Sea & San Jacintos
I picked up Jeff Coker at
5:00AM, and we headed out to Imperial. Bob was waiting for us, and
the three of us then drove north to Brawley. Our first stop (after
retrieving Bob's binos & snagging some burritos) were the New River
Bob Miller, Jeff Coker & Henry Detwiler
We started off by visiting the New River Wetlands
Project, then the Salton Sea, and finally we made our way
up to Hurkey Creek Park and Hemet Lake. A long but excellent
118 species (list follows at end
thumbnail pictures for full-sized shots.
Black Tern - winter plummage
|After both Jeff
& Bob each saw different Least Bitterns, I thought I'd be
skunked. But a third one gave me a quick look. Lots of
Common Moorhens with second broods were nice to see. Two
Virginia Rails responded to my tape. Bob was fortunate to find
a new dragonfly, the White-belted Ringtail.
On Walker road we stopped to look at the Barn Owls
roosting in the old (1974 vintage) haystack. We saw two adults and a
road-kill. At the corner of Lack & Lindsey (next to the
Sea) we saw a number of terns and this dark female merganser.
Forster's Tern - summer plumage
Chilean Flamingo &
Road, Salton Sea
Juvenile Brown Pelicans,
Black-necked Stilt, and Snowy Egret
|The Salton Sea is
several inches lower than in year's past. Some areas that
used to be good for birds are bare right now. Obsidian Butte
didn't have much, not even any Yellow-footed Gulls. There
was one on the way to Red Hill Marina, and the area
north of Red Hill Marina was very birdy.
At the end of
Pound Road were tens of thousands of waders.
Dowitchers, Black-necked Stilts and Wilson's Phalaropes were there
in abundance. The end of Beach Road was also very
productive, but the Wandering Tattler seen by Bob and company a week ago
had departed. Jeff left us for a retirement party around 2:00PM,
and we headed back out into the heat after more birds.
Black-necked Stilts &
|At the north end of the Sea we drove down Johnson
Road. A surprise were two Chilean
Flamingos--uncharacteristically close to the road! Bob crept
up on them to snap some fine digital shots.
Salton Sea at Johnson Road
Hemet Lake Deer
|The Hemet Lake area was alive with
birds - nuthatches, chickadees, Pinyon & Scrub Jays,
woodpeckers, and sparrows. And it was nice and cool!
|Our last stop was next to Hurkey Creek Park.
At long last we saw our missing Red-tailed Hawk, and then another! A
Northern Flicker called in the woods for the final new bird of the
day. Bob drove us down the mountain back to his place, and then
I made the final leg of the 18-hour day back to Yuma.
Bob in front of Hemet Lake