Barn Owl Condo

Barn Owl (condo resident)


Salton Sea & San Jacintos
July 27, 2002 - 80-97 degrees
- 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 adventure!
species (list follows at end of page)

Click on thumbnail pictures for full-sized shots.

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 Wetlands--Brawley Ponds.

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.

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.

Red-breasted Merganser

Forster's Tern - summer plumage


Chilean Flamingo & Black-necked Stilts
Johnson Road, Salton Sea

Juvenile Brown Pelicans, Black-necked Stilt, and Snowy Egret

Western Sandpiper

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. 

Long-billed 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 & Wilson's Phalaropes

Long-billed Dowitcher (rear view)

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
Salton Sea & San Jacinto Mts., 27 July 2002
# Species
1 Western Grebe
2 Eared Grebe
3 Pied-billed Grebe
4 Clark's Grebe
5 Brown Pelican
6 White Pelican
7 Double-crested Cormorant
8 Snowy Egret
9 Black-crowned Night Heron
10 Cattle Egret
11 Great Egret
12 Great Blue Heron
13 Green Heron
14 Least Bittern
15 White-faced Ibis
16 Canvasback
17 Cinnamon Teal
18 Mallard
19 Red-breasted Merganser
20 Redhead
21 Ruddy Duck
22 Canada Goose
23 Virginia Rail
24 Common Moorhen
25 American Coot
26 American Avocet
27 Black-necked Stilt
28 Semipalmated Plover
29 Killdeer
30 Black-bellied Plover
31 Snowy Plover
32 Marbled Godwit
33 Red-necked Phalarope
34 Wilson's Phalarope
35 Willet
36 Spotted Sandpiper
37 Long-billed Dowitcher
38 Long-billed Curlew
39 Lesser Yellowlegs
40 Least Sandpiper
41 Greater Yellowlegs
42 Western Sandpiper
43 Whimbrel
44 California Gull
45 Caspian Tern
46 Black Tern
47 Black Skimmer
48 Forster's Tern
49 Yellow-footed Gull
50 Ring-billed Gull
51 Western Gull
52 Laughing Gull
53 Turkey Vulture
54 Cooper's Hawk
55 Osprey
56 Red-tailed Hawk
57 Peregrine Falcon
58 American Kestrel
59 Gambel's Quail


# Species
60 Common Ground-Dove
61 Mourning Dove
62 Rock Dove
63 White-winged Dove
64 Inca Dove
65 Greater Roadrunner
66 Barn Owl
67 Burrowing Owl
68 Lesser Nighthawk
69 Anna's Hummingbird
70 Rufous Hummingbird
71 Gila Woodpecker
72 Northern Flicker
73 Acorn Woodpecker
74 Nuttal's Woodpecker
75 Black Phoebe
76 W. Wood Pewee
77 Western Kingbird
78 Say's Phoebe
79 Northern Rough-winged Swallow
80 Tree Swallow
81 Cliff Swallow
82 Violet-green Swallow
83 Pinyon Jay
84 Scrub Jay
85 Common Crow
86 Common Raven
87 Oak Titmouse
88 Verdin
89 Bushtit
90 Pygmy Nuthatch
91 White-breasted Nuthatch
92 Cactus Wren
93 House Wren
94 Rock Wren
95 Western Bluebird
96 American Robin
97 Loggerhead Shrike
98 Northern Mockingbird
99 European Starling
100 Common Yellowthroat
101 Brown-headed Cowbird
102 Tricolored Blackbird
103 Red-winged Blackbird
104 Bullock's Oriole
105 Great-tailed Grackle
106 Brewer's Blackbird
107 Bronzed Cowbird
108 Western Meadowlark
109 House Sparrow
110 California Towhee
111 Song Sparrow
112 Lark Sparrow
113 Spotted Towhee
114 Abert's Towhee
115 Chipping Sparrow
116 Lazuli Bunting
117 Lesser Goldfinch
118 House Finch

Photos Henry Detwiler & Bob Miller, July 27, 2002