If you're heading up north to the White Mountains this weekend to beat the heat, consider stopping by Pintail Lake to do some birding. It's not an all-day destination stop but it is a nice peaceful place to bird. There are no loud boaters, no kids fishing, no jet skis roaring by, and no dreadful ATVs. It is just outside of Show Low, so you will be out the pine trees and into the juniper-pinon grasslands where it is more open and much easier to see birds.
|View of the wetlands from the somewhat weathered viewing platform.|
While there in late April on a brisk and windy day we only saw a few Cinnamon Teal, Mallards, Northern Shovelers, Pied-billed Grebes, and a Great Blue Heron. But there were plenty of Red-winged Blackbirds and Black Phoebes putting on a show for us. If we had a viewing scope with us we might have been able to see if there were any Sora, Virginia Rail, White-faced Ibis, or Black-crowned Night Herons lurking about in distant reeds.
|View from the bird-blind looking at the second pond.|
|Red-winged Black Bird belting out his ever-so distinctive call.|
The official name of this location is the Allen Severson Memorial Wildlife Area / Pintail Lake. Read more about it at the White Mountain Audubon website.
Directions: From the easternmost stoplight in Show Low, which is the junction of Highways 60 and 77 and Penrod Road, go north on Highway 77 for nearly four miles to the signed turnoff for Pintail Lake. Take the dirt road east from the highway for one-half mile to the cindered parking area.