Saturday, June 22, 2013

Bird Watching at Cochise Lakes Willcox Arizona


We took a ride out to Willcox Arizona on business and to get a piece of apple pie alamode at Apple Annie's new country store and decided to make a quick stop at Twin Lakes to check out the birds. I've only been here a couple of times but each time there were plenty of birds to see. Black-necked Stilts were in abundance, perhaps 30 or 40 in all. According to the maps in Sibley stilts summer in a small area of south eastern Arizona and migrate throughout the state. I have seen many here in Tucson at Sweetwater Wetlands. Check out Black-necked Stilts at: http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Black-necked_Stilt/id



There were Kildeers and what looked like plovers but the lighting was very difficult so I can't be sure of an I.D. Also spotted a single White-faced Ibis feeding along the sand bar which can be seen in the photo below. Information on Kildeers: http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/killdeer/id


The following is a description of the area by the Southern Arizona Birding Organization.

"At the northern end of the valley, on the east side of the city of Willcox, is Cochise Lakes (a.k.a. Twin Lakes) a pair of effluent ponds adjacent to the municipal golf course on the east side of the city of Willcox. These ponds, ranging from shallow and ephemeral to deep enough for grebes and diving ducks, provide habitat for a variety of migrant and wintering waterfowl and shorebirds. The ponds are deep enough to support diving species such as Canvasback, Ring-necked Duck, Lesser Scaup, Redhead, Common Merganser, and Western and Clark's Grebe. In winter, Sandhill Cranes can sometimes be seen loafing in the grasslands nearby in the afternoons. This is a very popular birding stop from August through May, but be aware that the route around the lakes is not paved and is treacherous when wet. The city of Willcox has recently begun to develop visitor access to this site; please sign in at the visitor register at the entrance.


As you can see the town has provided blinds for close up watching. The birds on the island are mostly American Avocets which also summer in a small area of southeastern Arizona. Read about American Avocets at: http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/American_Avocet/id

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