Cochise County birding is ranked as one of the best bird watching locations in the United States. During one of his visits, Wezil Walraven told about the Twin Lakes birding location near Willcox and how good it was. Wezil is a bird guide that has taken some of our guests around Cochise County birding. He said that he takes his clients to see water birds at Twin Lakes. Since we were in the area for the Willcox Wine Festival, we decided to go and find out for ourselves what Twin Lakes was like. If you want to see a panorama of the entire lake, Click Here.
The lake is near the golf course on the southwest side of Willcox, in wide open country. The lake is nice size, my guess is that it may be 75 acres and it is kept filled with treated water. There is a wide unpaved road that encircles the entire lake, allowing you to pull off to the side so that you don’t block traffic. There is a sign in book location at the parking lot as you enter. Most of the lake appears to be shallow, although there is some places where water fowl can dive below the surface. You get to the lake by taking AZ 186, which takes you to The Chiricahua National Monument, and turning onto Rex Allen Jr. Drive. A sign for the golf course indicates the way to Twin Lakes.
The lake is large enough to allow viewing room with scopes or cameras and you need not be shoulder to shoulder with other birders. At various locations along the shore, blinds have been erected. The blinds allow you to enter unseen and are near to the shoreline for photography or viewing. It is a nice feature and there is a roof to shade you and viewing slots at various heights. We stopped at a couple of places along the lake to see what it was like at different locations. At one location we saw American Avocets wading in the water with the upturned bills filtering the bottom for some morsels. They wouldn’t let me approach very close as I walked along the shore. I did have a chance for a closer look when we finally were able to get to a blind. At that point, I took a couple of good pictures.
Other birds were there, including some ducks and smaller water fowl but without my binoculars and books I couldn’t properly identify them. We did see Northern Shovelers and Mallards, along with a snipe. Being mid May, I was surprised that there were so many birds still around. I thought that many would have flown north by now. The birds appear to like the area and were quite at home. We did stop at one end of the lake and I got out to take another picture at that location. I didn’t realize it at the time but I spooked a Northern Shoveler with some other birds as I was walking toward the lake while taking a photo. I got the birds just as they were lifting off the lake. When I got home and looked at the pictures, I realized that I had taken a great shot. It is hard to tell with the small digital screen whether you have a good shot or not. Luckily I found that my timing was very good at least once on the trip.
Since Cochise County birding is so good at most times of the year, you need to plan where to go. Down By The River has a list of Cochise County Birding areas to visit. Also part of your plan may include finding a place to lay your head. Take a look at Down By The River B and B, “The Lodging Hub of Cochise County”. We have been hosts to many Cochise County birding enthusiasts and we are the San Pedro River B and B which is centrally located to all of the area attractions. If you look at the Hub Map that we have, you can see the advantages of our location. Hope to see you soon.