Bosque Del Apache Trip – Part I

Well, after a quick, but wonderful trip to Bosque Del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, we are back and getting things back to normal here. 

The trip nearly didn’t happen.  The distance from San Angelo to Soccoro, New Mexico, the nearest city with lodging, is about 640 miles.  We decided that was too far to try to travel in one day.  After all, in addition to my wanting to do some photography, the three of us are also birders and we tend to get distracted if we see something perched on a telephone pole.  So we decided to stop in Las Cruces , NM and go from there the second day.

We had originally wanted to leave Monday morning, but because we could not get the lodging we wanted, we opted to stay at the Dream Catcher Inn, a bed and breakfast.  But even then, we could get our three night stay only starting on Tuesday night.  So we left on Tuesday morning. 

A good thing we did.  On Monday morning we awoke to no hot water at home.  Our hot water heater was leaking water and had to be replaced.  If we had left on that Monday morning we would have had a mess to clean up after getting home.  So things happen for a reason.

The inn is east of Las Cruces, up near the foothills of the Organ Mountains.

View from our room at Dream Catcher Inn

On Wednesday morning we woke to the view pictured above.  Our hosts, Ken and Anita McLeod, were already awake and had our breakfast ready.  Hot coffee, sizzling bacon, a wonderful egg quiche, and bowls of fruit.  We then hit the road for the Bosque Del Apache NWR.  It was a drive of about 140 miles, but well worth it, as you will see.

At the bosque, you can take a 12 mile self-guided driving tour through the refuge.  You can stop anywhere along the way and there are several observation points.  There are numerous lagoons filled with water birds of all kinds, dead tree snags in the ponds with Bald Eagles perched,  tall trees where you can find many hawks.  At one end of the reserve was a large concentration of several thousand Sandhill Cranes.  It was late in the day by time we reached them, and they were just arriving after spending the day feeding in nearby fields.

Sandhill Crane

I will continue with more in Part II.  More pictures to come.  My monitor crashed  yesterday morning, so I ordered a new one, but it will be a couple of weeks before it arrives.  But I did manage to get another image or two edited besides these.  Click on either one for an enlargement.

36 thoughts on “Bosque Del Apache Trip – Part I

  1. Hello Bob,
    Great story….the duck and the eagle. Next time you will get the shot! Didn’t know you had hurt yourself. Hope all is healed by now. I loved the pic of the Gambil quail. Had heard the name but never seen a pic…beautiful bird. When Jerita and I head out west we will have to stop in at this area.
    See you soon my friend…

    • Hi there, Deb. Thanks for commenting. I must admit that the mountain view was more of a quick snapshot. But thanks for comploments on the crane. I like that one also. I used Ann’s monitor and managed to get a few more ready. Look for Part II hopefully tomorrow. 🙂


    • Hi Jason, We were told that they usually are gone by the end of February so I guess we were lucky. The Snow Geese were already gone. They say the best time to go there is the wintertime, but I am like you, I’d rather catch the warmest part, and I guess we did. The weather was fantastic, highs low 70s. Thanks for writing.


  2. Glad you got to see the Sandhill Cranes…been concerned about you so glad to know that you’ve had such a great trip.

  3. Wow, Bob! Such an amazingly rugged and beautiful scene you awoke to and what a stunning image of the sandhill crane – another bird which hangs our around my neck of the woods in our milder months. You are so right about everything happening for a reason. It’s not always as clear as in your recent experience, but I’m sure it’s always there somewhere. Hope your new monitor arrives soon, I’m looking forward to Part 2.

    • Hi Cindy. I decided to hook up my wife’s monitor. I think I can make do with it. So maybe in a day or two I will have some more pictures. Thanks so much for writing.


  4. Very exciting to read your report Bob! Love both images and glad your trip was delayed sufficiently for you to attend to home matters.
    I’ve learned not to fight against changes, cos there’s usually a very good reason behind it!

  5. What fun to read of your adventures and I am thrilled to see the photo and hear about all of the sandhill cranes you saw. I have never seen more than a dozen at a time on my visits to Citrus County, Florida. Many are year-round residents. When I go back next month I hope to see a few new arrivals as eggs will be hatching.

    Congratulations on another fine blog and of course beautiful photographs.

    • Hi Katherine,

      I also have fun writing about my adventures. There were several thousand of the Sandhill Cranes there. But they will be gone by the end of the month as were told at the visitors center there. I am so glad you enjoy my blog. I hope you keep visiting.


  6. Thanks for the post..makes me want to dig out of the snow and go on a safari (joke between my husband and myself). Love the photo of the Sand Hill Crane. Have you ever attended the Crane Festival in Monte Vista Colorado? Great bird watching and viewing areas. Have a marvelous Monday and Thanks for sharing. Syl

  7. Good morning Bob,
    Enjoyed the story about your trip….look forward to the rest of the story. I have never heard of the NWR you went to. Its a big world out there with lots of great things to see….
    The Sandhill Cranes used to be at our farm in the late fall and part of the winter. There were thousands of them. They were quite a sight to see.
    I hope you and Ann have a great day.

    • Thanks, Johnnie. My favorite monitor crashed, so I have to wait for my new one. I hooked up Ann’s monitor but I don’t like it as well. I don’t feel comfortable with my photo editing with it.


  8. Pingback: Tweets that mention Bosque Del Apache Trip – Part I « Texas Tweeties by Bob Zeller --

  9. Thanks for sharing about your trip – looking forward to reading part 2. And, love the photograph of the crane you shared here. I like that the flock is out of focus in the background, but that you can still kind of make out that there are birds in the field.

  10. What an absolutely beautiful way to start my morning. Thank you for this wonderful article.

    After visiting NM twice last year, we are planning yet another trip in the near future. We can’t seem to get enough of NM, and doubt we ever will. In the meantime, we were trying to figure out where to go next (NM)

    Thanks to your article, I think I’ve got a great idea.

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