Home is where we park it... travel blog

Thousands and thousands of Sandhill Cranes wintering at the Whitewater Draw Wildlife...

The start of sunset

Sunset reflecting on the distant mountains

The sunlite sky and birds left me speechless with goose bumps


So many birds


It's nearly dark

Sunrise at Whitewater Draw

Red tail hawk in the distant tree

Ribbons of Sandhill Cranes taking off for feeding grounds


The sun is just starting to come over the mountain casting an...


White Heron still asleep in the weeds

Lots of ducks too

Nancy trying to stay warm

Red tail hawk

Mama hawk

Nancy and I went for a 3 mile power walk in the morning then headed into Old Bisbee for some serious shop browsing. The mix of stores is quite nice. Lots of galleries, higher end gift and clothes. There are also some great consignment/thrift type of stores. Several of them were at least two stories and jam packed with stuff. Nancy picked up a great sweater and scarf for less than $15 and I got a sweater for $8.

An RV acquaintance of Len & Nancy recommended that we go out to the Whitewater Draw Wildlife Area. This time of year the Sandhill Cranes are migrating and use this marsh as an overnight stop. We headed for the marsh late afternoon before sunset. Wow! What a sight.

From all directions, we could see cranes flying in. It is hard to gauge how far out we could see them. But, in the distance the birds would look like black ribbons flying in the sky. Words and photos cannot do justice to what we actually experienced. It was one of the most amazing sights I have ever seen.

Seeing the thousands and thousands of Sandhill Cranes coming into this marsh was amazing enough to peak our interest to see what it would look like in the morning.

So Nancy and I took off at 6 am. The outdoor temp registered 36 degrees and there is a breeze. Just a tad bit chilly. It was still dark when we got to the marsh. A couple with a gargantuan telescope were there. We had met them the evening before. They were very generous letting us look through the lens at some of these incredible sights.

We saw white heron, blue gray cranes, sandhill cranes, several species of ducks, a couple of mule deer and red tailed hawk. There was more but I don't know them all.

The bulk of the birds was the sand crane. They started to move closer to 7 am. As the sun came up, they got louder and louder. There was not mass exit. They let in groups much the same way that they came in.

Pictures and even the video I got cannot describe witnessing this incredible sight. There was only about 8 or 9 of us braving the cold. I would not have missed it for the world. Someone mentioned the number of birds was about 26,000. I think it was way more than that. By the time we left it was nearing 8 am and our hands hurt from the cold. I think we would have stayed longer but the cold was getting to the both of us.

The photo of day was on our way back to the rv park. Along the country road Nancy and I kept spotting hawks sitting on top of the telephone polls which lined the road. We stopped several times to try and get a shot of these impressive birds of prey. Well, we both got a shot of a hawk. Nancy's photo came out really good because of the great camera she has. Mine is not too bad. It is a very special shot of a hawk. See if you can see what is so unique about the photo. I'll give you a hint....the hawk is female.

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