Southeast Salton Sea +
Yuma Territorial Prison

Dec 24, 2000
0800-1700, Overcast, partly Sunny, 45-70 

A fine trip to the Sea with Al Borgardt; especially good for raptors.  The final hour of the day was in Yuma at the Prison and along the Gila River levee, which yielded Vermillion Flycatcher and another Merlin.
98 species total

We started out the day looking at the Sandhill Cranes and a flock of 11 White-fronted Geese at McConnell and Harris. 

Bluebird Field

Not too far north we came upon a field of hay bales that must have hosted 500 Mountain Bluebirds--a truly incredible sight!

On Eddins Road, just west of Calipatria, we saw a Sharp-shinned & a Cooper's Hawk, as well as this cooperative Merlin. Also in the neighborhood were a flock of Western Bluebirds.


At Red Hill Marina, the low clouds provided ideal lighting, and we watched multitudes of shorebirds.


At the small park next to the Ranger Station, we scoped the mouth of the Alamo River and located the Surf Scoter and two White-winged Scoters. We didn't have any luck finding the Black Scoter. Our final stop at the Sea was at Obsidian Butte.

Merlin scratching his chin

American Avocets at Red Hill Marina

Species Name
Eared Grebe
White Pelican
Brown Pelican
Double-Crested Cormorant
Great Blue Heron
Snowy Egret
Great Egret
Cattle Egret
Green Heron
Sandhill Crane
Northern Shoveler
Common Goldeneye
White-Winged Scoter
Northern Pintail
Lesser Scaup
Green-Winged Teal
White-Fronted Goose
American Wigeon
Snow Goose
Ruddy Duck
Surf Scoter
Cinnamon Teal
American Coot
Black-Necked Stilt
American Avocet
Semipalmated Plover
Black-Bellied Plover
Marbled Godwit
Western Sandpiper
Lesser Yellowlegs
Spotted Sandpiper
Long-Billed Dowitcher
Long-Billed Curlew
Least Sandpiper
Greater Yellowlegs
Herring Gull
Ring-Billed Gull
Forster's Tern
Turkey Vulture
Northern Harrier
Sharp-Shinned Hawk


Species Name
Red-Tailed Hawk
Cooper's Hawk
American Kestrel
Peregrine Falcon
Ring-Necked Pheasant
Inca Dove
Mourning Dove
Rock Dove
Common Ground Dove
Greater Roadrunner
Burrowing Owl
Anna's Hummingbird
Costa's Hummingbird
Belted Kingfisher
Gila Woodpecker
Northern Flicker
Black Phoebe
Say's Phoebe
Vermillion Flycatcher
Tree Swallow
Marsh Wren
Cactus Wren
Western Bluebird
Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher
Ruby-Crowned Kinglet
American Robin
Mountain Bluebird
Loggerhead Shrike
Northern Mockingbird
European Starling
Common Yellowthroat
Orange-Crowned Warbler
Yellow-Rumped Warbler
Red-Winged Blackbird
Great-Tailed Grackle
Western Meadowlark
Brewer's Blackbird
Brown-Headed Cowbird
House Sparrow
House Finch
Spotted Towhee
Lincoln's Sparrow
White-Crowned Sparrow
Savannah Sparrow
Dark-Eyed Junco
Abert's Towhee
Song Sparrow



Photos Henry D. Detwiler