January 1st - 6th, 2018

It’s time for a winter break—join Daniel to photograph in Bosque del Apache Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico, one of the top birding hotspots in North America! Winter is the best time to photograph the thousands of sandhill cranes, snow geese, and various ducks that migrate through the area. Endless photo opportunities in this world-famous wildlife refuge make it the perfect destination to enhance your photography skills. Full moon on January 2nd!

We will sneak away to White Sands National Monument for an evening and morning shoot of these beautiful white dunes. Relax… Transfers, touring, meals, hotel, and one-on-one time with Dan in the field are all included. A perfect long weekend “getaway” with your NE family!

Meet Daniel and Tanya Cox
  • Daniel Cox
Travel Plan
Helpful Information
Explorer Testimonials
  • 2018 Bosque del Apache Bird and White Sands Photography Tour I Travel Plans

    Monday, January 1 (D)

    Arrive in Albuquerque, New Mexico, by 5:00pm. Private transfer provided to the Holiday Inn Express Socorro in Socorro.

    Tuesday, January 2 – Wednesday, January 3 (B, L, D)

    We’ll spend two full days photographing migratory birds and other wildlife in Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge. Morning and evening beverages and snacks in the field.

    Established in 1939, Bosque sits between the Chupadera and San Pascual Mountains at the northern edge of the Chihuahuan Desert. Its 57,331 acres harbors a wild stretch of the Rio Grande and its wetlands which provide critical habitat, protection, and food for thousands of migrating waterfowl throughout the year. A full moon on January 2nd could create some interesting photography!

    November through February is the best time to see the greatest number of birds at the refuge. There is nothing like the sunrise “fly out”—thousands of geese taking off en masse, heading out to fields where they will feed for the day—an experience you will never forget! Shortly after, hundreds of cranes fly out in smaller groups. Additional wildlife opportunities may include bald/golden eagles, great blue herons, pelicans, avocets, and the many other local birds that inhabit the area. Coyotes and herds of mule deer are also known to frequent the area. End the day with the sunset “fly in” when the geese return to the water to rest for the night.

    Overnight Holiday Inn Express Socorro

    Thursday, January 4 (B, L, D)

    Early morning photo shoot in the refuge. Late morning we’ll leave Bosque and make our way toward White Sands National Monument. A special lunch in Alamogordo is on the menu 🙂

    A dramatic landscape composed of sparkling white sand, White Sands National Monument is the world’s largest gypsum dune field. Gypsum is rarely found in the form of sand since it dissolves in contact with water. White Sands rises from the heart of Tularosa Basin which harbors the perfect weather patterns and isolation for this rare natural wonder.

    Along with being a geological phenomenon, White Sands is of historic and future interest as well, surrounded by several military bases: the White Sands Missile Range surrounds the monument, the Holloman Air Force Base lies just to the east, and a few miles north is a space shuttle landing site. White Sands Missile Range is home to the Trinity Site where the world’s first nuclear device was exploded in 1945.

    Take off your shoes and put your feet in the soft, Gulf beach-like sand. The glistening dunes are seemingly endless, melting into the stunning skies of New Mexico—brilliant colors and wave-like patterns blend to create striking visual scenery. We’ll head into White Sands in the early evening to capture the beautiful light and experience a magical sunset as peace and stillness descend upon the desert.  A photographer’s dream come true.

    Overnight Fairfield Inn & Suites Alamogordo

    Friday, January 5 (B, L, D)

    Rise and shine! Back to the dunes for a sunrise photo shoot.

    Spend the morning exploring White Sands. Capture the shifting shadows and textures and allow your creativity to flow! If we’re lucky, we may get to photograph one of the locals that endure the harsh White Sands desert conditions—from birds to mammals to reptiles and amphibians. Look for wildlife tracks in the sand! And we can’t forget the flora of White Sands—cacti, succulents, grasses, trees, and shrubs—the most resilient plants of the Chihuahuan Desert.

    Return to Socorro for one last evening shoot in Bosque del Apache. Overnight Holiday Inn Express Socorro

    Saturday, January 6 (B)

    A final early morning shoot in Bosque before we return to Albuquerque by 10:30am for our return flights home. Please book your return flights no earlier than noon.


    • Guest Limits

      11 guests maximum

    • Trip Cost

      $2250 per person, based on double occupancy

      NON-EXPLORER RATE: Add $250

      Single Supplement: $350

    • Deposit

      $400 Per person due at time of booking
      Visa, MasterCard, AmEx, Discover, or check accepted

      Deposits are non-refundable. If cancellations are necessary, we require this request in writing. We will do our best to resell your space. Only if we can resell your space, we will refund (minus deposit and discounts given to sell your space). No partial refunds are possible for unused services.

