Monday, March 6, 2023

Whitewater Draw

Willcox/Cochise KOA

Willcox, AZ

March 6, 2023 

We rounded out the week with Friday and Saturday warming up and a decent forecast for the next few weeks.  

We moved all the plants back to the patio and the kitchen looks so bare.  It was nice seeing them inside, but hopefully, patio time is just around the corner and we will be spending a lot more time there.  You might remember, we cancelled our trip to Bisbee last week because of the cold temps, but this week we were good to go for the second part of our planned winter get away.  Since there was no need to rush as we were only traveling 70 miles southeast to Wilcox, we enjoyed the sunrise, an extra cup of coffee, and a nice breakfast before packing a few clothes, the puppies necessities, and some food from the fridge and freezer Sunday morning.   

Sunday morning sunrise

The puppies have always been the best traveling buddies.  But Dover seemed to enjoy it the most for all those years we rolled.  She assumed her usual place on the dash, but instead  of watching the road, she slept.  She does that a lot these days.

The KOA was our choice for our stay.  Yes, it is way close to the interstate and we do hear the trucks, but it does have some is close to things we want to do here as we only give ourselves a 6 hour window (to leave the pups) for our fun stuff, its clean, the sites are quite roomy and long, Jack has a nice place to play ball off leash, and the backyard view is way nice.

Todays outing was a visit to Whitewater Draw.  About two-thirds of Arizona's wintering sandhill crane population roosts at Whitewater Draw.  In 1995, Arizona Game and Fish Dept. purchased the wildlife area (which is open and free to the public) to protect and enhance wildlife habitat in the Sulphur Springs Valley. 

This important Bird Area is approximately 600 acres including an ephemeral lake, marshlands, grasslands and woodlands.  

In addition to sandhill cranes, Whitewater Draw attracts ducks, geese, herons, and shorebirds.  

Peregrine falcons and wintering hawks are often seen hunting, perched in the trees and soaring overhead.  

Todays visit to Whitewater Draw was made even more special as Janna and Mike wanted to go. Thanks Mike for driving ! We had such a nice visit and exploring with friends is way fun !  

It's always a good time with these folks !

Sandhill cranes were at the top of the list, but when we arrived there were none to be seen or heard.  Have they all headed north for the summer?  Not to worry, the Snow Geese will do !

The white band in the middle of the photo is Snow Geese.

We saw ducks...




And my favorite duck photo for the day...

A Red-tailed hawk...

A Black Phoebe...

A Warbler, lots of Coots, and more ducks rounded out the list for the day.  As we turned a corner to head back to the truck for lunch, it happened.  The sandhill cranes were returning from their morning was about 11:00 am.  We saw them first, then heard them.  The numbers have definitely dwindled as I had read that thousands spend winters there.  Thank you to the cranes that procrastinated ! 

When we were packing up lunch, the Snow Geese took flight.  I didn't have my camera close and when I grabbed it, I didn't have time for a good was a sight to see !


There are lots of walking paths, benches, viewing platforms, picnic tables, and a kazillion photo opps around the marsh. It's clean and well maintained and so pretty. The mountains make for a nice backdrop.    

It was an awesome day with friends and birds.  I see another visit to Whitewater Draw in our future...Janna says January is a good time to go.

Our week is off to a great start.  Day 1 is in the books.  Until next time,



  1. Beautiful sunrise to start off your outing. Great friends for the birdwatching hike and Sand Hill Cranes!!! You had a great day.

  2. We boondocked a Whitewater Draw a few years ago and enjoyed seeing the cranes, geese and other waterfowl. That favorite duck photo is a widgeon. The cranes are definitely not up here, we still have way too much snow!

    1. Good morning Jim and Barb….thats funny about the cranes. They must be somewhere in between Arizona and South Dakota! Thanks for the bird ID. I used to spend time researching and looking up the names of birds before I blogged, but haven’t done that in awhile.

  3. We had such a good time with you guys and your photos are awesome! I am so glad the weather has finally changed for the better!

    1. Good morning Janna and Mike. Thank you…it’s always nice to be around water in our neck of the woods. I loved the birds and reflections.

  4. We boondocked there years ago but haven't been back since....perhaps it's time! Love the patterns those snow geese make in flight.

    1. Hi Sue! We definitely want to go back…maybe next year earlier in the winter. We saw tons of cranes fly over this morning. I also love the geese in flight…a site to behold!

  5. Another wonderful get together with Janna and Michael. Looks like a fun time.