Panorama from Obsidian Butte


Salton Sea International Bird Festival
Page One
Feb 14-17, 2003 
Bob Miller

"What a great weekend!", or.. how we endured the "Blizzard of 03"

For Page Two click here , Page Three click here
species (list follows at end of page)

Click on thumbnail pictures for full-sized shots.

Sunset Tour

The Imperial Valley received a desperately needed two day soaking rain and then the sun came out Friday morning for four days of "chamber of commerce" weather! 

Muddy roads meant a few changes in planned routes but the festival's Sunset Tours kicked off a great Presidents Day Weekend of birding and discovery on Friday evening.

Sunset Tour

Cattle Egrets, Northern Pintails...

Obsidian Butte, Fig Lagoon, Sandhill Cranes, pelicans, thousands of ibis and egrets and a million gulls going to roost as the sky turns colors. Typical Imperial Valley sunset!!

Nearly 350 people showed up to share the wonders of the Salton Sea and the Imperial Valley with us. 

Brown Pelicans, Ring-billed & California Gulls

Ray's pontoon  boat

Every morning tours were headed out early in every direction. 

The pontoon boats ran continuously out of Red Hill Marina, past the Alamo River Delta, around Mullet Island and back.

Alamo River Delta 

Mullet Island

Red Hill in the distance, from Obsidian Butte 

This Zone-tailed Hawk at Cattle Call Park in Brawley was one of the rarities seen as were Sprague's Pipits and LeConte's Sparrow in other locations. The Owl Prowl turned out to be extremely popular on Saturday night.  Henry Detwiler and I were concerned about how we would show our three expected owls......

Zone-tailed Hawk 

Barn Owl 116 people!?!  

Some heavy scouting gave us a spectacular game plan to view owls in action...Imperial Valley style! 

Barn Owl was our first target but 100+ people had to wonder what was in store as we lined them up against a very long hay stack in the middle of the night like a firing squad! I walked out into the field in front of the group, laid down and began squealing like  a rabbit. A Barn Owl was over me almost instantly!!  Mud took some of the "spectacular" out of our next two stops but we did get to see our Burrowing Owls and a Great Horned Owl on the prowl.


   Anza-Borrego, Salton Sea & Imperial Valley, Feb. 14-17, 2003
  1. Pied-billed Grebe

  2. Eared Grebe

  3. Western Grebe

  4. Clark's Grebe

  5. American White Pelican

  6. Brown Pelican

  7. Double-crested Cormorant

  8. Great Blue Heron

  9. Great Egret

  10. Snowy Egret

  11. Cattle Egret

  12. Green Heron

  13. Black-crowned Night-Heron

  14. White-faced Ibis

  15. Snow Goose

  16. Ross's Goose

  17. Canada Goose

  18. Eurasian Wigeon

  19. American Wigeon

  20. Gadwall

  21. Green-winged Teal

  22. Mallard

  23. Northern Pintail

  24. Blue-winged Teal

  25. Cinnamon Teal

  26. Northern Shoveler

  27. Canvasback

  28. Redhead

  29. Greater Scaup

  30. Lesser Scaup

  31. Common Goldeneye

  32. Bufflehead

  33. Ruddy Duck

  34. Turkey Vulture

  35. Osprey

  36. White-tailed Kite

  37. Northern Harrier

  38. Sharp-shinned Hawk

  39. Cooper's Hawk

  40. Zone-tailed Hawk

  41. Red-tailed Hawk

  42. Ferruginous Hawk

  43. American Kestrel

  44. Merlin

  45. Prairie Falcon

  46. Peregrine Falcon

  47. Gambel's Quail

  48. Ring-necked Pheasant

  49. Sandhill Crane

  50. Clapper Rail

  51. Virginia Rail

  52. Sora

  53. Common Moorhen

  54. American Coot

  55. Black-necked Stilt

  56. American Avocet

  57. Black-bellied Plover

  58. Killdeer

  59. Mountain Plover

  60. Common Snipe

  61. Long-billed Dowitcher

  62. Marbled Godwit

  63. Long-billed Curlew

  64. Greater Yellowlegs

  65. Lesser Yellowlegs

  66. Spotted Sandpiper

  67. Willet

  68. Ruddy Turnstone

  69. Western Sandpiper

  70. Least Sandpiper

  71. Dunlin

  72. Stilt Sandpiper

  73. Ring-billed Gull

  74. California Gull

  75. Western Gull

  76. Yellow-footed Gull

  77. Herring Gull

  78. Caspian Tern

  79. Forster's Tern

  80. Rock Dove

  81. Eurasian Collared-Dove

  82. Mourning Dove

  83. White-winged Dove

  1. Common Ground-Dove

  2. Ruddy Ground-Dove

  3. Inca Dove

  4. Greater Roadrunner

  5. Barn Owl

  6. Great Horned Owl

  7. Burrowing Owl

  8. Lesser Nighthawk

  9. White-throated Swift

  10. Anna's Hummingbird

  11. Costa's Hummingbird

  12. Rufous Hummingbird

  13. Belted Kingfisher

  14. Lewis's Woodpecker

  15. Gila Woodpecker

  16. Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

  17. Ladder-backed Woodpecker

  18. Northern Flicker

  19. Eastern Phoebe

  20. Black Phoebe

  21. Say's Phoebe

  22. Vermilion Flycatcher

  23. Horned Lark

  24. Tree Swallow

  25. Northern Rough-winged Swallow

  26. Cliff Swallow

  27. Barn Swallow

  28. American Pipit

  29. Sprague's Pipit

  30. Ruby-crowned Kinglet

  31. Phainopepla

  32. Cedar Waxwing

  33. Cactus Wren

  34. Rock Wren

  35. Bewick's Wren

  36. House Wren

  37. Marsh Wren

  38. Northern Mockingbird

  39. California Thrasher

  40. Crissal Thrasher

  41. Mountain Bluebird

  42. Hermit Thrush

  43. American Robin

  44. Blue-gray Gnatcatcher

  45. Black-tailed Gnatcatcher

  46. Verdin

  47. Loggerhead Shrike

  48. Common Raven

  49. European Starling

  50. Orange-crowned Warbler

  51. Yellow Warbler

  52. Yellow-rumped Warbler

  53. Townsend's Warbler

  54. American Redstart

  55. Common Yellowthroat

  56. Abert's Towhee

  57. Chipping Sparrow

  58. Brewer's Sparrow

  59. Vesper Sparrow

  60. Lark Sparrow

  61. Black-throated Sparrow

  62. Sage Sparrow

  63. Savannah Sparrow

  64. Le Conte's Sparrow

  65. Grasshopper Sparrow

  66. Fox Sparrow

  67. Song Sparrow

  68. Lincoln's Sparrow

  69. White-crowned Sparrow

  70. Golden-crowned Sparrow

  71. Dark-eyed Junco

  72. Lapland Longspur

  73. Chestnut-collared Longspur

  74. Red-winged Blackbird

  75. Western Meadowlark

  76. Yellow-headed Blackbird

  77. Brewer's Blackbird

  78. Great-tailed Grackle

  79. Brown-headed Cowbird

  80. House Finch

  81. Lesser Goldfinch

  82. American Goldfinch

  83. House Sparrow

Photos Bob Miller