Vermilion Flycatcher


Salton Sea & Imperial Valley
Dec 15, 2001  

A morning of birding with Jerry and Mary Fox.

47 species total (list follows at end of page)

Click on thumbnail pictures for full-sized shots.

Jerry, Mary and Bob
We met up at the Wister Wildlife Area on what started out as a beautiful calm day. The wind quickly became extreme for the rest of what was still a beautiful day.  Standing in the parking lot we had Cactus Wren, White-crowned Sparrow, phoebes and lots of white geese flying overhead.  

Our first destination from there was Beach Rd. and Hwy. 111 where we had Yellow-rumped and Orange- crowned Warblers, Loggerhead Shrike and our first American Redstart of the day. The wind was keeping most things close to the ground and behind good cover but we still had good birds.  

Loggerhead Shrike

Loggerhead Shrike

For a lot of birds it just meant holing up and spending a little more time on personal affairs like this Loggerhead Shrike preening in a Mesquite tree. We headed out into the Northern most part of the Imperial Valley in search of some of the less "urban" birds.  We soon had a large number of Horned Larks and some shorebirds in an unexpected location which spiced up the mix.  


We soon had a Rock Wren in a most barren spot and Sage Sparrows in mixed company with White-crowned Sparrows. We kept ourselves bundled up and used the vehicle as a windbreak for the spotting scope in these areas.  We stopped at a small hidden pond that proved to be teaming with bird life.  Belted Kingfisher, Great Blue and Green Heron and Red-winged Blackbirds among others. 

Jerry and Mary. Chocolate Mountains
in the background.

On our way South to see Burrowing Owls we went back through the Wister HQ area and had this beautiful male Vermilion Flycatcher working along a sunny fence line. Wister is one of the better places to find Vermilions in the winter time here in the Imperial Valley. 

Vermilion Flycatcher

As we watched this little guy going after bugs we were distracted by another colorful creature. We had an adult male American Redstart working through the Mesquite Trees directly behind us!   Burrowing Owls proved elusive due to the wind and although there were several spots with known residents they were all laying low!

Vermilion Flycatcher

Burrowing Owl
Even though this one appeared to be scowling at us he was just trying to enjoy the sun and stay out of the wind!  There never seems to be enough time in a day when the birding is good.  We made our way back to the starting point to end a great day.    

Salton Sea & Imperial Valley
15 Dec 2001

# Species
1 Pied-billed Grebe
2 American White Pelican
3 Double-crested Cormorant
4 Great Blue Heron
5 Great Egret
6 Cattle Egret
7 Green Heron
8 Snow Goose
9 Northern Pintail
10 Northern Harrier
11 Red-tailed Hawk
12 American Kestrel
13 Prairie Falcon
14 American Coot
15 Killdeer
16 Snowy Plover
17 Long-billed Curlew
18 Least Sandpiper
19 Herring Gull
20 Rock Dove
21 Mourning Dove
22 Barn Owl
23 Burrowing Owl


# Species
24 White-throated Swift
25 Belted Kingfisher
26 Northern Flicker
27 Black Phoebe
28 Vermilion Flycatcher
29 Horned Lark
30 Barn Swallow
31 American Pipit
32 Ruby-crowned Kinglet
33 Cactus Wren
34 Rock Wren
35 Verdin
36 Phainopepla
37 Loggerhead Shrike
38 European Starling
39 Orange-crowned Warbler
40 Yellow-rumped Warbler
41 American Redstart
42 Abert's Towhee
43 Sage Sparrow
44 Red-winged Blackbird
45 Great-tailed Grackle
46 Brown-headed Cowbird
47 House Sparrow


Photos Henry D. Detwiler & Bob Miller