The big mix!


Southern California w/ Robert & Janet
Dec 09-13, 2003 
Guide Bob Miller
Day One

Four days of target birding from below sea level and over the peaks then down the coast! 

species (list follows at end of page)

Click on thumbnail pictures for full-sized shots.

Calipatria, CA 
We actually started our trip the night before as Robert joined Lea Anne, Sandy, Kathi and I on a search for Western Screech-Owls in Brawley.  We heard two and had some eye-shine!  Home base for the first two nights was the Calipatria Inn.  Robert snapped a nice pic of our city's claim to fame.  The flagpole is currently draped with Christmas lights and can be seen for miles.
Our first targets were Mountain Plover and Chestnut-collared Longspurs which we found just east of town on a clear, brisk morning.  Long-billed Curlews and Cattle Egrets joined us in the field and the field over was being irrigated which brought in lots of gulls and Greater Yellowlegs.

Mountain Plover

Robert and Janet 
Janet spotted a lone female Mountain Bluebird that posed nicely.  It even perched within ten feet of Robert, allowing him to get the quick shot below! The next stop was Sperry and Eddins where we loaded up on doves and had nice looks at Ruddy Ground-Dove.

Mountain Bluebird

Mountain Bluebird


An added treat at Cattle Call Park in Brawley was this Gray Flycatcher which was just as beautiful if not as bright as this brilliant male Vermilion Flycatcher in the same area.  On to the Salton Sea where we saw the "large-billed" subspecies of the Savannah Sparrow.

Gray Flycatcher

Vermilion Flycatcher

"Large-billed" Savannah Sparrow 

As we continued along the sea wall, I noticed the Reddish Egret flying alongside us and as I was calling it out, Robert was calling out the adult Yellow-footed Gull that was flying even closer alongside us!!  Great way to spot a lifer!  We stopped and set up our scopes and quickly picked out a first-year and second-year Yellow-footed Gull also.  

Yellow-footed Gull

Mew Gull
As we continued around the corner we were surprised by an adult Mew Gull that circled in front of us for great looks at another lifer!  A little farther and we came on the same Yellow-footed Gulls but know there were two first-year birds!  These might well be the only YFGU wintering here this year. Robert was able to digiscope the nice shot of the adult below and he also stepped out and got a nice shot of the two young and the adult together.

Yellow-footed Gulls 

Yellow-footed Gull

Click here to continue on to Day Two
Southern California  Dec 09-13, 2003
Target species
  1. Common Loon

  2. Pied-billed Grebe

  3. Eared Grebe

  4. Western Grebe

  5. Clark's Grebe

  6. American White Pelican

  7. Brown Pelican

  8. Brandt's Cormorant

  9. Double-crested Cormorant

  10. Pelagic Cormorant

  11. Great Blue Heron

  12. Great Egret

  13. Snowy Egret

  14. Little Blue Heron

  15. Reddish Egret

  16. Cattle Egret

  17. Green Heron

  18. Black-crowned Night-Heron

  19. White-faced Ibis

  20. Turkey Vulture

  21. Greater White-fronted Goose

  22. Canada Goose

  23. Gadwall

  24. Eurasian Wigeon

  25. American Wigeon

  26. Mallard

  27. Blue-winged Teal

  28. Cinnamon Teal

  29. Northern Shoveler

  30. Northern Pintail

  31. Green -winged Teal

  32. Lesser Scaup

  33. Harlequin Duck

  34. Surf Scoter

  35. Bufflehead

  36. Ruddy Duck

  37. Osprey

  38. Northern Harrier

  39. Sharp-shinned Hawk

  40. Cooper's Hawk

  41. Red-shouldered Hawk

  42. Red-tailed Hawk

  43. American Kestrel

  44. Wild Turkey

  45. California Quail

  46. Gambel's Quail

  47. American Coot

  48. Killdeer

  49. Mountain Plover

  50. American Avocet

  51. Greater Yellowlegs

  52. Lesser Yellowlegs

  53. Willet

  54. Long-billed Curlew

  55. Marbled Godwit

  56. Ruddy Turnstone

  57. Black Turnstone

  58. Surfbird

  59. Sanderling

  60. Least Sandpiper

  61. Long-billed Dowitcher

  62. Bonaparte's Gull

  63. Heermann's Gull

  64. Mew Gull

  65. Ring-billed Gull

  66. California Gull

  67. Herring Gull

  68. Yellow-footed Gull

  69. Western Gull

  70. Glaucous-winged Gull

  71. Caspian tern

  72. Elegant Tern

  1. Forster's Tern

  2. Rock Pigeon

  3. Eurasian Collared-Dove

  4. White-winged Dove

  5. Mourning Dove

  6. Inca Dove

  7. Common Ground-Dove

  8. Ruddy Ground-Dove

  9. Greater Roadrunner

  10. Western Screech-Owl

  11. Burrowing Owl

  12. White-throated Swift

  13. Anna's Hummingbird

  14. Costa's Hummingbird

  15. Belted Kingfisher

  16. Lewis's Woodpecker

  17. Acorn Woodpecker

  18. Gila Woodpecker

  19. Red-naped Sapsucker

  20. Red-breasted Sapsucker

  21. Nuttall's Woodpecker

  22. White-headed Woodpecker

  23. Northern Flicker

  24. Gray Flycatcher

  25. Black Phoebe

  26. Say's Phoebe

  27. Vermilion Flycatcher

  28. Cassin's Kingbird

  29. Scissor-tailed Flycatcher

  30. Western Scrub-Jay

  31. American Crow

  32. Common Raven

  33. Horned Lark

  34. Barn Swallow

  35. Mountain Chickadee

  36. White-breasted Nuthatch

  37. Pygmy Nuthatch

  38. Cactus Wren

  39. Bewick's Wren

  40. Ruby-crowned Kinglet

  41. Blue-gray Gnatcatcher

  42. California Gnatcatcher

  43. Western Bluebird

  44. Mountain Bluebird

  45. American Robin

  46. Northern Mockingbird

  47. Sage Thrasher

  48. California Thrasher

  49. Le Conte's Thrasher

  50. European Starling

  51. American Pipit

  52. Cedar Waxwings

  53. Phainopepla

  54. Yellow-rumped Warbler

  55. Spotted Towhee

  56. California Towhee

  57. Chipping Sparrow

  58. Lark Sparrow

  59. Sage Sparrow

  60. Savannah Sparrow (+ large-billed)

  61. Lincoln's Sparrow

  62. White-crowned Sparrow

  63. Golden-crowned Sparrow

  64. Dark-eyed Junco

  65. Chestnut-collared Longspur

  66. Red-winged Blackbird

  67. Tricolored Blackbird

  68. Western Meadowlark

  69. Brewer's Blackbird

  70. Great-tailed Grackle

  71. House Finch

  72. House Sparrow

Photos Bob Miller