Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Birding Southeast Arizona

Eric writes: Greetings from Tucson,

Keep up to date with my bird list at:

Before my training started for the Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory, I had a single day to bird in southeast Arizona.  I camped in the Chiricahuas in Pinery Canyon but didn't spend much time birding in the mountains. Since it is still early spring, the lowlands have many more birds than any mountainous area.  Due to this, I birded Whitewater Draw Wildlife Area and Cochise Lake in Willcox.  

Mexican Jay-while still in the mountains I saw
many of these
Even though Whitewater Draw had practically no water it was still an amazing place.  Sparrows constantly flitting up in front of you and a nice mix of shorebirds and waterfowl using the small patches of open water awaited at every step.  The raptors overhead only added more excitement to the show.  

I had birded Cochise Lake a few times before my visit and knew what to expect . . . tons of birds everywhere.  I wasn't disappointed but I did find a different mix of birds than when I have been there in the past in the late summer.  Instead of being loaded with shorebirds it was loaded with waterfowl.  Many species of ducks were accompanied by Snow, Ross's, and Greater White-fronted Geese.  Even the passerines put on a show with one McCown's Longspur mixed in with many Chestnut-collared Longspurs and my first of season Western Kingbird.  

A pair of American Wigeons at Cochise.

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