Gila River, Martinez Lake, Imperial NWR, Colorado River
0930-1745, Cloudy - Sunny, 55-75
A drive north of town to see
what kinds of birds are wintering there--in preparation for the
Christmas Bird Count and an Elderhostel tour in January.
80 species total
Another late start, but the birds didn't seem to mind! At the
old Bureau of Reclamation site close to Hwy 95 and the Gila River just
north of town I found a few warblers, sparrows, and a House Wren.
|Martinez Lake was very birdy, with a small flock
of Cedar Waxwings and American Robins. Again, by setting
up the scope and using the digital camera, I was able to get
some nice close-ups. Click for a tutorial!
||Martinez Lake is fed by the Colorado
River. On the southern end is a small community with a
couple of stores/bait shops and a boat launch. The
shallow waters and cattails attract coots, waders,
ducks, and other water lovers. I've never been there
without finding an Osprey. Today was no exception.
|North of Martinez Lake is the Imperial National
Wildlife Refuge. From the observation tower here I
picked up Canada and Snow Geese, and in the distance a
third-year Bald Eagle was perched in a dying Cottonwood tree.
|Imperial Wildlife Refuge stretches along the
river for several miles, and there are several pull-offs and
overlooks to investigate. At the first two, Mesquite and
Palo Verde, I found several additional duck species.
Then I headed over to the California side of the river, and
investigated the Imperial Dam area. Hidden Shores had both
a mature and an immature Vermillion Flycatcher catching insects
on their small golf course. At Senator's Wash were both