    • Installments

      May 1, 2017: $500 first installment
      September 1, 2017: Final payment

      Check only for first and final installments. Please make checks payable to Natural Exposures and mail to:

      Natural Exposures
      810 N. Wallace, Suite E
      Bozeman, MT 59715

    • Included

      • Private tour with Daniel J. Cox with personal photography time together out in the field.
      • Transfers ABQ-Bosque January 1st and Bosque-ABQ January 6th as noted in itinerary
      • Transportation in the refuge and monument  (two 12-passenger vans for group)
      • 7 photo shoots in Bosque del Apache
      • 2 photo shoots at White Sands National Monument
      • 5 night’s accommodations
      • Meals where indicated (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
      • All beverages with meals including wine and beer, coffee, and snacks in the field
      • Permits and fees for Bosque and White Sands
    • Not Included

      • Flights to/from ABQ
      • Travel insurance
      • Transfers ABQ-Bosque and Bosque-ABQ on non-itinerary days
    • Flights to Book

      January 1, 2018
      Arrive Albuquerque (ABQ) by 5:00pm

      January 6, 2018
      Depart Albuquerque (ABQ) after 12:00pm

    • Travel Insurance

      Travel/emergency medical evacuation insurance is not required for this photo tour, but we always recommend purchasing it for any trip. Emergency medical evacuation insurance is affordable and can be purchased for each trip or an entire year and can even be bundled with your regular travel insurance! We recommend one or more of the following, depending on your needs:

      Global Rescue
      (use code natexp)

      Allianz Global Assistance 
      (use travel agency ID F203564)

      Insure My Trip

    • Terms & Conditions

      Natural Exposures cannot control nor is responsible for abnormal weather, natural disasters, or any other disaster that might affect the trip. Travel insurance should be purchased to cover any missed flights or medical problems that may affect/delay your travel. National Parks have the right to change our itinerary.

      By booking a trip with Natural Exposures, you agree to the following CANCELLATION AND LIABILITY POLICY

  • Accommodations for 2018 Bosque del Apache Bird and White Sands Photography Tour I

    January 1-3 and 5, 4 nights
    Holiday Inn Express Socorro
    Ideally located near historic downtown Socorro, NM, the Holiday Inn Express is just minutes from the area’s Municipal Airport.

    During your visit, take advantage of the hotel’s free HSIA, well-equipped fitness center, spectacular indoor pool and whirlpool, 24-hour business center, on-site self-laundry facilities, and complimentary Wi-Fi.

    January 4, 1 night
    Fairfield Inn & Suites Alamogordo
    A great location to explore White Sands National Monument! Thoughtfully designed guest rooms with free Wi-Fi to stay connected during you stay. Fitness facilities include a pool and exercise room. Jump-start your day with hot and healthy breakfast choices like eggs, oatmeal, fresh fruit, yogurt and much more. At the Fairfield Inn & Suites, you will always find the courteous service you deserve, plus all the little things you expect from Fairfield Inn & Suites to help you get it done when you travel.

  • Helpful Information for 2018 Bosque del Apache Bird and White Sands Photography Tour I


    Bosque: Average daily temperatures for January are in the mid-50s, and the average overnight temperatures are around 20°F. Early mornings and evenings will be cool.

    White Sands: Daytime temperatures average 60°F. Evenings are cold, averaging at around 23°F.


    Dan will phone each guest personally prior to trip time to discuss camera gear and make suggestions for what to bring.


    We’ll navigate through the refuge in two private 12-passenger vans—5 to 6 guests per van—allowing plenty of room for each guest and their gear. Hot and cold beverages along with snacks will be provided while on tour during the day.

    PLEASE NOTE: White Sands Missile Range regularly conducts missile tests. During this time, Dunes Drive, the only road into White Sands, may be closed for up to a period of three hours during the tests. The monument is usually notified two weeks in advance of a closure, however, notifications may be received within 24 hours of a missile test. All entry into White Sands is prohibited during missile testing. It appears missile testing is usually in the morning and shouldn’t affect our evening shoot on January 4th. If a missile test is in progress, we can decide as a group if we want to return to Bosque early or, depending on the time, wait until the tests are over to enter the monument before heading back for our evening shoot in Bosque.

    Have a question?

    Have a question about this tour? We're happy to answer any queries you may have.

  • Testimonials from Natural Exposures' Explorers

    • "Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Reserve is an amazing place where birds, such as the sandhill crane, migrate during the winter. Like clockwork thousands of birds arrive in waves during sunrise to a lake. Then after a bit, thousands of birds leave the lake in waves creating incredible photographic opportunities. Then at sunset the spectacle is repeated. And speaking of sunset, one of the most beautiful sunsets I have ever witnessed happened our first evening of shooting. If you like to photograph birds this is the trip for you."

      Fred Kurtz, Indiana

    • "Tanya and Dan’s logistic skills provide a seamless photo tour where one can truly enjoy the experience. With unlimited photographic opportunities Dan’s instruction has taken my photography to a higher level."

      Linda Henry, Oregon

    • "I just wanted to again thank you for a wonderful week of photography and relaxation away from the office. It was a really a good group."

      Sue Wolfe, Texas

    • "What a trip
      What a group
      What a fabulous everything
      To our next encounters with nature"

      Maud and Leon Soriano, Florida

For additional information please contact Tanya at info@naturalexposures.com or by telephone at (406) 556-8212

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