Southeast Salton Sea  
Apr 15, 2001
0600-1800, Sunny, 65-85

A leisurely trip to the refuge and CA game management areas with George and Colette.  
87 species total (bird list at bottom of page)


Burrowing Owl

We started out at the Calipatria Inn, heading straight for the Sonny Bono Salton Sea National Wildlife.  On Sinclair Road an obliging Burrowing Owl perched along the irrigation  canal. It was one of many that we would see during the day.  Close by, a beautiful cock Ring-necked Pheasant sat on a bale of hay, giving us incredible looks before jumping down and running into a field.  At the refuge headquarters and along Rock Hill Trail some of our finds were Nashville warblers, a Western Tanager, and Gull-billed Terns.


Obsidian Butte, our next stop, boasted a trio of Black Terns, lots of Bonaparte's Gulls, and numerous  Lesser Yellowlegs.  But not one pelican of either species!

George & Colette



Both Black-necked Stilts and Avocets were in abundance, along with dowitchers, Western Sandpipers, and Least Sandpipers. Many of these shorebirds were sporting their breeding plumage.

Barn & Bank Swallows


Bank Swallow

Finney Lake had almost as many picnickers as birds,  and the traditional nightjar roost looked like it had been pruned.   This 4' long  Diamondback provided us with nice views before escaping into the brush.

Western Diamondback Rattlesnake

Black-necked Stilts
Stilts were here, too, as they prepared to start their breeding season.
We stopped to look at the bubbling mud pots on the way up to the Wister Wildlife Unit.  Vents in the earth spew forth carbon dioxide and other gases, creating bubbling caldrons and mud volcanoes.

George at the Bubbling Mud Pots

Bank Swallow

The Wister Unit provided us with a tree full of Bullock's Orioles and lots of swallows.  We were happy to get three Banks among the many Cliff, Barn, and Tree Swallows.
On the way back to Calipatria we added the Greater Roadrunner, Lesser Nighthawk, and got some good looks at Gambel's Quail.  A fine ending to a great day!
# Species Name
1 Pied-Billed Grebe
2 Western Grebe
3 Eared Grebe
4 White Pelican
5 Double-Crested Cormorant
6 Green Heron
7 Black-Crowned Night Heron
8 Great Egret
9 Great Blue Heron
10 Snowy Egret
11 Cattle Egret
12 White-Faced Ibis
13 Northern Shoveler
14 Ruddy Duck
15 Redhead
16 Northern Pintail
17 American Wigeon
18 Mallard
19 Gadwall
20 American Coot
21 Sora
22 Virginia Rail
23 Common Moorhen
24 Black-Necked Stilt
25 American Avocet
26 Killdeer
27 Black-Bellied Plover
28 Least Sandpiper
29 Long-Billed Dowitcher
30 Willet
31 Lesser Yellowlegs
32 Western Sandpiper
33 Greater Yellowlegs
34 Wilson's Phalarope
35 Ring-Billed Gull
36 California Gull
37 Laughing Gull
38 Black Tern
39 Caspian Tern
40 Gull-Billed Tern
41 Forster's Tern
42 Bonaparte's Gull
43 Turkey Vulture
# Species Name
44 Northern Harrier
45 Red-Tailed Hawk
46 American Kestrel
47 Gambel's Quail
48 Ring-Necked Pheasant
49 Mourning Dove
50 Common Ground Dove
51 Rock Dove
52 Burrowing Owl
53 Lesser Nighthawk
54 Anna's Hummingbird
55 Black Phoebe
56 Say's Phoebe
57 Western Kingbird
58 W. Wood Pewee
59 Cliff Swallow
60 Bank Swallow
61 Tree Swallow
62 Northern Rough-Winged Swallow
63 Barn Swallow
64 Red-Breasted Nuthatch
65 Marsh Wren
66 Cactus Wren
67 Northern Mockingbird
68 Phainopepla
69 European Starling
70 Orange-Crowned Warbler
71 Yellow-Rumped Warbler
72 Wilson's Warbler
73 Nashville Warbler
74 Common Yellowthroat
75 Bullock's Oriole
76 Western Tanager
77 Brown-Headed Cowbird
78 Western Meadowlark
79 Red-Winged Blackbird
80 Great-Tailed Grackle
81 House Sparrow
82 Chipping Sparrow
83 Savannah Sparrow
84 White-Crowned Sparrow
85 Abert's Towhee
86 Song Sparrow
87 House Finch



Photos Henry D. Detwiler