Sandhill Cranes


Salton Sea & Imperial Valley
Oct 30, 2001 - 60-degree morning, 85-degree afternoon, mostly light overcast with breeze

A trip with John & Mary Lou from Rochester, NY, led by & written up by Bob Miller
81 Species Seen (list follows)

Click on thumbnail pictures for full-sized shots.

John & Mary Lou 
We met at my house about 0900 where we had Common Ground-Dove and Anna's Hummingbird but they just missed the two very late White-winged Dove that have been at my feeders all season. 
Having never been to the West Coast, many of our everyday birds were new, so we headed out Harris Road picking up the local birds along the way.  Sandhill Cranes, Burrowing Owl and Greater Roadrunner all put on a show. The "soda pop" Peregrine still returns to the same spot as last year even though the Osterkamp ponds are no longer there.

Burrowing Owl

I call it the soda pop bird because.....for the past two years I would wager a soda pop that there would be a Peregrine Falcon sitting on the second set of double poles to the North of the palm tree on McConnell Road, just North of Harris Road. Even though the ponds are now gone and I have seen this bird hunting on the new ponds a few miles away, it still returns to the same pole!! 

On to Wiest Lake (with a quick stop in Brawley for my soda pop ;-) for Western and Clark's Grebe. Finney/Ramer turned up Marsh Wren, Lesser Nighthawk, Eared Grebe, Phainopepla and Common Moorhen. From there we bee lined for the Salton Sea at Lack and Lindsey ticking off new treasures as we went.

Lesser Nighthawk at Finney Lake

Large-billed Savannah Sparrow, Lesser Yellowlegs, Bonaparte's Gull and Rudy Turnstone were where we expected them at Obsidian Butte. Yellow-footed Gull was not but we did finally run across a young one just before sun set near Red Hill. Abert's Towhee were plentiful at the SB Salton Sea NWR headquarters.  As we were driving back to Brawley in the twilight we had several small flocks of plover fly across us in silhouette. I won't pretend that I could tell them from Killdeer in this situation but I really think we were seeing some of the first Mountain Plover of the season! Guess I know where I will be poking around in the next few days!



Salton Sea & Imperial Valley
30 Oct  2001

Pied-billed Grebe
Eared Grebe
Western Grebe
Clark's Grebe
American White Pelican
Brown Pelican
Double-crested Cormorant
Great Blue Heron
Snowy Egret
Cattle Egret
Green Heron
Black-crowned Night-Heron
White-faced Ibis
Green-winged Teal
Northern Shoveler
Ruddy Duck
Turkey Vulture
Northern Harrier
Cooper's Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk
American Kestrel
Prairie Falcon
Peregrine Falcon
Sandhill Crane
American Coot
Black-necked Stilt
American Avocet
Black-bellied Plover
Long-billed Dowitcher
Marbled Godwit
Greater Yellowlegs
Lesser Yellowlegs
Spotted Sandpiper
Ruddy Turnstone
Least Sandpiper
Ring-billed Gull

Yellow-footed Gull
Herring Gull
Bonaparte's Gull
Caspian Tern
Forster's Tern
Rock Dove
Mourning Dove
White-winged Dove
Common Ground-Dove
Greater Roadrunner
Burrowing Owl
Lesser Nighthawk
Anna's Hummingbird
Belted Kingfisher
Northern Flicker
Black Phoebe
Say's Phoebe
Tree Swallow
Barn Swallow
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Cactus Wren
Marsh Wren
Northern Mockingbird
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
Black-tailed Gnatcatcher
Loggerhead Shrike
European Starling
Orange-crowned Warbler
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Abert's Towhee
Chipping Sparrow
Savannah Sparrow
Song Sparrow
White-crowned Sparrow
Red-winged Blackbird
Western Meadowlark
Brewer's Blackbird
Great-tailed Grackle
House Finch
House Sparrow

Photos Bob Miller