harris Hawk and Bosque Bill.

Bosque Bill and the Harris Hawk.

Bosque Bill is looking for a bird to photograph. I'd suggest a shorter lens.

Harris Hawk and Bosque Bill.

"I wonder if the Canon warranty covers Harris Hawk scratches?"

Harris Hawk and Bosque Bill.

"Hey Bosque Bill-the other hawk is over there!"

Harris Hawk and Bosque Bill.

The hawk and Bosque Bill find a new subject to photograph.

Harris Hawk and Bosque Bill

The hawk spies Matt.

Harris Hawk and Matt Mitchell.

The hawk flies back to Matt.

After a lovely afternoon with Matt Mitchell and his Harris Hawks, we returned to the crane pools to watch the cranes fly in …

Sandhill Crane fly-in, Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge.

Sandhill Crane fly-in.

… and enjoy the sunset.

Sunset at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge.

Sunset at Bosque del Apache.

Sunset at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge.

Sandhill cranes fly in at sunset.

It was another magical day at Bosque del Apache

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Wordless Wednesday-Wings on Wednesday

Sandhill Crane silhouettes at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge.

Sandhill Crane silhouettes at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge.

Snow Geese at sunset, Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico.


Sandhill Cranes at sunset, Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico.


Sandhill Cranes at sunset, Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico.

Sandhill Cranes at sunset, Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico.

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Bosque del Apache Landscapes

I love going to Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge. I feel very fortunate to live close enough that I can be there in about an 1 1/2 hours, which means that I can go there almost any time that I want to go. Usually I concentrate on photographing birds. Last weekend Bosque Bill and I went there, and I decided to take some photos to show what a beautiful place it is. There will still be birds, of course.

Looking east from the Flight Deck.

Looking east from the Flight Deck.


Looking to the west across the crane pools.

Looking to the west across the crane pools.


Looking to the east on the Farm Loop.

Looking to the east on the Farm Loop.


Looking to the east across the Farm Pond.

Looking to the east across the Farm Pond.


Looking to the northwest as the snow geese fly overhead.

Looking to the northwest as the snow geese fly overhead.


Waves of Snow Geese fly over the fields at Bosque del Apache.

Waves of Snow Geese fly over the fields at Bosque del Apache.


One of the crane pools at dusk.

One of the crane pools at dusk.


Sandhill Cranes and Snow Geese fly in at sunset.

Sandhill Cranes and Snow Geese fly in at sunset.

Sandhill Cranes fly in at sunset.

Sandhill Cranes fly in at sunset.


Sunset at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge.

Sunset at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge.


A view of sunset over the crane pools at Bosque del Apache.

A view of sunset over the crane pools at Bosque del Apache.

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