American Avocets


New River Ponds/Salton Sea
Mar 23, 2002 - 72-80 degrees & very windy
- Henry Detwiler

We surveyed the New River Project ponds and then headed to the southeast corner of the Salton Sea.  
species (list follows at end of page)

Click on thumbnail pictures for full-sized shots.

Al, Helga, Suzanne, and I left just before 7:00, on a beautiful, breezy morning in Yuma.  But be the time we'd crossed the Sand Dunes, the wind was howling!  

Once we'd started walking around the Imperial Ponds, the swallows started moving in.  Mostly Northern Rough-winged and Cliffs, but also a lot of  Tree Swallows with a few Violet-greens and Barns thrown in for good measure. 

Northern Rough-winged Swallows

 Common Moorhen
The Common Moorhens didn't come out of the sedges until just before we left--actually it wasn't until after Al remarked that we hadn't seen any moorhens at all.  Then we saw over a dozen.  Yellow-rumped Warblers were everywhere, as were the screeching Yellow-headed Blackbirds. 

Helga & Al

At the Brawley Ponds (pictured on the left), we had the good fortune to spot a Merlin, a drake Blue-winged Teal, and two Least Bitterns.  The Soras have departed, or are laying low, but we did hear a Virginia Rail.  After lunch we moved north to the Salton Sea, to look for shorebirds and gulls.

Marbled Godwit

At Red Hill Marina we found thousands of American Avocets and lesser numbers of other shorebirds.  This Marbled Godwit was missing one leg, and was next to another one-legged bird.  Perhaps because of the high winds, this was also the favored resting area of tens of thousands of waterfowl.  We'd never seen such a staggering concentration of Shovelers, as was north of the levee road to the marina.

Southwest of Obsidian Butte we observed this immature Glaucous-winged Gull for some time, and then watched as it flew away.  Other nice birds in the area were two Wilson's Phalaropes and dozens of Bonaparte's Gulls.    

Immature Glaucous-winged Gull
New River Project & the Salton Sea, 23 Mar 2002
# Species
1 Pied-billed Grebe
2 Eared Grebe
3 White Pelican
4 Double-crested Cormorant
5 Green Heron
6 Least Bittern
7 Great Blue Heron
8 Great Egret
9 Cattle Egret
10 Black-crowned Night Heron
11 Snowy Egret
12 White-faced Ibis
13 Snow Goose
14 Lesser Scaup
15 Ruddy Duck
16 Redhead
17 Northern Pintail
18 Mallard
19 Green-winged Teal
20 Greater Scaup
21 Gadwall
22 Cinnamon Teal
23 American Wigeon
24 Northern Shoveler
25 Blue-winged Teal
26 American Coot
27 Common Moorhen
28 Virginia Rail
29 Clapper Rail
30 American Avocet
31 Black-necked Stilt
32 Black-bellied Plover
33 Killdeer
34 Lesser Yellowlegs
35 Wilson's Phalarope
36 Willet
37 Whimbrel
38 Spotted Sandpiper
39 Marbled Godwit
40 Long-billed Curlew
41 Least Sandpiper
42 Greater Yellowlegs
43 Dunlin
44 Western Sandpiper
45 Long-billed Dowitcher
46 Caspian Tern
47 Bonaparte's Gull
48 California Gull
49 Glaucous-Winged Gull
50 Ring-billed Gull


# Species
51 Turkey Vulture
52 Northern Harrier
53 Osprey
54 Red-tailed Hawk
55 American Kestrel
56 Merlin
57 Gambel's Quail
58 Ring-necked Pheasant
59 Rock Dove
60 Inca Dove
61 Common Ground-Dove
62 Mourning Dove
63 Greater Roadrunner
64 Burrowing Owl
65 Anna's Hummingbird
66 Black-chinned Hummingbird
67 Belted Kingfisher
68 Gila Woodpecker
69 Northern Flicker
70 Say's Phoebe
71 Black Phoebe
72 Western Kingbird
73 Horned Lark
74 Cliff Swallow
75 Violet-green Swallow
76 Barn Swallow
77 Tree Swallow
78 Northern Rough-winged Swallow
79 Common Raven
80 Verdin
81 Marsh Wren
82 Ruby-crowned Kinglet
83 Northern Mockingbird
84 American Pipit
85 Phainopepla
86 European Starling
87 Yellow-rumped Warbler
88 Common Yellowthroat
89 Orange-crowned Warbler
90 Brown-headed Cowbird
91 Great-tailed Grackle
92 Bullock's Oriole
93 Red-winged Blackbird
94 Western Meadowlark
95 Yellow-headed Blackbird
96 House Sparrow
97 Lark Sparrow
98 Song Sparrow
99 White-crowned Sparrow
100 Abert's Towhee
101 House Finch


Photos Henry D. Detwiler