Birding at Bosque Del Apache

New Mexico presents a whole new birding and habitat world- how exciting!  A friend and I spent a day at Bosque Del Apache, a wildlife refuge famous for its giant flocks of wintering sandhill cranes and snow geese.  Apparently they draw thousands of photographers to capture the sight of these flocks flying off at dawn and returning at dusk under brilliantly colored skies.  Well, we went last week and the flocks were gone and the spring migration of smaller birds had not quite begun, but we still were awed by the birds we did see and the beauty of the place.  There’s 12 miles of auto tour to view birds and waters up close (autos are better blinds to see the birds; walking humans scare them off).  We saw ducks familiar to Pacific Northwest birders, such as shovelers, coots, ruddy ducks, and buffleheads.  We learned new beauties:  pyrroluxia, say’s phoebe, black phoebe.  Stayed at a sweet bed and breakfast in a rambling older home, Casa Blanca,  which I highly recommend in the nearby village of San Antonio; unfortunately they are only open during the winter bird season.  I’ll be back to Bosque for more!

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