Roseate Skimmer at Salton Sea 


San Diego Audubon Society's Salton Sea trip
Jan 26-27, 2002 
-Bob Miller

An annual overnight, winter field trip to the Salton Sea and the Imperial Valley.

species (list follows at end of page)

Click on thumbnail pictures for full-sized shots.

Thirty some birders from San Diego, Imperial Valley and Yuma, we all met at the Sonny Bono Salton Sea NWR on a brisk, beautiful morning for a valley wide adventure. Our first destination was Blair Rd. where we had Mountain Plover...and Prairie Falcon...hhmmm.

Burrowing Owl

We spotted this Burrowing Owl was in it's den on our way to the Salton Sea. Lesser and Greater Yellowlegs gave us comparison views with Stilt, Least and Western  Sandpipers at Obsidian Butte.

We worked our way along the sea wall back to the SBSSNWR for a picnic, with most people opting to sit out in the sun rather than in the picnic area. A bit cool under there! This nice Sharp-shinned Hawk checked us out from atop the visitors center.

Sharp-shinned Hawk

Watching Sandhill Cranes

After lunch we birded our way down to the New River Wetlands project for many participants first visit to the site. The birding was so good we were a bit late catching the Sandhill Cranes flying out of the granary. 



We got to the grain warehouse just as another large Audubon group was leaving. The Sandhills this time of year have a couple roosts that they prefer. The other group was headed for Dogwood Rd. so we headed for Osterkamp Ponds. Besides, I know the shortcuts! ;- We arrived in time to see a good number of Sandhills fly in to roost. Dinner at Su Casa afterwards was superb!


Hey Jeff

Lesser Nighthawk

Sunrise the next morning found us eyeing Lesser Nighthawks, Loggerhead Shrike and Black-tailed Gnatcatchers at Finney Lake. From there we wound our way into Brawley's Riverview Cemetery which was notoriously un-birdy this year. 

We all parted ways from here so Jeff and I went to the north end and explored our way down from Wister Waterfowl Area. We birded down Davis to English and ended up back at Finney Lake for a most spectacular (typical) Imperial Valley sunset!!

Loggerhead Shrike

Sunset on Finney Lake

Salton Sea & Imperial Valley, Jan. 26-27, 2002

Pied-billed Grebe
Eared Grebe
Western Grebe
Clark's Grebe
American White Pelican
Brown Pelican
Double-crested Cormorant
Great Blue Heron
Great Egret
Snowy Egret
Cattle Egret
Green Heron
Black-crowned Night-Heron
White-faced Ibis
Greater White-fronted Goose
Snow Goose
Ross's Goose
American Wigeon
Green-winged Teal
Northern Pintail
Cinnamon Teal
Northern Shoveler
Lesser Scaup
Ruddy Duck
Turkey Vulture
Northern Harrier
Sharp-shinned Hawk
Cooper's Hawk
Red-shouldered Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk
American Kestrel
Prairie Falcon
Peregrine Falcon
Gambel's Quail
Sandhill Crane
Virginia Rail
Common Moorhen
American Coot
Black-necked Stilt
American Avocet
Mountain Plover
Long-billed Dowitcher
Marbled Godwit
Long-billed Curlew
Greater Yellowlegs
Lesser Yellowlegs
Spotted Sandpiper
Western Sandpiper
Least Sandpiper


Stilt Sandpiper
Ring-billed Gull
California Gull
Herring Gull
Bonaparte's Gull
Caspian Tern
Forster's Tern
Rock Dove
Mourning Dove
Common Ground-Dove
Greater Roadrunner
Burrowing Owl
Lesser Nighthawk
Anna's Hummingbird
Belted Kingfisher
Gila Woodpecker
Ladder-backed Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Black Phoebe
Say's Phoebe
Vermilion Flycatcher
Tree Swallow
Northern Rough-winged Swallow
Cliff Swallow
American Pipit
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Marsh Wren
Northern Mockingbird
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
Black-tailed Gnatcatcher
Loggerhead Shrike
Common Raven
European Starling
Orange-crowned Warbler
Yellow-rumped Warbler
American Redstart
Common Yellowthroat
Spotted Towhee
Abert's Towhee
Chipping Sparrow
Brewer's Sparrow
Vesper Sparrow
Savannah Sparrow
Song Sparrow
White-crowned Sparrow
Dark-eyed Junco
Red-winged Blackbird
Western Meadowlark
Brewer's Blackbird
Great-tailed Grackle
House Finch
House Sparrow

Photos Bob Miller