Winter-plumage Red-necked Phalarope
Mittry Lake


North of Yuma
Sep 21, 2002, 77 - 95 degrees, 0700-1330
- narrated by Henry Detwiler

A long morning trip with Jeff & Dave to look for residents and migrants along the Gila and Colorado rivers.

Click on thumbnail pictures for full-sized shots.

Adriana and I picked up Jeff Coker at 6:30 and we met up with Dave Taylor and his son Hayden shortly after 7:00 at the Gila River Grove.  There wasn't a lot of activity there, but we did latch on to Yellow, Orange-crowned and Wilson's Warblers.  We surprised a Great-horned Owl in the grove and Jeff found the resident pair of Burrowing Owls in the fields to the north.

Brewer's Sparrow

The winter sparrows have  returned to Yuma in force, and we found our first Lark, Brewer's & White-crowned, and Lincoln's Sparrows, as well as a Green-tailed Towhee consorting with the resident Abert's.  

South of Kool Corner, we found the Harris' Hawk, Western Tanagers, and this beautiful male Vermilion Flycatcher.  Betty's Kitchen yielded Hermit, Townsend's, Wilson's and Black-throated Gray Warblers.  In a small pond east of Mittry Lake Dave pointed out two Red-necked Phalaropes, and the overlook yielded several waterfowl.

Male Vermilion Flycatcher

The Yuma Proving Ground sewage lagoons had a few ducks, shorebirds, a Black Tern, and my first Lesser Yellowlegs for the Yuma area.  Sage Sparrows were a nice find on the way out.  

Jeff spotted our only Osprey along the main channel of the Colorado River south of Imperial Dam.  West Pond was full of coots, but nothing else.  Senator Wash was very low, and we were happy to find a Common Tern among the Caspians and Forster's.  A bonus bird was the Marbled Godwit.

Brewer's Sparrow
(Showing off its finely striped crown)    

Male Costa's Hummingbird

The desilting ponds were still bare, but Phil Swing Park was hopping.  Chipping, White-crowned, and Lincoln's Sparrows were joined by several warblers, finches, and a bright Gray Flycatcher
The date palms in the trailer court across from Laguna Dam provided a tasty snack for a female Black-headed Grosbeak.  

At home, I snapped these two hummingbird pictures, and hit bird #100 for the day, an immature male Rufous Hummingbird that has been jealously guarding one of our hummingbird feeders.

1st-Winter Rufous Hummingbird

 Gila & Colorado Rivers, Mittry Lake, YPG Sewage Lagoons, Senator Wash
21 Sep 2002
# Species
1 Pied-billed Grebe
2 Eared Grebe
3 Western Grebe
4 Brown Pelican
5 Double-crested Cormorant
6 Great Blue Heron
7 Great Egret
8 Snowy Egret
9 Cattle Egret
10 White-faced Ibis
11 American Wigeon
12 Mallard
13 Cinnamon Teal
14 Northern Shoveler
15 Northern Pintail
16 Ruddy Duck
17 Osprey
18 Cooper's Hawk
19 Harris' Hawk
20 Red-tailed Hawk
21 American Kestrel
22 Gambel's Quail
23 Virginia Rail
24 Common Moorhen
25 American Coot
26 Killdeer
27 Black-necked Stilt
28 Greater Yellowlegs
29 Lesser Yellowlegs
30 Spotted Sandpiper
31 Marbled Godwit
32 Least Sandpiper
33 Baird's Sandpiper
34 Long-billed Dowitcher
35 Red-necked Phalarope
36 Turkey Vulture
37 Ring-billed Gull
38 Caspian Tern
39 Common Tern
40 Forster's Tern
41 Black Tern
42 Rock Dove
43 Mourning Dove
44 Inca Dove
45 Common Ground-Dove
46 Greater Roadrunner
47 Burrowing Owl
48 Vaux's Swift
49 Black-chinned Hummingbird
50 Anna's Hummingbird


# Species
51 Costa's Hummingbird
52 Rufous Hummingbird
53 Gila Woodpecker
54 Ladder-backed Woodpecker
55 Western Wood Pewee
56 Gray Flycatcher
57 Pacific Slope Flycatcher
58 Black Phoebe
59 Say's Phoebe
60 Vermilion Flycatcher
61 Western Kingbird
62 Loggerhead Shrike
63 Warbling Vireo
64 Tree Swallow
65 Barn Swallow
66 Verdin
67 Rock Wren
68 House Wren
69 Marsh Wren
70 Black-tailed Gnatcatcher
71 Northern Mockingbird
72 European Starling
73 Phainopepla
74 Orange-crowned Warbler
75 Common Yellowthroat
76 Yellow-rumped Warbler
77 Yellow Warbler
78 Townsend's Warbler
79 Wilson's Warbler
80 Nashville Warbler
81 Black-throated Gray Warbler
82 Hermit Warbler
83 Western Tanager
84 Green-tailed Towhee
85 Abert's Towhee
86 Chipping Sparrow
87 Brewer's Sparrow
88 Lark Sparrow
89 Sage Sparrow
90 Song Sparrow
91 Lincoln's Sparrow
92 White-crowned Sparrow
93 Black-headed Grosbeak
94 Red-winged Blackbird
95 Western Meadowlark
96 Yellow-headed Blackbird
97 Great-tailed Grackle
98 House Finch
99 Lesser Goldfinch
100 House Sparrow

Photos Henry D. Detwiler