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Bosque del Apache Birding Field Trip
This will be Santa Fe Birdbrains' FIRST group excursion to the amazing Bosque del Apache Wildlife Refuge! All members and their guests are welcome, with the option to either drive down and back in one day, or do an overnight at a local hotel in order to witness the famous fly-outs and fly-ins of the thousands of sandhill cranes and snow geese that spend their winters at the Bosque. An overnight trip (24 hours) is HIGHLY recommended. You won't be rushed and you'll get the benefit of early morning and early evening birding excitement. The Bosque is about 2 hours south of Santa Fe, straight down I-25. Hope to see you! —Amy **IMPORTANT: Everyone who attends is expected to make their own travel arrangements, including transportation down and back, and hotel accommodations if needed. More on this below. What We'll Do (suggested itinerary only; subject to change and discussion): Saturday, Dec. 29 12:00: Meet at the Visitors Center and get entrance tickets to the Refuge ($5 per vehicle per day; bring CASH) 12:30: Caravan to the entrance to the South Loop and drive the South Loop slowly together, stopping as desired to spot and photograph 2:00: Free time for each party to explore, perhaps the North Loop by car or any of the many hiking trails (see link below) 4:00–5:00: Regroup, probably along the North Loop, to witness the fly-in (time may vary; when we check in we'll ask the Visitors Center staff for their recommendations for best time and location to set up) 5:30ish: Back to hotels to clean up and relax. Shall we meet later somewhere for dinner? Sunday, Dec. 30 6:00 AM?: Meet back at the Bosque for the early morning fly-out. Note that depending on what the park staff recommends, this time might be earlier or later. It is VERY dark during the fly-out, and cold. Dress warmly. (Keep your hotel check-out time in mind as you leave this morning; if you don't think you'll be able to make it back in time, you might want to check out now.) Not up for the fly out? Enjoy some breakfast and join us in the park at 8:00. 8:00 AM: Car swap! Let's meet at the entrance to the South Loop and mix up our traveling companions for a driving tour of the North Loop. 10:00: Optional: Rio Grande Trail walk (1.7 miles). Follow your refuge map to the location. Not up for the walk? Feel free to explore. 11:30: Things quiet down mid-day at the Bosque, but there's still plenty to see—deer, javelina, and other non-bird wildlife. Use this time to explore and revisit areas as you like, eat lunch, or begin the drive home. PARK INFO, RULES, and DIRECTIONS: https://www.fws.gov/refuge/Bosque_del_Apache/visit/plan_your_visit.html PET POLICY: https://www.fws.gov/refuge/bosque_del_apache/pets.html HIKING TRAILS: https://www.fws.gov/refuge/bosque_del_apache/visit/activities/trails.html MAP: On this page, look for "Additional Maps" and download the Audio Tour Loop and Trails Map https://www.fws.gov/refuge/Bosque_del_Apache/map.html ACCOMMODATIONS: Most of the closest hotels are in Socorro, about 20 minutes from the entrance to the Refuge. I stayed at the Comfort Inn last year and found it very comfortable. It also has easy access to the interstate. RESTAURANTS: Also mostly located in Socorro. There are no restaurants or dining places inside the Refuge; bring your own lunch and snacks. BRING: Binoculars, warm clothes, gloves!, snacks, water, photography equipment, folding chairs, sturdy walking or hiking shoes

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    What we're about

    Santa Fe's beautiful trails, preserves, and greenbelts offer excellent birding opportunities in all four seasons. Let's get together once or twice a month for some light hiking, birdwatching, and fellowship. Warmly open to all levels of birders who are interested in learning more about the birds of Northern New Mexico, or who want to share their knowledge with others. We are gently (and equally) educational and social!

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