Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Avocets and More at Lake Cochise

1. Wilcox lake-kab Lake Cochise in Willcox, AZ 4-27-13

It was after noontime by the time Chris Rohrer and I rolled up the road to Lake Cochise after leaving Texas Canyon. A bright, desert sun shone down from a cloudless sky. The lake spread before us like a sheet of blue glass and as soon as we came over the little rise I pulled over and we were out of the car and counting birds!

2. killdeer-kab This Western Sandpiper and Killdeer were two of the first birds we saw.

3. chrisr-kab Chris in action!

We could see the phalaropes across the lake but before we made it that far around we stopped to find a few Scaled Quail! The quail were in the grasses along the banks of the lake and in the surrounding area. While Chris went one way, I stayed in the car and shot this picture through my open window.

5. scaled quail-kab Somehow the quail managed to stay behind even the smallest blade of grass! What was funny, though was Chris pursuing quail in one direction while they flushed towards me! He was excitedly calling out, “Quail! Quail! Quail!” I just smiled while he ran and shot pictures and I watched three of them run right by me!

6. dust devil-kab All that excitement must have stirred up the atmosphere because this dust devil started heading towards us!

7. yellowlegs-kab I was not put off and photographed this peaceful Lesser Yellowlegs instead!

8. avocets-kab Ahhhhh! Avocets! I love them!

9. ducks-kab This is just a small section of all the bird species hanging around the lake on this day! Chris and I both added numerous species to our Year List and Cochise County List on this day.

10. ibises-kab White-faced Ibises

11. godwit-kabThe Marbled Godwit was a real find!

12. avocet n phaloropes-kab We scanned all the Wilson’s Phalaropes ‘til our eye’s watered but never found the Red-necked Phalarope even though others reported it on this same day. A week or two later Chris went back with Gordon K. and got it on his list but I never managed to see it. If I had, it would have been a Life Bird for me.

13. avocet-kab That’s oaky, I‘m in Love with Avocets and I couldn’t get enough of them!

15. franklins gull-kab We never did find the Baird’s Sandpiper but we did get the Franklin’s Gull!

In the end we were there for 5 hours and counted over 40 species of birds! I drove around the lake two or three times and we stopped at various locations along the way. By the time were were done, we were hot, tired and dusty! I added 8 species to my Year List on this day. Here’s the list! new species seen are in italics:

  1. Gadwall
  2. Mallards
  3. Blue-winged Teal
  4. Green-winged Teal
  5. Cinnamon Teal
  6. Northern Shovelers
  7. Ruddy Ducks
  8. Scaled Quail
  9. Eared Grebe
  10. White-faced Ibis
  11. Turkey Vultures
  12. American Coot
  13. Killdeer
  14. Black-necked stilts
  15. American Avocets
  16. Spotted Sandpipers
  17. Lesser Yellowlegs
  18. Marbled Godwit
  19. Western Sandpiper
  20. Least Sandpipers
  21. Long-billed Dowitcher
  22. Wilson’s Phalarope
  23. Franklin’s Gull
  24. Eurasian Collared-dove
  25. White-winged Dove
  26. Mourning Dove
  27. Peregrine Falcon
  28. Cassin’s Kingbird
  29. Western Kingbird
  30. Horned lark
  31. Northern Rough-winged swallow
  32. Barn Swallow
  33. House Wren
  34. American Pipit
  35. Yellow-rumped Warbler
  36. Chipping Sparrow
  37. Vesper Sparrow
  38. Brewer’s Sparrow
  39. Pyrrhuloxia
  40. Eastern/western Meadowlark
  41. Great-tailed Grackle
  42. House Finch
  43. House Sparrow

16. peeps-kab

Happy 36th Anniversary Gus!

This is for you: Questions About Love


  1. I recently found your site and I have been enjoying it tremendously. Your photos are beautiful. I am a birder with a life list of 352. Your trip to Wilcox looks like it was a lot of fun!!

  2. Another great day birding. LOVE that shot of the Avocets in a row with reflections.

  3. Once again, I am awed at the water fowl in the Arizona desert! I especially like that shot of the Avocet with his orangey head and the orange reflections in the water. Great job!

  4. Nice photos Kathie. Lake Cochise is kind of a weird place, but also a great spot!


Welcome to my nest! I hope you will enjoy spending time here with me and the birds. Thank you for your comments. I will try to get back to you as soon as I get back from counting more birds.