River Ponds/Salton Sea
degrees & very windy
We surveyed the New River Project ponds and then headed to the southeast
corner of the Salton Sea.
species (list follows at end
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.
|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
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.
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.