Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Outnumbered

Waterfowl above the thousands of Sandhill Cranes
I wasn't necessarily looking for new birds on this day.  I just needed to see the awesome power of birds together.  And I had hoped that the cranes had come back as did many other birders.  I drove down the isolated highway and heard them.  I smiled a big smile and cried out, "YES!"  They're back!
This is quite the drive from Tucson and the place is near Tombstone Arizona.  I had arrived to find thousands of them flying over the cornfields of several farmers.
They'll be with us for the next several months until it warms up again in the North.  I was surprised to find that the water wasn't as full as I had hoped, but the Usual Suspects were all there.  The Northern Harrier, Phoebes, Sparrows, etc.
The cranes do have a routine they follow but some days it changes.  I arrived here around 1 PM and they were all beginning to land.  Most people(including non birders) just come to see the crazy number of Sandhill Cranes gather.  But I was on the lookout for as many species as I could find around the area.
But I did dedicate some time to the cranes.  It is quite magical and won't disappoint.  Just the break I needed from work.
They are loud and can be heard in the skies above as well as around the Whitewater Draw.
I was still shocked by the mosquitoes.  They were still bad here and I did get bit up.  The trip was worthwhile as I discovered a new a bird species to add to my lifelist.  I'll present them in the next day.
This post is dedicated to the art of the Sandhill Crane.  I'm glad they're back.
So if you live in Arizona or are thinking about visiting our state, check this place out.  You won't be disappointed.


26 comments:

  1. Chris, these birds are so impressive and never disappoint. Whitewater draw is a true treasure for the wildlife and for us! Nice pics!

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  2. I would like to visit this place and see, and hear, so many cranes. But not the mozies.

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  3. Hey, the first Snowbirds arriving!

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  4. What an incredible sight to see all those cranes Chris. Our sparrow numbers have declined very much here unfortuneately but i did see a small rare colony in my road recently.

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  5. You've got loads of Cranes in your sights, awesome.

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  6. I have seen one or two Sandhill Cranes together. But seeing a whole flock of them must have been an amazing sight to see and hear. Your photos are wonderful, Chris! Have a great day!

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  7. Wow what a wonderful sight especially for an avid birder like you, Chris.
    You certain did hit the jack-pot.. but sadly not the one you can retire on :(

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  8. What a wonderful spectacle. So glad you caught up with this species. Gorgeous photos. Large gatherings of birds can be so awesome :)

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  9. You got some beautiful shots in this series Chris. I would love to visit that place.

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  10. that would be so great to see. love them against the russet fields.

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  11. What an awesome sight this must be Chris, I'd love to see it and take photos. Looking forward to seeing your new discovery!

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  12. I've never seen a crane in the wild, must be breathtaking! I had no idea they were loud :) Great pictures of a great moment.

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  13. Beautiful birds, must be a site to behold! Enjoy your winter visitors.

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  14. To fascynujące zobaczyć tyle żurawi naraz. Dzięki za cudowne zdjęcia. Pozdrawiam.
    It is fascinating to see so many cranes at once. Thanks for the wonderful pictures. Yours.

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  15. Enjoy those birds Chris, great to here you're totally addicted to birding now :-)

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  16. Yes! I've only seen one Sandhill Crane flying overhead once. I'm hoping to get down to Whitewater draw to see the big 20,000 strong flock this January

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  17. Sandhill cranes are so interesting. I've never seen them in those numbers though. Thanks for sharing.

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  18. Fantastic!! But the trouble with great birdwatching habitats downunder is the add-ons - mosquitoes, sandflies, snakes, heat, humidity, endless bushland ... Doesn't mean it's not fun, though!!!

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  19. What an amazing spectacle Chris! Great images there!

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  20. I always enjoy watching and listening to Sandhill Cranes, great pics!

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  21. Oh Kreesh, that's a lot again. I wonder if the adjective outrageous fits to describe those birds! But i remember now a new term i remember since reading blogs about birds 'murmuration'. I guess that is a European term for those plenty of birds in the sky, and it is certainly an incredible sight. However, i haven't seen something like that.

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  22. Such an enjoyable post Chris! The birds, the colors... Were they noisy?

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  23. We used to go and see the Sandhill Cranes nesting in Richmond BC at the wildlife park, they were pretty amazing.

    Jen

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  24. I was just in that area last weekend and wish I'd known to look for them! I'd love to see a field of these beautiful birds!

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