- Southeast Arizona Birding Guide, Richard Fray - https://www.arizonabirder.com -

The Stronghold

I spent the day around Cochise Stronghold B&B [1], in the Canyon and driving the surrounding high desert grassland in the Sunsites and Pearce areas of the Sulphur Springs Valley. And for once, the resulting photos were leaning from quantity and more towards quality. I think.

The highlight was a particularly obliging pair of Grasshopper Sparrows on roadside wires at Sunsites/Pearce (Treasure Road, just west of Willcox Road to be precise). It was only the third time I’ve seen this species, and the first time in this part of the valley. And what’s more, they were hopping back and forth on the wires right next to the car and I had the sun behind me…

Some of the winter birds are arriving. There were quite a lot of Vesper Sparrows and smaller numbers of White-crowned and Brewer’s. I was particularly looking for snakes in the valley, and whilst I found a few dead gophersnakes on the road, the only live one scuttled away before I could get a look. I also found a dead Burrowing Owl on the road, which I’ve never seen around there before. I did find these interesting bugs (below), which covered two or three bushes in one spot only. They looked like over-the-top footman-type moths. Or they might be beetles? I have no idea, but will endeavor to find out.

I put the low level of activity in the canyon and around the B&B (relatively speaking in the B&B’s case where there’s always something) down to being a bit in between seasons. But what was there did show itself quite well.

Another great day in Southeast Arizona 😀