Burrowing Owl


Imperial Valley & Salton Sea
Jan 19, 2003 - 60-77 degrees 
- narrated by Henry Detwiler

Suzanne and I took Roz and Kleyton on a whirlwind half-day tour of some of the area highlights.
species (list follows at end of page)

Click on thumbnail pictures for full-sized shots.

We started out in Brawley and headed north to Niland to look for sparrows. They didn't disappoint us either--Vesper, Brewer's, Chipping, Savannah, White-crowned, Dark-eyed Junco, and Le Conte's. 

Kleyton, Roz, & Suzanne



Peregrine Falcons off Davis Road
At Wister Waterfowl Management Area we found one of the male American Redstarts, Cinnamon & Green-winged Teal, handsome Northern Shovelers & Pintails, and Abert's Towhees.  And just north of Wigeon Road we found both of the American Bitterns!  Farther south along Davis, we were treated to this pair of Peregrine Falcons hanging out by the old bath house.  They originally had their backs towards us, then the male turned around, and finally the female.  The size difference between the two was marked.

A little farther south and we took in the local geology exhibit. The escaping gases were making some fine mud volcanoes and bubbling away nicely.  From here we traveled south along English Road, where Suzanne spotted a pair of Burrowing Owls along a ditch bank.  They were most accommodating, and allowed us fine scope views and few photos.


Kleyton peering into a mud pot


Also along English Road were good numbers of Mountain Bluebirds, their backs reflecting like pools of iridescent turquoise.  At Eddins and Sperry, we looked for an eventually found the wintering Ruddy Ground-Doves.  Four of them were "hiding" in the mulberry tree next to the house, mixed in with their Inca cousins.

Inca Doves & Ruddy Ground-Dove (right-center)

At the corner of Eddins and Brandt, we saw the Lewis' Woodpecker working away.  Next to Red Hill Marina we studies some shorebirds and a few more waterfowl.  Then we headed back to Brawley and said goodbye to our new friends.

After a lunch at Su Casa, Suzanne and I headed up to the Calipatria State Prison to try for the Sprague's Pipit and some longspurs.  The Horned Lark posed on the side of the dirt road.
Horned Lark

Sprague's Pipit 
Two fields directly east of the Calipatria State Prison we hiked through the bermuda grass field for about fifteen minutes before flushing a little bird.  By watching where it landed, and watching it run through the grass with its head hunched down, we even got some pretty good looks!


Imperial Valley Sunset

Salton Sea & the Imperial Valley, 19 Jan 2003
# Species
1 Pied-billed Grebe
2 Eared Grebe
3 American White Pelican
4 Brown Pelican
5 Double-crested Cormorant
6 American Bittern
7 Great Blue Heron
8 Great Egret
9 Snowy Egret
10 Cattle Egret
11 White-faced Ibis
12 Snow Goose
13 Gadwall
14 American Wigeon
15 Mallard
16 Cinnamon Teal
17 Northern Shoveler
18 Northern Pintail
19 Green-winged Teal
20 Redhead
21 Ruddy Duck
22 Northern Harrier
23 Sharp-shinned Hawk
24 Cooper's Hawk
25 Red-tailed Hawk
26 American Kestrel
27 Peregrine Falcon
28 Gambel's Quail
29 Common Moorhen
30 American Coot
31 Killdeer
32 Black-necked Stilt
33 American Avocet
34 Greater Yellowlegs
35 Willet
36 Spotted Sandpiper
37 Long-billed Curlew
38 Marbled Godwit
39 Least Sandpiper
40 Dunlin
41 Long-billed Dowitcher
42 Turkey Vulture
43 Ring-billed Gull
44 California Gull
45 Herring Gull
46 Caspian Tern
47 Forster's Tern
# Species
48 Rock Dove
49 Mourning Dove
50 Inca Dove
51 Ruddy Ground-Dove
52 Eurasian Collared Dove
53 Greater Roadrunner
54 Burrowing Owl
55 White-throated Swift
56 Lewis' Woodpecker
57 Ladder-backed Woodpecker
58 Northern Flicker
59 Black Phoebe
60 Say's Phoebe
61 Loggerhead Shrike
62 Verdin
63 Marsh Wren
64 Ruby-crowned Kinglet
65 Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
66 Mountain Bluebird
67 American Robin
68 Northern Mockingbird
69 European Starling
70 Sprague's Pipit
71 Cedar Waxwing
72 Phainopepla
73 Common Yellowthroat
74 Yellow-rumped Warbler
75 American Redstart
76 Abert's Towhee
77 Chipping Sparrow
78 Brewer's Sparrow
79 Vesper Sparrow
80 Savannah Sparrow
81 Le Conte's Sparrow
82 Song Sparrow
83 White-crowned Sparrow
84 Dark-eyed Junco
85 Chestnut-collared Longspur
86 Red-winged Blackbird
87 Western Meadowlark
88 Yellow-headed Blackbird
89 Brewer's Blackbird
90 Great-tailed Grackle
91 Brown-headed Cowbird
92 House Finch
93 Lesser Goldfinch
94 House Sparrow


Photos Henry D. Detwiler