South of Yuma
Jan 28, 2001, Cool & P. Cloudy, 55-60 
Henry Detwiler

An afternoon trip to hunt for Mountain Plovers, which have been reported s. of the city in past years.  Success!  
40 species total

Western Bluebird - Yuma

It was a cool but sunny afternoon, and I wanted to search for the elusive Mountain Plovers.  I was also looking for a reliable spot for LeConte's Thrasher.  

After spotting a Greater Roadrunner, I pulled  into a lemon grove on the s. side of County 18th St.  A flock of 120+ Western Bluebirds magically appeared as I was photographing the roadrunner.


Female House Finch

Male Lawrence's Goldfinch
And that wasn't all.  There were sparrows everywhere:  Dark-eyed juncos, Abert's and a Green-tailed Towhee, Brewer's, White-crowned, Lark, Chipping, and Vesper.
(All the photos on this page were made using a Sony digital camera held up to a Swarovski spotting scope.  Click here to find out how.)

Western Bluebird - Yuma

Male Lawrence's Goldfinch
A really surprising and exciting find was a flock of 8 Lawrence's Goldfinches.  Two males and 6 females moved through the weeds and the trees, giving me excellent views. 

I spent about two hours in the grove taking photos through my scope and through my Canon SLR.  Then I headed further south and east of Ave 1E.

Western Bluebird - Yuma

Mountain Plover s. of Yuma
(blurry scope shot)
At the edge of a circular alfalfa field was a single Mountain Plover!  It was soon joined by its mate, and then a 2nd pair!
Soon I had spotted seven pairs, and got some excellent shots with my Canon.  Alas,  they just wouldn't sit still long enough for a "scope" photo.
Mountain Bluebird s. of Yuma
# Species Name
1 Cattle Egret
2 Killdeer
3 Mountain Plover
4 Long-Billed Curlew
5 Ring-Billed Gull
6 Turkey Vulture
7 Red-Tailed Hawk
8 Northern Harrier
9 American Kestrel
10 Common Ground Dove
11 Rock Dove
12 Mourning Dove
13 Greater Roadrunner
14 Anna's Hummingbird
15 Northern Flicker
16 Black Phoebe
17 Say's Phoebe
18 Verdin
19 American Robin
20 Western Bluebird
# Species Name
21 Mountain Bluebird
22 Northern Mockingbird
23 American Pipit
24 European Starling
25 Yellow-Rumped Warbler
26 Red-Winged Blackbird
27 Western Meadowlark
28 Vesper Sparrow
29 Great-Tailed Grackle
30 House Sparrow
31 Green-Tailed Towhee
32 Brewer's Sparrow
33 Dark-Eyed Junco
34 White-Crowned Sparrow
35 Savannah Sparrow
36 Chipping Sparrow
37 Lark Sparrow
38 Abert's Towhee
39 Lawrence's Goldfinch
40 House Finch


Photos Henry D. Detwiler