Join us to observe the many wintering birds of South-
Central New Mexico
John Drummond Joins Front Range Birding and
Nestling Tours as guide for Bosque del Apache.
John Drummond could be described as an avid bird
watcher as he is approaching 6,500 bird species on
his world bird list and has
birded in 25 countries (including Sri Lanka and South
Africa) covering 6 continents.
John has been a leader, co-leader or has advanced a
number of international trips covering Australia,
Jamaica, Japan, Sri Lanka and
John has a Ph.D. in Inorganic Chemistry from
Southampton University, England, has extensive field
experience on a number of bird
studies, and has spoken to a number of Audubon and
other ornithological groups.
We are extremely fortunate to have John join us on the
trip to New Mexico. His expertise will add a great deal
to the overall quality of the birding
Here is a synopsis of the trip .
We will leave the Denver Metro area at 6 AM on Friday
February, 20 for New Mexico. At 6 AM, We will enjoy a
few select 10 to 30 minute bird-
watching stops along the way to allow for brief stretch
of legs and hopefully a few trip birds. These will often
include a bathroom break as well (or primarily for that
purpose). We will need to make fairly decent time to
arrive in the Albuquerque area by about 2 PM.
By about 2 PM, we will begin the drive up to Crest
House in the Sandia Crest National Forest area.
will have some good birding along way through forest
area (maybe Red Crossbills, Pine Grosbeaks, and
certainly other mountain species, such as Pygmy
Nuthatches, Stellar's Jays, Mountain Chickadees,
maybe Evening Grosbeaks). Sandia Crest is
the "High Point on the Turquoise
Trail". The magnificent summit of the Sandia Mountain
has an elevation 10,678 feet. The view from the
observation deck is awe-inspiring. Information and
refreshments are available. Venture into the Sandia
Mountain Wilderness to hike through aspen glades
and across flowering meadows on a well-marked trail
system. From mid November through March three
species of Rosy Finch call Sandia Crest home,
making the area an ideal destination for bird-watchers.
After supper, we will drive another 60 to 90 minutes to
Socorro. We should arrive at the hotel by
about 9 PM.
We will have two hotel options (see trip budget) in
Socorro for the night.
Saturday, February 21, 2009:
We will leave the hotel at about 7:30 AM after we have
had breakfast. A smaller group may want to leave
earlier to catch the Sandhill Cranes as they fly
the morning (likely leaving at 5:50 AM).
We should arrive at the Bosque del Apache
National Wildlife Refuge, recognized on several
as one of the top 20 birding hot spots in the United
States, at about 8:00 AM. During a full day, you can
nearly bird the entire area. Bosque del Apache is
Spanish for "woods of the
Apache," and is rooted in the time when the Spanish
observed Apaches routinely camped in the riverside
forest. Since then the name has come to mean one of
the most spectacular national wildlife refuges in North
America. Here, tens of thousands of birds--including
sandhill cranes, Arctic geese, and many kinds of
ducks--gather each autumn and stay through the
winter. Feeding snow geese erupt in explosions of
wings when frightened by a stalking coyote, and at
dusk, flight after flight of geese and cranes return to
roost in the marshes
Sunday, February 22, 2009:
Some of the group may want an early start back at the
Bosque to catch the Sandhill Cranes as they fly out in
the morning. At 5:50 AM, the Crane enthusiasts will
need to start the 30 minute drive and to catch the
Cranes as they fly out at about sunrise (6:45 AM).
The rest of the group may choose to stay at the hotel
(and catch up on their sleep). By 8:30 AM, we will head
back towards Albuquerque and the Rio Grande
Nature Center State Park. We expect to get easy
viewing of the beautiful woodduck and New
State Bird the roadrunner.
After spending the rest of the morning birding at the
Rio Grande Nature Center, we will have lunch just
around noon. By 12:30, we will continue our drive back
to Colorado. We will have time for a few short bird
watching stops along the way (10 to 30 minutes) with
the goal of arriving back in Denver between 8 PM and
Click Here to learn more about our Bosque del Apache trip!