Burrowing Owl


New River Ponds & Imperial Valley
Oct 28, 2001 - 75-90 degrees

We monitored the New River Wetlands Project and checked out some hot spots in the valley.

89 species (list follows at end of page)

Click on thumbnail pictures for full-sized shots.

Brown Pelican

Suzanne and I picked up Bob at his place, and then headed directly to the New River Imperial Ponds to survey the birds there.  The Brown Pelican from several weeks ago was still around, as well as two new additions to the site:  a Common Loon and a Rock Wren.  Green Herons and egrets were everywhere and Bob also spotted a Least Bittern.

Roseatte Skimmer dragonfly

The dragonflies and damselflies were beautiful and prolific, and we spent some time examining and photographing them.

Breeding Damselflies

Lewis' Woodpecker

After chef Bob's fine carne asada lunch, we went looking for Gila Woodpeckers to show Suzanne.  While searching in the west part of Brawley, Bob spotted a Lewis' Woodpecker. This picture of the woodpecker (as well as many others on this page) was taken by Bob from a quarter mile away using his new digital Nikon camera  through his Kiowa scope.  How?


Sora in the bulrushes
At the Brawley Ponds I spied a Sora lurking next to an island of bulrushes, and Bob was able to capture it on "film."   Before we had completed our survey of this site we'd also seen both Least and American Bitterns.



Snowy Egret looking for a meal

One of the hot spots of the Imperial Valley is the Osterkamp Ponds, off McConnell Road.   In the evening you can watch the Sandhill Cranes coming in to roost, or watch them leaving in the morning.  Last year a small flock of White-fronted Geese wintered there, and this year they're back.  Other birds we saw included waders, shorebirds, sparrows, and a nearby Peregrine Falcon.

Sandhill Cranes
At last count there were some 285 cranes roosting in these ponds and fields.  These two individuals were feeding and posed for several shots before flying off.

Along with Cattle Egrets, Long-billed Curlews, and White-faced Ibis, this Swainson's Hawk was taking advantage of an irrigated field to hop around and snap up insects.  Though not usually found in the U.S. during the colder months, occasionally  this bird of prey finds enough food to spend the whole winter here.

Swainson's Hawk insect-catching

The setting sun saw us driving back to Yuma, already looking forward to our next venture into the Imperial Valley!

New River Wetlands & Imperial Valley
28 Oct 2001

# Species
1 Common Loon
2 Western Grebe
3 Eared Grebe
4 Pied-billed Grebe
5 Brown Pelican
6 Double-crested Cormorant
7 Green Heron
8 Least Bittern
9 Great Blue Heron
10 Great Egret
11 Cattle Egret
12 American Bittern
13 Snowy Egret
14 White-faced Ibis
15 Sandhill Crane
16 Ruddy Duck
17 Canada Goose
18 Ross' Goose
19 Cinnamon Teal
20 Green-winged Teal
21 Mallard
22 Northern Pintail
23 Sora
24 American Coot
25 Common Moorhen
26 Black-necked Stilt
27 Killdeer
28 Spotted Sandpiper
29 Common Snipe
30 Greater Yellowlegs
31 Least Sandpiper
32 Long-billed Curlew
33 Long-billed Dowitcher
34 Herring Gull
35 Ring-billed Gull
36 Turkey Vulture
37 Cooper's Hawk
38 Swainson's Hawk
39 Northern Harrier
40 Osprey
41 Red-tailed Hawk
42 Sharp-shinned Hawk
43 Peregrine Falcon
44 American Kestrel


# Species
45 Merlin
46 Gambel's Quail
47 Inca Dove
48 Common Ground-Dove
49 Mourning Dove
50 Rock Dove
51 Greater Roadrunner
52 Great Horned Owl
53 Anna's Hummingbird
54 Belted Kingfisher
55 Lewis' Woodpecker
56 Gila Woodpecker
57 Northern Flicker
58 Say's Phoebe
59 Black Phoebe
60 Northern Rough-winged Swallow
61 Tree Swallow
62 Cactus Wren
63 House Wren
64 Marsh Wren
65 Rock Wren
66 Black-tailed Gnatcatcher
67 Ruby-crowned Kinglet
68 Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
69 Loggerhead Shrike
70 Northern Mockingbird
71 American Pipit
72 Phainopepla
73 European Starling
74 Orange-crowned Warbler
75 Yellow-rumped Warbler
76 Common Yellowthroat
77 Brewer's Blackbird
78 Western Meadowlark
79 Red-winged Blackbird
80 Great-tailed Grackle
81 Brown-headed Cowbird
82 House Sparrow
83 Abert's Towhee
84 White-crowned Sparrow
85 Song Sparrow
86 Savannah Sparrow
87 Lincoln's Sparrow
88 Chipping Sparrow
89 House Finch


Photos Henry D. Detwiler & Bob Miller