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January 29th, 2014
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Whitewater Draw

Back at Whitewater Draw today, I didn’t find any ground-doves, but they are probably still around. I also missed the Greater White-fronted Geese, but did see the following:

I finally saw the white goose flock at fairly close range, for the first time this winter, although most of them were asleep or partially hidden behind cranes. I counted 166 birds in total, of which at least seven (and maybe quite a few more sleeping/hidden birds) were ROSS’S GEESE, six were BLUE SNOW GEESE, with light SNOW GEESE making up the rest.

Ross's Goose

Blue Snow Goose

Three distant CANADA GEESE.
Three GREATER YELLOWLEGS, six LONG-BILLED DOWITCHERS, 20+ LEAST SANDPIPERS.
Continuing GREAT EGRET.
An adult GOLDEN EAGLE, which spooked the cranes at midday.
Two BARN OWLS, one in the barn, another in a tree next to a nearby house. PLEASE keep a respectable distance from roosting owls – your camera is NOT a license to get closer!

Barn Owl

Barn Owl

GREAT HORNED OWL in the owl roost area.
A HERMIT THRUSH under willows towards the western end.
And, of course, 20,000 SANDHILL CRANES!

Sandhill Cranes

Sandhill Cranes, Snow Geese and Ross's Geese

Sandhill Cranes, Snow Geese and Ross's Geese

Classic SE Arizona winter birding at its best.

 

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