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

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 [1]

Blue Snow Goose [2]

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 [3]

Barn Owl [4]

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 [5]

Sandhill Cranes, Snow Geese and Ross's Geese [6]

Sandhill Cranes, Snow Geese and Ross's Geese [7]

Classic SE Arizona winter birding at its best.