Gila River, Martinez Lake, Imperial NWR, Colorado River
Dec 2, 2000
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 merganser species.

 
# Species Name
1 Eared Grebe
2 Pied-Billed Grebe
3 Western Grebe
4 White Pelican
5 Double-Crested Cormorant
6 Great Blue Heron
7 Great Egret
8 Cattle Egret
9 Black-Crowned Night Heron
10 Snowy Egret
11 White-Faced Ibis
12 Common Goldeneye
13 Ruddy Duck
14 Green-Winged Teal
15 Ring-Necked Duck
16 Redhead
17 Northern Shoveler
18 Red-Breasted Merganser
19 Northern Pintail
20 Mallard
21 Lesser Scaup
22 Common Merganser
23 Gadwall
24 Canvasback
25 Bufflehead
26 American Wigeon
27 Snow Goose
28 Canada Goose
29 American Coot
30 Common Gallinule
31 Killdeer
32 Least Sandpiper
33 Ring-Billed Gull
34 Caspian Tern
35 Forster's Tern
36 Turkey Vulture
37 Osprey
38 Red-Tailed Hawk
39 Bald Eagle
40 Northern Harrier

 

 
#

Species Name

41 American Kestrel
42 Gambel's Quail
43 Inca Dove
44 Mourning Dove
45 Rock Dove
46 Greater Roadrunner
47 Great Horned Owl
48 Anna's Hummingbird
49 Belted Kingfisher
50 Northern Flicker
51 Gila Woodpecker
52 Black Phoebe
53 Say's Phoebe
54 Vermillion Flycatcher
55 Tree Swallow
56 Barn Swallow
57 Verdin
58 House Wren
59 Marsh Wren
60 Rock Wren
61 American Robin
62 Black-Tailed Gnatcatcher
63 Ruby-Crowned Kinglet
64 Blue-Gray Gnatcatcher
65 Loggerhead Shrike
66 Northern Mockingbird
67 Cedar Waxwing
68 Phainopepla
69 European Starling
70 Yellow-Rumped Warbler
71 Common Yellowthroat
72 Orange-Crowned Warbler
73 Great-Tailed Grackle
74 Red-Winged Blackbird
75 Western Meadowlark
76 House Sparrow
77 House Finch
78 Abert's Towhee
79 Song Sparrow
80 White-Crowned Sparrow


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Photos Henry D. Detwiler

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