12/18/2012 – Friday Day 1
Traveling to Socorro New Mexico from Frisco Texas is really not that bad of a drive. It’s 660 miles and about 11.5 hours of driving time. Not much to see along the way unfortunately. We departed at 4:00am in order to arrive around 3:00pm to allow time to check in our hotel and head to Bosque Del Apache to get our bearings of the place and to allow time to setup and shoot the evening FlyIn. Socorro is a sleepy town whose location is very close to the VLA (Very Large Array) antenna’s that are used for deep space radio exploration. We didn’t have enough time to make it out to the array but will for sure on our next trip. Bosque Del Apache is just 9 miles south of Socorro on Interstate 25, Exit 139 and go East 1/4 mile US 380 to the flashing signal at the village of San Antonio, turn right on Highway 1 and drive South nine miles to the Visitor Center. (See Map Below)
The day we arrived in the afternoon Bosque Del Apache Map there were very few people there. We went to Visitors Center and talked to Park rangers and obtained maps as well as un update on the tyes of wildlife that was currently present in the park. Please note that Mountain Lions are present so if you have children you need to keep an eye on them. I am not aware of ANY attacks but just be aware and have a plan. There is a Bird Count posted on the entry booth upon entry to the loop.
Our Day of arrival the bird count was as follows:
Light Geese 38,500
Sandhill Cranes 7,863,
Bald Eagles 4
I don’t know who does the counting but it must take them all day…LOL
As it got later in the day more and more people began to arrive and take their places along the North Loop road next to the lake. This was the prime location, that day, to photograph the Sandhill Cranes and Snow Geese flying in to roost for the evening. I strongly suggest getting there early to stake out your position amongst the other photographers as there is a limited amount of room when it gets crowded. As it grew closer to dusk the birds of various species began to arrive. It was a great opportunity to photograph birds in flight as well as their peculiar behavior on the ground and their behavior to each other. The light was from the west and we were shooting the birds to the East so it was perfect. As our trek was in mid-December, it was cold so dress warm and bring gloves. The New Mexico cold can be brutal if not properly prepared.
As dusk fell to night we packed up our gear and headed out. We noticed another small lake of of Highway 1 and realized it could possibly be a great place for a Sunset Shot as many birds had flown in to that lake as well. Please Click Here for Day 2 at Bosque Del Apache
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