Ferruginous Hawk


Salton Sea & Imperial Valley
Feb 02, 2002  

A day of exploration with the President's Circle from the San Diego Natural History Museum.  Bob Miller guiding.

74 species total (list follows at end of page)

Click on thumbnail pictures for full-sized shots.

We met in Ocotillo on a beautiful calm morning and had Rock Wren and Black Phoebe to greet us.  A Ferruginous Hawk was kind enough to give us all great looks through the scope, and a nice photo above, while passing through the farmland to our first destination.   

That destination was the New River Wetlands Project, Imperial site and it was a gem. We had Sora and Virginia Rail calling right away and the obliging little bird above, swam across at our feet. What a great look at a life bird for several members of the group! Green Heron, Black-crowned Night-Heron  and Cinnamon Teal were out and about too!

Mud Pot exploration

After a great...GREAT lunch at the Sonny Bono Salton Sea NWR (thank you Anna) we were off to explore mud pots!  

Mud Pot exploration

Mud Pot exploration


Mud Pot exploration

The flow
Bubbling, gurgling, spitting, splashing, hissing, oozing, flowing....I guess you had to be there!  The earth's crust is about as thin as it can get at this site and Co2 gas is working it's way to the surface, forcefully ejecting the mud that blocks it path.
From the mud pots we headed for Obsidian Butte but were waylaid by this irresistible pair of Burrowing Owls. Long-billed Curlew and Cattle Egret dotted the dry fields and swirls of Red-winged Blackbirds flowed above the Alamo River. 
Burrowing Owl
Brown Pelican, American White Pelican, Common Goldeneye and lots of gulls awaited us on Obsidian Butte.  This imm. Western Gull, which is rare at the Salton Sea and was not the hoped for Yellow-footed Gull, was still a nice treat, even for a group from San Diego where it is their more common gull.

Western Gull

Western Gull and Ring-billed Gull
Our clocks were running much to fast as usual and the day was suddenly over so we made our way back to Ocotillo. After our goodbyes, I watched the bus drive off into another one of those stunning red Imperial Valley sunsets.
While on Obsidian Butte, we witnessed a more unpleasant side of nature, but nature none the less.  A Great Blue Heron grabbed, and proceeded to eat, an Eared Grebe.  WARNING: Do NOT click on the following link if you do not want to see those pictures.   CLICK here for Great Blue Heron 

Salton Sea & Imperial Valley
02 Feb 2002

1 Eared Grebe
2 Pied-billed Grebe
3 Brown Pelican
4 American White Pelican
5 Double-crested Cormorant
6 Great Blue Heron
7 Great Egret
8 Snowy Egret
9 Cattle Egret
10 Green Heron
11 Black-crowned Night-Heron
12 White-faced Ibis
13 Snow Goose
14 Northern Pintail
15 Cinnamon Teal
16 Northern Shoveler
17 Common Goldeneye
18 Ruddy Duck
19 Osprey
20 Northern Harrier
21 Red-tailed Hawk
22 Ferruginous Hawk
24 American Kestrel
24 Prairie Falcon
25 Sora
26 Virginia Rail
27 Common Moorhen
28 American Coot
29 Black-necked Stilt
30 American Avocet
31 Killdeer
32 Long-billed Curlew
33 Greater Yellowlegs
34 Lesser Yellowlegs
35 Willet
36 Spotted Sandpiper
37 Western Sandpiper
38 Dunlin


# Species
39 Ring-billed Gull
40 California Gull
41 Herring Gull
42 Western Gull
43 Rock Dove
44 Mourning Dove
45 Greater Roadrunner
46 Barn Owl
47 Burrowing Owl
48 White-throated Swift
49 Belted Kingfisher
50 Black Phoebe
51 Say's Phoebe
52 Tree Swallow
53 Northern Rough-winged Swallow
54 Common Raven
55 Rock Wren
56 Marsh Wren
57 Ruby-crowned Kinglet
58 Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
59 Verdin
60 Loggerhead Shrike
61 European Starling
62 Orange-crowned Warbler
63 Yellow-rumped Warbler
64 Common Yellowthroat
65 Northern Mockingbird
66 Abert's Towhee
67 Savannah Sparrow
68 Song Sparrow
69 White-crowned Sparrow
70 Red-winged Blackbird
71 Western Meadowlark
72 Great-tailed Grackle
73 House Finch
74 House Sparrow


Photos Henry D. Detwiler & Bob Miller