& the Colorado River
by Henry Detwiler
A day trip with Stuart and Anne to find some of our regional
thumbnail pictures for full-sized shots.
Anne & Stuart
|We started out east of town at Tacna, in search of the
elusive LeConte's Thrasher. Sage Sparrows, American
Kestrels, and lots of Say's Phoebes greeted us as we reached the
saltbush flats. One Say's Phoebe even ventured into the car in
search of a meal. We walked around for a while without success, so I
played the thrasher tape.
Soon we heard a soft singing coming from within a
bush. We spread out and
walked towards the singing, and I flushed the bird. Stuart
and Ann converged from different angles, and Anne was fortunate to
see it perch on an old irrigation ditch before it disappeared for
the last time on the other side of the road.
Stuart & Anne
Watching the loon in the Gila Gravity Canal
|After lunch we made our way north and west to the
Colorado River. Betty's Kitchen was pretty bare, but there
were grebes and a White Pelican on Mittry Lake. As we started
along the dike of the Gila Gravity Canal, Anne cried out for me to
stop and back up. It was a loon! We thought at first it
must be a Common Loon, but consultation with some friends confirmed
a diffent bird: Pacific Loon!
Pacific Loon in the Gila
The Hidden Shores Golf Course was bare, so we drove over to
West Pond. Here at last were some ducks--about a dozen Redheads mixed
in with hundreds of American Coots.
American Coots at
West Pond, CA
north end of West Pond we tried to scare up some rails, and just
before we were about to give up, a pair of Virginia Rails started
clattering right in front and behind us. And as we slammed
one of the car doors, a Sora let out a whinny.
The desilting ponds were beginning to fill up with ducks, and we
saw many species: Mallard, American Wigeon, Lesser Scaup, a
possible Greater Scaup, Bufflehead, and Gadwalls. And as is
usual for the location, several Ospreys were surveying the area
for fish. Farther north, Senator Wash, a holding impoundment
for Colorado River water, held only a few grebes, so we moved on.
Osprey at Desilting
Phil Swing Park is right next to the Imperial Dam. At times
it can be very birdy. This afternoon there was a female mule
deer and her offspring, as well as a Northern Flicker and
Dark-eyed Juncos. The sun was on its way down, so we called
it a day and headed back to Yuma.
Phil Swing Park with 2 Mule