Reddish Egret


Imperial Valley & the Salton Sea
4 Jan 2004, 36-60 degrees
- narrated by Henry Detwiler

A chilly, birdy New Year's visit to the Imperial Valley to search for some regional targets 

Click on thumbnail pictures for full-sized shots.

Al and I met Mary Muchowski at Cattle Call Park shortly after 7:00am, and boy was it cold!  Still, we headed out to find our targets.  We were well rewarded with this handsome Vermilion Flycatcher, and with good views of the Zone-tailed Hawk in the center of the huge eucalyptus tree north of the park.

Vermilion Flycatcher

Mew Gull at the Salton Sea, at the first bend in the Sea wall north of the pond at Lack & Lindsey

Mew Gull

Al & Mary were quite happy we found this Mew Gull, since it was a lifer for both of them.  It was just north of the pond at Lack & Lindsey, right were Bob said it would be!

And not twenty feet from the gull, this Reddish Egret was watching the water pour in from a drain, waiting for a meal.  It was far too intent on finding lunch to be worried about me.
Reddish Egret


Forster's Terns at the end of Garst Road, next to Red Hill Marina

Forster's Tern

While Al was enjoying his second lifer of the day--Ruddy Turnstones-- through the scope, I concentrated on these graceful Forster's Terns.

Other shorebirds we saw included Greater & Lesser Yellowlegs, and these beautiful Avocets.  But the rarest one for the day was the Wandering Tattler we saw again at the Algae Farm on Hoober, just east Hwy 111.

American Avocets

American Crow

A flock of some dozen American Crows came as a total surprise, since they're quite rare in the Imperial Valley. These were the first ones we'd ever seen here.

As the afternoon closed in on us, we flushed a Sprague's Pipit out of a Bermuda Grass field, getting some great views with binos.  And as we drove out along a ditch bank, we were surprised to find this American Bittern, pretending to be a reed!  It had turned out to be an awesome day!
American Bittern 

Salton Sea & Imperial Valley, 4 Jan 2004
# Species
1 Eared Grebe
2 Western Grebe
3 American White Pelican
4 Double-crested Cormorant
5 American Bittern
6 Great Blue Heron
7 Great Egret
8 Snowy Egret
9 Reddish Egret
10 Cattle Egret
11 Green Heron
12 White-faced Ibis
13 Snow Goose
14 Ross' Goose
15 Mallard
16 Blue-winged Teal
17 Cinnamon Teal
18 Northern Shoveler
19 Northern Pintail
20 Green-winged Teal
21 Redhead
22 Ring-necked Duck
23 Common Goldeneye
24 Hooded Merganser
25 Ruddy Duck
26 Northern Harrier
27 Sharp-shinned Hawk
28 Cooper's Hawk
29 Zone-tailed Hawk
30 Red-tailed Hawk
31 American Kestrel
32 Merlin
33 Common Moorhen
34 American Coot
35 Black-bellied Plover
36 Killdeer
37 Mountain Plover
38 Black-necked Stilt
39 American Avocet
40 Greater Yellowlegs
41 Lesser Yellowlegs
42 Willet
43 Wandering Tattler
44 Long-billed Curlew
45 Marbled Godwit
46 Ruddy Turnstone
47 Western Sandpiper
48 Least Sandpiper
# Species
49 Long-billed Dowitcher
50 Turkey Vulture
51 Mew Gull
52 Ring-billed Gull
53 Herring Gull
54 Yellow-footed Gull
55 Forster's Tern
56 Rock Pigeon
57 Mourning Dove
58 Inca Dove
59 Common Ground-Dove
60 Ruddy Ground-Dove
61 Eurasian Collared Dove
62 Burrowing Owl
63 Anna's Hummingbird
64 Costa's Hummingbird
65 Belted Kingfisher
66 Gila Woodpecker
67 Ladder-backed Woodpecker
68 Northern Flicker
69 Black Phoebe
70 Say's Phoebe
71 Vermilion Flycatcher
72 Loggerhead Shrike
73 American Crow
74 Common Raven
75 Horned Lark
76 Tree Swallow
77 Barn Swallow
78 Verdin
79 Cactus Wren
80 House Wren
81 Ruby-crowned Kinglet
82 Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
83 Northern Mockingbird
84 European Starling
85 American Pipit
86 Orange-crowned Warbler
87 Yellow-rumped Warbler
88 Abert's Towhee
89 Savannah Sparrow
90 White-crowned Sparrow
91 Red-winged Blackbird
92 Western Meadowlark
93 Yellow-headed Blackbird
94 Great-tailed Grackle
95 Brown-headed Cowbird
96 House Finch
97 House Sparrow

Photos Henry D. Detwiler & Bob Miller