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If Trenchmonkey doesn't jump in here I will be greatly surprised.....
So some minor suggestions and comments:
1. November is a madhouse. Arrival of the mass of birds, from cranes to ducks to geese, and lots of raptors. Arrival of approximately 1.43 cameras per individual bird. With over 50,000 birds on any one day, you can guess that it's standing room only in most areas. Pick December or January if possible. February is too late, northern migration is starting for all the species. FYI, I normally visit for a week during the full moon in January.
2. Stay in Socorro. It's only an easy 20 minute drive from the BdA. There is no nightlife, plan on using the evenings for editing your photos.
3. Eat a couple times at the Buckhorn and/or the Owl Bar in San Antonio, just for the admosphere. Besides, if you don't, people will make fun of you. I always skip the chilis on the burgers.
4. Warm clothes are mandatory. When the morning breeze picks up and it is 11 degrees f. it is no fun standing around with a frigid camera in your hands. I highly recommend chemical hand warmers in your coat pockets. Cheap and locally available.
5. Your biggest lens is mandatory. At least a 400mm, 500 would be better, along with a 1.4 telextender. Rent it if you have to. A second body with a 70-200 range zoom is HIGHLY recommended. Take a third lens in the range of 24-120 zoom for wide angle shots of the daily "blast offs" that have thousands of geese taking off nearly simultaneously. If you have an 80-400 zoom, it will work but you will still wish you had a big fast prime lens with a teleconverter.
6. Although Trenchmonkey shoots hand-held, he is a better man than I with the big lenses, plus he lives in the area and gets to shoot there a LOT. I recommend a good tripod with a gimbal mount, plus a nice rest of your choice for "out the window" work as you drive around.
7. Be there early, be there late. Note that the actual entrance has gate hours BUT the first couple miles along the highway as you drive into the refuge generally have birds available that you can work before the place officially opens and after sunset as well. Exactly where changes from year to year as the staff has to rotate which wading ponds and pools have water. PLUS, the extreme drought the last couple of years has definately affected the number of birds present.
8. Lots of deer, coyotes, and other wildlife to photograph. You can no longer go across to the eastern side of the refuge due to danger from the resident mountain lions. However, there are a couple of walking trails available on the southern loop which usually have good bird and animal sightings. Go in groups of at least two people.
If you have specific questions, go ahead and post them and answers will show up.