The White Mountain Audubon Society’s first Thursday bird walk will be held on February 1 at Pintail Lake. Birders will meet in the parking area at 8:00 a.m. Access is on a gravel road that is an east turn off Hwy 77, 3.5 miles from Hwy 60 in Show Low. Bring binoculars.
Did you know that birds like to feed on the plants, insects, and invertebrates in the nutrient-rich waters of sewage end-product ponds? Did you know that Pintail Lake was the first waterfowl marsh utilizing treated wastewater in AZ? It began in 1977 as a joint venture between Arizona Game and Fish, the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest, and the City of Show Low. The wildlife area is north of Show Low off Hwy 77.
Pintail Lake (the Allan Severson Memorial Wildlife Area) uses Show Low secondary treated effluent, and there are seldom any odors. It covers ~50 acres of water within a fenced area of 250 acres, much of it visible from a viewing platform and a covered blind – both with seating. It offers handicap-accessible parking and sidewalks of ~1/2 mile.
Pintail Lake is the #6 ebirding hotspot in Navajo County, with 188 species logged there over the years. The wintering birds likely to be seen now include waterfowl such as American Coot, Canada Goose and Mallard, Bufflehead, Canvasback, Gadwall, Redhead, American Wigeon, Lesser Scaup, Northern Shoveler, Northern Pintail, Cinnamon and Green-winged Teal, Ruddy, and Ring-necked Ducks. Although it is a multi-use recreational area open to duck hunters, that season is now closed.
Those who attend the walk also might see the Northern Harrier, Red-tailed Hawk, Common Raven, Northern Flicker, Woodhouse’s Scrub-Jay, Juniper Titmouse, Red-winged Blackbird, Marsh Wren, American Robin, Townsend’s Solitaire, Western and Mountain Bluebirds, White-crowned and Song Sparrows, Dark-eyed Juncos of various sub-species, and an occasional Bald Eagle.
If the walk must be rescheduled because of weather or ice and snow conditions, it will be announced on the White Mountain Audubon Society Facebook page on January 31.
Let’s go birding!
White Mountain Audubon Society
PO Box 3043
Pinetop AZ 85935
Contact: Mary Williams, President