Sawmill Well (34.147333 N; 107.908425 W) is in Crosby Canyon which is located in northeastern Catron County in west-central New Mexico. The canyon originates just east of the Crosby Mountains and extends about six miles east-northeastward before merging with White House Canyon near the small community of Datil at the intersection of US Route 60 and NM Route 12. Lower elevations within Crosby Canyon is a grassland biotic community with Pinyon-Juniper Woodland dominating the surrounding slopes. Deeper into the canyon the biome type becomes Ponderosa Pine Forest interspersed with Gambel Oak and junipers.
|Sawmill Well & East Sugarloaf Mountain|
The well is located on U. S. Forest Service land and flanked on the north by East Sugarloaf Mountain and to the south by Anderson Mountain, both with elevations greater than 8,700 feet. At first sight the well is not a particularly impressive facility but is a critical water supply for free-ranging cattle and opportunistic wildlife. One of my brief visits to the well produced the following bird species flying in for a drink or to bathe: Mourning Dove, Red-naped Sapsucker, Northern (Red-shafted) Flicker, Western Scrub-Jay, Pinyon Jay, Western Bluebird, Mountain Bluebird, Yellow-rumped (Audubon's ) Warbler, Canyon Towhee, Chipping Sparrow, Cassin's Finch, House Finch, Pine Siskin and Lesser Goldfinch. Being that most local neotropical species (flycatchers, warblers, tanagers, orioles, buntings) had already departed for their winter habitats, imagine what might be seen spring through summer before the monsoon rains arrive. The following photos were taken at the well.
|Red-naped Sapsucker, male|
|Western Bluebird, male|
|Northern "Red-shafted" Flicker, male|
|Mountain Bluebird, male|