First light 


Imperial Valley with Palomar Audubon!
Jan 04, 2004 
Guide - Bob Miller

An evening of fine food, a great day of birding and a caravanning success with a fantastic group of birders! 

species (list follows at end of page)

Click on thumbnail pictures for full-sized shots.

Canada Geese 

Dinner at the Steak House at Calipatria Inn was superb and the company was great.  First light of morning found us headed for the Algae Farm.  These Canada Geese were a nice sight as we searched to rocky edges.  

The Wandering Tattler made a showing and we had just gotten the Ruff in all of the scopes when it jumped up and never slowed down as it went into the sunrise.  The temperature seemed to take a dive as we were watching for Longspur's and there was little happening as we shivered there. We picked up several good doves as we swung back through Calipatria and after a little patience the Ruddy Ground-Doves made an appearance to round out the list. 

The Ruff goes away

The Ground-Dove search

Same search!



Carnivorous Bermuda Grass

A Shot-eared Owl jumped up from the grass field as we walked for pipits.  We soon had a possible and everyone had marked the spot.  We all converged and found nothing!  We had another possible and immediately converged on it.  Nothing!? 

Tricky birds in three inch dry grass for sure.  We finally got on this second one though and it was a beautifully plain Sprague's Pipit. Even at 20 to 40 feet it was still hard to follow it.

Scope sculpture 

The long walk

We ended up with scopes littered across the field as this bird moused it way through the grass. Lunch was at the Sonny Bono Salton Sea NWR where we had fun sorting out white geese in flight.  Time was going fast so headed for Obsidian Butte.

Just as we were getting ready to leave the butte we caught sight of a large immature looking bird in flight that promptly disappeared so we backtracked. I caught sight of the head of the imm Yellow-footed Gull at the same time it saw me so we all ran up the slope to see it going away. As we did an adult flew out and perched!  

Yellow-footed Gull

Reddish Egret

As we were watching it a second adult Yellow-footed Gull flew right by which was really exciting.  Moving on we had the Reddish Egret near the end of Lack Road and about 20 Sandhill Cranes at Unit One.  A coyote went by as we watched Burrowing Owls.  It was then time to part company.  Andy, Warren and I continued for another quarter mile and had an American Bittern jump up!  Thanks for a great day all.
Imperial Valley  Jan 02, 2004
  1. Pied-billed Grebe

  2. Eared Grebe

  3. Clark's Grebe

  4. Double-crested Cormorant

  5. American Bittern

  6. Great Blue Heron

  7. Great Egret

  8. Snowy Egret

  9. Reddish Egret

  10. Cattle Egret

  11. White-faced Ibis

  12. Turkey Vulture

  13. Snow Goose

  14. Ross's Goose

  15. Canada Goose

  16. American Wigeon

  17. Mallard

  18. Northern Shoveler

  19. Green-winged Teal

  20. Redhead

  21. Ring-necked Duck

  22. Common Goldeneye

  23. Hooded Merganser

  24. Ruddy Duck

  25. Northern Harrier

  26. Sharp-shinned Hawk

  27. Red-tailed Hawk

  28. American Kestrel

  29. Peregrine Falcon

  30. Common Moorhen

  31. American Coot

  32. Sandhill Crane

  33. Black-bellied Plover

  34. Killdeer

  35. Mountain Plover

  36. Black-necked Stilt

  37. American Avocet

  38. Greater Yellowlegs

  39. Lesser Yellowlegs

  40. Willet

  41. Wandering Tattler

  42. Spotted Sandpiper

  43. Long-billed Curlew

  44. Marbled Godwit

  45. Western Sandpiper

  46. Least Sandpiper

  1. Ruff

  2. Long-billed Dowitcher

  3. Ring-billed Gull

  4. Herring Gull

  5. Yellow-footed Gull

  6. Rock Pigeon

  7. Eurasian Collared-Dove

  8. White-winged Dove

  9. Mourning Dove

  10. Inca Dove

  11. Common Ground-Dove

  12. Ruddy Ground-Dove

  13. Greater Roadrunner

  14. Burrowing Owl

  15. Short-eared Owl

  16. White-throated Swift

  17. Belted Kingfisher

  18. Northern Flicker

  19. Black Phoebe

  20. Say's Phoebe

  21. Loggerhead Shrike

  22. Horned Lark

  23. Tree Swallow

  24. Barn Swallow

  25. Verdin

  26. Cactus Wren

  27. Marsh Wren

  28. Western Bluebird

  29. Northern Mockingbird

  30. European Starling

  31. American Pipit

  32. Sprague's Pipit

  33. Orange-crowned Warbler

  34. Yellow-rumped Warbler

  35. Spotted Towhee

  36. Abert's Towhee

  37. Brewer's Sparrow

  38. Vesper Sparrow

  39. Lark Sparrow

  40. Savannah Sparrow

  41. White-crowned Sparrow

  42. Red-winged Blackbird

  43. Western Meadowlark

  44. Brewer's Blackbird

  45. Great-tailed Grackle

  46. House Finch

  47. House Sparrow

Photos Bob Miller