Costa's Hummingbird


Salton Sea, Borrego Springs & Imperial Valley
Jan 09, 2002  

An all day loop around the Salton Sea with Paul, Cindy and Mathew.

91 species total (list follows at end of page)

Click on thumbnail pictures for full-sized shots.

Mathew, Paul and Cindy
We began early in thousand Palms and got our first look at the Salton Sea from the end of Ave. 76.  Plenty of birds to be seen there!  From there we headed across the Borrego Salton Seaway in search of desert inhabitants.  We got a few fleeting glimpses of disappearing LBJ's.  When we got into the Mesquite areas we found our Black-tailed Gnatcatchers and Verdin.

Costa's Hummingbird

Our arrival at the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park visitors center was greeted by this obliging male Costa's Hummingbird.

Anza-Borrego SP visitors center


Northern Mockingbird

From the deserts of Anza-Borrego we were off to the Imperial Valley.  A stop at Poe Road added Yellow-footed Gull to our trip list. Unit One of the Sonny Bono Salton Sea NWR showed us lots of geese and several Sandhill Cranes that have decided to winter here rather than with the 400 or so that typically winter in the center of the valley.

Lunch in Westmorland and we were off and birding again. We caught the sea wall off of Lack Road and made our way across Obsidian Butte for our second view of the Salton Sea. From there we headed East and hit the Mountain Plover jackpot with 400+ birds in a grass field. An added treat was a Prairie Falcon, but I doubt the Mountain Plover viewed it that way. 

Savannah Sparrow

Western Meadowlark
On to Ramer Lake where we had great looks at Clark's Grebes with Western Grebes to compare side by side.  With the sun setting fast and only minutes left to bird, we decided to pass on looking for that last lifer on the list, Sage Sparrow, and go for the sure bet, a male Vermilion Flycatcher that is wintering at the Wister Waterfowl Area. There is no such thing as a sure bet in birding. We missed him!  Back in Thousand Palms I was treated to the greatest home cooked steak diner!  Thanks Paul and family! 

Salton Sea, Borrego Springs & Imperial Valley
09 Jan 2002

1 Pied-billed Grebe
2 Eared Grebe
3 Western Grebe
4 Clark's Grebe
5 American White Pelican
6 Brown Pelican
7 Double-crested Cormorant
8 Great Blue Heron
9 Great Egret
10 Snowy Egret
11 Cattle Egret
12 Green Heron
13 Black-crowned Night-Heron
14 White-faced Ibis
15 Snow Goose
16 Ross's Goose
17 Canada Goose
18 American Wigeon
19 Gadwall
20 Green-winged Teal
21 Mallard
22 Northern Pintail
24 Cinnamon Teal
24 Northern Shoveler
25 Redhead
26 Ruddy Duck
27 Osprey
28 White-tailed Kite
29 Northern Harrier
30 Sharp-shinned Hawk
31 Cooper's Hawk
32 Red-tailed Hawk
33 American Kestrel
34 Prairie Falcon
35 Sandhill Crane
36 Common Moorhen
37 American Coot
38 Black-necked Stilt
39 American Avocet
40 Black-bellied Plover
41 Killdeer
42 Mountain Plover
43 Long-billed Dowitcher
44 Marbled Godwit
45 Long-billed Curlew


# Species
45 Greater Yellowlegs
47 Willet
48 Western Sandpiper
49 Least Sandpiper
50 Dunlin
51 Ring-billed Gull
52 California Gull
53 Yellow-footed Gull
54 Herring Gull
55 Bonaparte's Gull
56 Caspian Tern
57 Forster's Tern
58 Rock Dove
59 Mourning Dove
60 Common Ground-Dove
61 Barn Owl
62 Burrowing Owl
63 Costa's Hummingbird
64 Belted Kingfisher
65 Northern Flicker
66 Black Phoebe
67 Say's Phoebe
68 Vermilion Flycatcher
69 Horned Lark
70 Ruby-crowned Kinglet
71 Phainopepla
72 Rock Wren
73 Northern Mockingbird
74 Black-tailed Gnatcatcher
75 Verdin
76 Loggerhead Shrike
77 Common Raven
78 European Starling
79 Yellow-rumped Warbler
80 Abert's Towhee
81 Brewer's Sparrow
82 Savannah Sparrow
83 Song Sparrow
84 White-crowned Sparrow
85 Red-winged Blackbird
86 Western Meadowlark
87 Brewer's Blackbird
88 Great-tailed Grackle
89 Brown-headed Cowbird
90 House Finch
91 House Sparrow


Photos Henry D. Detwiler & Bob Miller