New Mexico - Sandia Crest and Bosque del Apache
Three species of Rosy-Finches, Sandhill Cranes, Snow Geese
Day 1:  Arrival in Albuquerque

Participants should plan to arrive in Albuquerque by 6 p.m.

Overnight Albuquerque

Day 2:  Albuquerque, Rio Grande , Petroglyph NM
and Sandia Crest

After an early breakfast, we will spend the early part of the
morning on one of the trails in the Petroglyph National
Monument for an opportunity for Rock Wren, Canyon
Wren, Black-throated Sparrow, Sagebrush Sparrow and
Crissal Thrasher. Provided the road is open, we will drive
up to Sandia Crest in the late morning where we will
hopefully study the three species of rosy-finches which
frequent the feeders at the restaurant. Lunch will be at the
restaurant and we will have the opportunity to study the
banding operation which takes place every Sunday at this
time of the year. Good montane birding is available on the
road up and species such as Steller’s Jay, Red-breasted
Nuthatch and Red Crossbill should be added to the list
with a chance for rarer species such as Northern Goshawk
and Clark’s Nutcracker. After lunch we will head down to
walk the trails along the Rio Grande for waterfowl, gulls,
Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Western Bluebird, Black Phoebe,
Say’s Phoebe and Great-tailed Grackle.

Overnight Albuquerque

Day 3:  Albuquerque to Bosque del Apache NWR

Morning birding at a nearby canyon for upland desert and
pinyon-juniper species such as Scaled Quail, Juniper
Titmouse, Western Scrub-Jay, Ladder-backed
Woodpecker, Bushtit, Curve-billed Thrasher, Crissal
Thrasher, Cactus Wren, Canyon Towhee and Townsend’s
Solitaire. After lunch in Albuquerque we will drive south to
Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge to witness the
spectacular evening fly-in of thousands of Sandhill
Cranes, Snow Geese and Ross’s Geese.

Overnight Socorro

Day 4:  Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge

Very early departure from our hotel for a full day at
Bosque and the surrounding area. Dressed very warmly,
we will be at our lookout spot by dawn to observe the
massive departure of cranes, geese and waterfowl from
their nighttime roosts. The rest of the day will be spent
driving the two loop roads in the refuge for grebes, ducks
and raptors including Bald Eagle and frequently Golden
Eagle, Merlin and Ferruginous Hawk. We will also check
out the birds around the Visitor Center, expecting White-
crowned Sparrow, Pyrrhuloxia and Gambel’s Quail. In the
late afternoon we will again be thrilled (and deafened) by
the thousands of cranes and geese returning to the
roosting ponds at the refuge.

Overnight Socorro

Day 5:  Percha Dam State Park, Caballo Lake State
Park and Elephant Butte Reservoir

We will start with an early morning drive south to areas
around Percha Dam and Caballo Lake State Parks, which
have extensive cottonwood riparian and Chihuahuan
Desert scrub habitat. Gambel’s Quail, Greater
Roadrunner, White-winged Dove, Verdin, Black Phoebe,
Chihuahuan Raven, Red-naped Sapsucker, Pyrrhuloxia
and Phainopepla are all likely in these habitats and there
is a very good chance for rarities as well. Caballo
Reservoir hosts thousands of wintering waterfowl, grebes
including Western and Clark’s Grebes, Double-crested
Cormorant, Neotropic Cormorant and numerous Bald
Eagles. Elephant Butte Reservoir also holds thousands of
waterfowl at this time of the year and is one of the best
sites in New Mexico for wintering gulls. A late afternoon
visit to Animas Creek on the way back to Socorro should
produce the uncommon Acorn Woodpecker.

Overnight Socorro

Day 6: Departure home from Albuquerque.

Possibility of a visit to Bosque for the dawn fly out but
otherwise drive after breakfast to Albuquerque airport to
arrive around 10 AM for flights home from midday.
Photo by
Gray-crowned Rosy-Finch photo
by Bill Schmoker
Black Rosy-Finch photo
by John Drummond
Scaled Quail photo
by Bill Schmoker
Phainopepla photo by
John Drummond
Sandhill Cranes photo
by John Drummond
Cactus Wren photo
by John Drummond
New Mexico Birding:
Sandia Crest & Bosque del Apache
Detailed Itinerary
For more information or to register for this trip, call Charles at 888-203-7464 or
Charles directly at 720-320-1974 or by email at
Crissal Thrasher photo
by Judy Liddell
Ladder-backed Woodpecker photo
by Judy Liddell