Lesser Nighthawk 


Salton Sea & Imperial Valley
Mar 18, 2002 
Bob Miller

A weekend of no pressure, no target, go where you find 'em birding....for my birthday! 

or so! species (list follows at end of page)

Click on thumbnail pictures for full-sized shots.

Linda, Pete, Bob, Kathie

On day one we set the pace. Our first destination was Finney Lake and the birding was so good it took an hour to get there! We had several Greater Roadrunners calling and displaying along the Alamo River. I probably heard a few more than were really there! Aging ears...

The Lesser Nighthawk (top) at Finney Lake was right where it has been for four winters in a row. East of Calipatria we came across this flooded field, a scene that was repeated many times.

Insect control

Brewer's Sparrow

We looped backed into town to rendezvous with Kathie and then headed for the Highline Canal and sparrows. We had great looks at a pair of Black-tailed Gnatcatchers building a nest. Phainopepla, Cactus Wren, Vesper Sparrow and lots of Brewer's Sparrows. 
Back to Calipatria for a late lunch then Kathie was headed back up the mountain and we were headed for the New River Wetlands project.

Scoping another field

Burrowing Owl
 The wind, that had been extreme all morning, became EXTREME and the dust storm was coming on. The Barn Owl was in the "condo" and this Burrowing Owl was next door.

A few Ring-billed Gulls

 We saw a few RBGUs on the way and this Yellow-headed Blackbird was holding nothing back at the wetlands.

Day two started at Johnny's, of course, and then we were looking at an unexpected Green-tailed Towhee at Carter and Fites which also had Abert's and Spotted for an uncommon Towhee day.

Yellow-headed Blackbird

Lark Sparrow

 Along the New River we had a good look at a Rock Wren and Lark Sparrows. This Ground Squirrel got a good look at us. There was a ten% chance of rain and we had all 10 drops of it here. Linda had a seat and enjoyed the view.

Round-tailed Ground Squirrel

Soaking up the sun and the scenery

We hit the jackpot with about 60 Mountain Plover which might well have been the only ones left in the valley for this season. It also turned out to be our most remarkable find because they were foraging in running water and we watched this one take a serious bath!!

Bathing Mountain Plover

Spot-Winged Glider dragonfly

We also had a few dragons but no damsels on the trip. Variegated Meadowhawk and Spot-Winged Gliders that is!

My cake was two pink cupcakes! I probably should have eaten them for the preservatives in them but... ..hhmm... ..they might still be in my pickup.....I think I better get around to cleaning out that back seat as there is a little more than a library piling up back there! Pete, Linda, Kathie, thanks for a great weekend!

Salton Sea & Imperial Valley, Mar. 18, 2002

Clark's Grebe
American White Pelican
Double-crested Cormorant
Great Blue Heron
Great Egret
Snowy Egret
Cattle Egret
Green Heron
Black-crowned Night-Heron
Least Bittern
White-faced Ibis
Green-winged Teal
Cinnamon Teal
Turkey Vulture
Northern Harrier
Sharp-shinned Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk
American Kestrel
Gambel's Quail
Common Moorhen
American Coot
Black-necked Stilt
American Avocet
Mountain Plover
Long-billed Dowitcher
Long-billed Curlew
Greater Yellowlegs
Lesser Yellowlegs
Spotted Sandpiper
Western Sandpiper
Least Sandpiper
Ring-billed Gull
Rock Dove
Mourning Dove
Common Ground-Dove
Inca Dove
Greater Roadrunner
Barn Owl
Burrowing Owl
Lesser Nighthawk
White-throated Swift
Anna's Hummingbird

Belted Kingfisher
Gila Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Black Phoebe
Say's Phoebe
Western Kingbird
Horned Lark
Tree Swallow
Violet-green Swallow
Northern Rough-winged Swallow
Cliff Swallow
Barn Swallow
American Pipit
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Cactus Wren
Rock Wren
Marsh Wren
Northern Mockingbird
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
Black-tailed Gnatcatcher
Loggerhead Shrike
Common Raven
European Starling
Orange-crowned Warbler
Common Yellowthroat
Green-tailed Towhee
Spotted Towhee
Abert's Towhee
Brewer's Sparrow
Vesper Sparrow
Lark Sparrow
Savannah Sparrow
Song Sparrow
Lincoln's Sparrow
White-crowned Sparrow
Red-winged Blackbird
Western Meadowlark
Yellow-headed Blackbird
Brewer's Blackbird
Great-tailed Grackle
Brown-headed Cowbird
House Sparrow

Photos Bob Miller