Algodones Dunes Wilderness Area


Salton Sea International Bird Festival
Feb 18-21, 2005
Guide- Bob Miller

Photographs from the 8th annual Salton Sea International Bird Festival.

Click on thumbnail pictures for full-sized shots.

Day 1 - Friday: Sandhill Cranes Sunset Tour


Sandhill Cranes

Lots of rain made for tricky access to some of the sunset locations but we had great looks at Sandhill Cranes, White-faced Ibis and Cattle Egrets flying to roost.  Burrowing Owl, Western Meadowlark and other area residents were a treat as well.

Day 2 - Saturday: Algodones Dunes Wilderness Area Tour

Algodones Dunes Wilderness Area

Sunrise on the dunes was spectacular as we started out on our trek through the Algodones Dunes Wilderness Area.

Daniel Steward, a biologist with the El Centro BLM office, and I lead two field trips through the wilderness area.  Parts of the dunes were carpeted in wildflowers!

Algodones Dunes Wilderness Area

The above average rainfall had brought out once in a lifetime wildflower displays across the southwest and the dunes held some of the best. 

Algodones Dunes Wilderness Area

Got sand?

Never know what you will find out there?!  Is this an indicator of what to expect in August?
Someone with a sharp eye spotted the exposed leg of a Fringe-toed Lizard buried in the sand.  Note the special scales along the toes that allow this lizard to travel freely across the dunes and practically swim through the sand.

Fringe-toed Lizard


The dunes form a barrier that catches rain water flooding out of the Chocolate Mountains.  We call these areas at the foot of the dunes "pockets."

Some of the other pockets had water standing six feet deep in them and formed little lakes that lasted for nearly a week! 

Apricot Mallow

Apricot Mallow

In some of the pockets the Apricot Mallow grew to over eight feet high this year and became very difficult to traverse!
On to Page Two

Photos Bob Miller