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Brawley and the New River Wetlands
Feb. 23, 2002 
Bob Miller

A few hours of birding in residential Brawley and sunset at the NRW Brawley site.  

31
species (list follows at end of page)

Click on thumbnail pictures for full-sized shots.

With a free afternoon on a beautiful winters, day I headed for the Turkey Vulture roost in search of two Zone-tailed Hawks that had been in the area for several weeks. I did not find them but I did have several Swainson's Hawks ranging from light to very dark individuals. They roosted here for several days before moving on. 


Swainson's Hawk


SW Brawley

You can see from the size of this old Eucalyptus why the Turkey Vultures gather here. You can imagine the mess they make too but for the most part the residents think they are pretty interesting. These trees were some of the originals in this neighborhood and they are near the end of their life cycle and becoming very dangerous. 

Fortunately there is a large grove of younger trees about two miles west of town that has become more popular with the TUVU's and the Great Blue Herons have started a rookery there too! That site is near Fites and Carter Roads. As you can see, there are a good number of birds here every evening!!


Turkey Vultures 


Red-tailed Hawk

Going into the NRW site I was able to get pretty close to this nice looking Red-tailed Hawk and the Burrowing Owl below could have cared less about my passing! 

The Brawley site is not very big but the birding there can be the biggest! Least Bittern are seen on just about every visit. Cinnamon Teal and Redhead are always worth wasting time on!


Burrowing Owl


American Coot

American Coot, Pied-billed Grebe and Common Moorhen around every clump of bulrushes. I had parked on the dike between the first two ponds as that has always been the most likely spot for Virginia Rail.

I spied this Common Snipe napping and it did not seem too concerned about me. After about ten minutes it stood up and gave a good stretch. Sometimes you get lucky with the camera!  Sometimes you don't!!!!!  Just after I snapped this shot a movement caught my eye. 


Common Snipe


Greater roadrunner

A Virginia Rail had walked across the dike and was going into the veg near me!  I was so intently looking into the dark veg when another blur caught my eye. This Greater Roadrunner decided it was not going back the long way and made a dash right by me. I caught this shot without aiming as it threw on the brakes and dodged left to go by me.  Just another boring afternoon of bird watching...
   
Brawley and New River Wetlands, Feb. 23, 2002
  1. Pied-billed Grebe

  2. Eared Grebe

  3. Double-crested Cormorant

  4. Great Egret

  5. Snowy Egret

  6. Green Heron

  7. Least Bittern

  8. Cinnamon Teal

  9. Redhead

  10. Ruddy Duck

  11. Turkey Vulture

  12. Swainson's Hawk

  13. Red-tailed Hawk

  14. American Kestrel

  15. Virginia Rail

  16. Sora

  1. Common Moorhen

  2. American Coot

  3. Common Snipe

  4. Spotted Sandpiper

  5. Ring-billed Gull

  6. Forster's Tern

  7. Mourning Dove

  8. Northern Flicker

  9. Black Phoebe

  10. Northern Rough-winged Swallow

  11. Marsh Wren

  12. Blue-gray Gnatcatcher

  13. Yellow-rumped Warbler

  14. Common Yellowthroat

  15. Song Sparrow

Photos Bob Miller