Mittry Lake & Laguna Dam 
Apr 20, 2001, Cooler than average, 60-75 
Yuma Birding & Nature Festival Trip, Henry Detwiler

We hunted for and found rails, warblers, and other migrants! 
69 species total

We left the Shilo Inn at the ghastly hour of 5:30AM, on an unseasonably cool morning.  Fortunately, as we drove east toward the Gila Mountains, the sun peeked over the horizon and the birds started singing.  Our first stop was at the old Reclamation Bridge, decorated in 1907 with swastikas, an Indian good luck charm.  During WWII the bureau had to post guards on the bridge to prevent it's destruction.  Verdins, Song Sparrows, doves, and egrets started us off. 

Our next stop was at a overlook above Mittry Lake.  We located a few lingering waterfowl and then tried to lure in the rails with my tape. A couple of soras and a Virginia Rail responded, but the Black Rails weren't playing.
Back at Betty's Kitchen, we were greeted by Black Grosbeaks and a Black Phoebe in the parking lot.  On the trail through the tamarisks, mesquites, and phragmytes we picked up warblers, flycatchers, and the bird of the day, a singing Bell's Vireo.  

Back at the parking lot, a Cassin's Vireo was another nice treat.  In the mesquite bosque west of the Gila Gravity Canal we were treated to a nice look at a transient Hermit Warbler.   

Verdin nest in Desert Mistletoe
We tried for Black Rail one more time in a marsh south of Hidden Shores RV Resort, and were finally rewarded by a single bird calling off in the distance.
At Laguna Dam we saw a few more Cinnamon Teal and more swallows.  Our final stop for the morning was West Pond.  A male Gambel's Quail putting on a good show, singing and displaying atop a bush next to our vans.  But the ever-present Black Rails didn't feel like calling any more that day!  

White-winged Dove at Betty's Kitchen
After a quick stop at the Date Gardens, we delivered everyone back to the Shilo in time for lunch. 
# Species Name
1 Western Grebe
2 Pied-Billed Grebe
3 Double-Crested Cormorant
4 Black-Crowned Night Heron
5 Green Heron
6 Snowy Egret
7 Great Egret
8 Great Blue Heron
9 Cinnamon Teal
10 Mallard
11 Ring-Necked Duck
12 Bufflehead
13 Common Moorhen
14 Virginia Rail
15 American Coot
16 Sora
17 Black Rail
18 Black-Necked Stilt
19 Killdeer
20 Spotted Sandpiper
21 Turkey Vulture
22 Red-Tailed Hawk
23 Osprey
24 American Kestrel
25 Gambel's Quail
26 Common Ground Dove
27 White-Winged Dove
28 Rock Dove
29 Mourning Dove
30 Anna's Hummingbird
31 Gila Woodpecker
32 Ladder-Backed Woodpecker
33 Ash-Throated Flycatcher
34 W. Wood Pewee
# Species Name
35 Western Kingbird
36 Pacific Slope Flycatcher
37 Brown-Crested Flycatcher
38 Black Phoebe
39 Tree Swallow
40 Barn Swallow
41 Cliff Swallow
42 Northern Rough-Winged Swallow
43 Verdin
44 House Wren
45 Marsh Wren
46 Cactus Wren
47 Phainopepla
48 European Starling
49 Bell's Vireo
50 Cassin's Vireo
51 Orange-Crowned Warbler
52 Yellow-Breasted Chat
53 Hermit Warbler
54 Black-Throated Gray Warbler
55 Common Yellowthroat
56 Wilson's Warbler
57 Nashville Warbler
58 Bullock's Oriole
59 Brown-Headed Cowbird
60 Red-Winged Blackbird
61 Great-Tailed Grackle
62 Yellow-Headed Blackbird
63 House Sparrow
64 Abert's Towhee
65 Song Sparrow
66 White-Crowned Sparrow
67 Lesser Goldfinch
68 Black-Headed Grosbeak
69 House Finch

Photos Henry D. Detwiler