Bob Miller and I tried once
again to break the 100 species mark in the immediate Yuma area, but we
called it a day at 5:00PM with only 87 to our names! (list follows at end page)
From the Colorado River Levee we saw a flooded field in the distance that had quite a few sandpipers. The route we took to it was highly circuitous, but it enabled us to add a striking RING-NECKED PHEASANT and our first FERRUGINOUS HAWK of the season. Once we made it to the field we got great looks at three BAIRD'S and two PECTORAL SANDPIPERS. And in the surrounding fields was a spectacle of TREE and BARN SWALLOWS numbering into the thousands.
Gila Gravity Canal
BREWER'S and WHITE-CROWNED SPARROWS have returned in force, and we saw many of each. At West Pond we flushed an AMERICAN BITTERN, an outstanding bird for the Yuma area. We also found two WILSON'S and one BLACK-THROATED GRAY WARBLER--south-bound stragglers among the hundreds of returning YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLERS.
VERMILION FLYCATCHERS have also returned for the winter, and we saw three over the course of the day, along with a pair of lingering WESTERN KINGBIRDS. Below the feed for the Gila Gravity Canal was an early female GOLDENEYE--one of our very few duck species. We eyed each other as we ate our lunch of sandwiches.
Later in the afternoon we marveled as a kettle of 70 TURKEY VULTURES spiraled and soared against a backdrop of massive rolling thunderheads. Although we missed a lot of common species, we found some really great birds for the Yuma area--a most excellent day!