Salton Sea


Salton Sea with Beth
Feb 22, 2005
Guide- Bob Miller

A day of birding the Salton Sea and Imperial Valley.
species total -- bird list at bottom of page

Click on thumbnail pictures for full-sized shots.

Lettuce harvest

It was a wet, stormy day in the valley. My favorite kind!  These fields of Stock added a great splash of color to the morning.

Lettuce harvest was in full swing, rain or shine, so they just keep adding bigger or more tractors to get through the mud!

Imperial Valley



We birded along the sea wall and across Obsidian Butte then around to Red Hill.  

Salton Sea, Rock Hill

Salton Sea, Rock Hill

Great Blue Heron nests were awaiting new occupants in the bay

Salton Sea, Hazard Unit

The ponds along Garst Road held a lot of birds.  The Chocolate Mountains take on new splendor with the cloud shadows sweeping across them.

The pond at the Calipatria State Prison held some fine birds and several hundred White-faced Ibis allowed close approach as they rested along the shore.

Calipatria State Prison


Finney Lake

Finney Lake was really beautiful with the storm slipping along in the background.

White-faced Ibis & Ring-billed Gulls

We were lucky and never had any real rain fall on us but we did get to see some nice thunderstorms sweep across the valley.

Finney Lake

White-faced Ibis and Ring-billed Gulls filled the sky as they headed for their evening roosts.  The Ibis were headed for Ramer Lake and most of the gulls go all the way to the Salton Sea and form huge rafts on the sea at night.

On the outskirts of Brawley we went to an area in the New River bottom where we used to play and ride as kids.  There were Gambel's Quail, Gila Woodpeckers and Cactus Wrens in the old Date Palms and the sunset was spectacular.  

Old date grove

These palms were some of the first ever planted in the Imperial Valley and at that time they were part of the proof to a doubtful world that this no-mans land of a desert would ever grow anything!

Southern California, 22 Feb 2005
  1. Pied-billed Grebe

  2. Eared Grebe

  3. American White Pelican

  4. Double-crested Cormorant

  5. Great Blue Heron

  6. Great Egret

  7. Snowy Egret

  8. Cattle Egret

  9. Green Heron

  10. Black-crowned Night Heron

  11. White-faced Ibis

  12. Turkey Vulture

  13. Snow Goose

  14. Ross's Goose

  15. Canada Goose

  16. Mallard

  17. Blue-winged Teal

  18. Cinnamon Teal

  19. Northern Shoveler

  20. Northern Pintail

  21. Green-winged Teal

  22. Greater Scaup

  23. Lesser Scaup

  24. Bufflehead

  25. Ruddy Duck

  26. Northern Harrier

  27. Red-tailed Hawk

  28. American Kestrel

  29. Merlin

  30. Peregrine Falcon (4)

  31. Gambel's Quail

  32. Common Moorhen

  33. American Coot

  34. Sandhill Crane

  35. Killdeer

  36. Black-necked Stilt

  37. American Avocet

  38. Greater Yellowlegs

  39. Lesser Yellowlegs

  40. Willet

  41. Western Sandpiper

  42. Least Sandpiper

  1. Long-billed Dowitcher

  2. Bonaparte's Gull

  3. Ring-billed Gull

  4. California Gull

  5. Herring Gull

  6. Yellow-footed Gull

  7. Caspian Tern

  8. Rock Pigeon

  9. Eurasian Collared-Dove

  10. White-winged Dove

  11. Mourning Dove

  12. Inca Dove

  13. Common Ground-Dove

  14. Ruddy Ground-Dove

  15. Burrowing owl

  16. Lesser Nighthawk

  17. Belted Kingfisher

  18. Gila Woodpecker

  19. Northern Flicker

  20. Black Phoebe

  21. Say's Phoebe

  22. Vermilion Flycatcher

  23. Tree Swallow

  24. Northern Rough-winged Swallow

  25. Verdin

  26. Cactus Wren

  27. Marsh Wren

  28. Ruby-crowned Kinglet

  29. Mountain Bluebird

  30. Northern Mockingbird

  31. European Starling

  32. Yellow-rumped Warbler

  33. Abert's Towhee

  34. Chipping Sparrow

  35. Savannah Sparrow

  36. White-crowned Sparrow

  37. Red-winged Blackbird

  38. Western Meadowlark

  39. Great-tailed Grackle

  40. House Finch

  41. House Sparrow

Photos Bob Miller