Saturday, 7 May 2016

Waders and Wacky Races

Left early doors and drove in darkness back to civilisation and drove to Willcox where we surprisingly found Twin Lakes & Cochise Lakes quite easily. Well, what a great place this was to bird and I only wish we had more time as these two lakes were choc full of birds. The good thing is you can drive right the way around and make the best use of the light as the sun was still quite low and in our eyes to begin with. But as soon as we pulled up we could see Wilson’s Phalaropes everywhere and I guesstimated around 100+ with birds spinning in circles literally everywhere you looked. But do you have any idea how difficult it is to get a photo of this bird spinning 360 degrees at 90 mph...? There were also a few Red-necked Phalaropes mixed in with them as well....

Wilson's Phalarope

Wilson's Phalarope

Red-necked Phalaropes 

Wilson's Phalarope

Wilson's Phalarope

It’s a bit tricky to get good pics here as you’re not that close to the birds but they are feeding up avidly on their northward migration and really should be left alone. So here’s a few photo’s from our brief visit as I’ve still got 400+ miles to go to get to the Grand Canyon for an early evening visit… Crazy huh..?

Yellow-headed Blackbirds

We also saw flocks of Yellow-headed Blackbirds here, Western Meadowlark, Horned Lark, Western Kingbird, Brewer’s Sparrows etc. 

American Avocets

Shorebirds were amazing and we racked up Long-billed Dowitchers, Semipalmated Plover, Semipalmated, Least and Western Sandpipers, American Avocet, Spotted Sandpiper, Killdeer, Wilson’s Snipe and Willet

Long-billed Dowitchers


There was also Mallard, Ruddy Duck, Blue-winged Teal, Shoveller, Mexican Mallard, and a female scaup that had the right headshape for a Greater Scaup……

We literally had to tear ourselves away from here and hit the road, a long journey via Tucson and Phoenix before driving through the desert before getting to Flagstaff. And then on to the Grand Canyon, arriving around 5pm where we found it to be a bit on the chilly side but the views were worth all the driving. 

The majestic Grand Canyon

The forecast was for heavy rain tomorrow so this was our best shot and seeing the canyon in all its glory. And what a place huh? So that's pretty much my story of my first visit to Arizona. The following day we nailed Pinyon Jay before heading to the airport and flying home. 

As for me, well it's Canada and the migration spectacle up next....

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