Peregrine Falcon


Imperial NWR, Colorado River, & Yuma
Dec 14-15, 2002, 44-75 degrees
- narrated by Henry Detwiler

Scouting out areas with Jackie, Elaine, Al & Helga, and Suzanne for the upcoming Yuma Christmas Bird Count.

Click on thumbnail pictures for full-sized shots.

Suzanne and I once again started out with excellent muffins and juice at Al & Helga's before we drove north to Imperial NWR.  Just before we got to the headquarters we saw a bobcat crossing the road!  We met Jackie Ferrier, refuge biologist, and Elaine, one of the refuge volunteers, who led us into the closed area.

Black Phoebe Silohuette

A Cooper's Hawk was the welcoming committee.  It was cold starting out, and the cottonwood grove fairly quiet, with a few Yellow-rumpeds and Black Phoebes.  In the distance we got an immature Bald Eagle and numbers of Northern Harriers.  As we left the grove, a Gray Flycatcher put in a brief appearance.

The ponds had a fine variety of ducks--Mallard, Am. Wigeon, Gadwall, Bufflehead, N. Shoveler, teal, Ring-necked Duck, and Lesser Scaup.  Out in the wet fields were Ross', Snow, and Canada Geese.  Jackie said she'll never tire of the Canada's honking--I agreed!

American Wigeons

In one shallow pond Jackie found a flock of Least Sandpipers and a Greater Yellowlegs.  It took me forever to spot the yellowlegs, but finally I did.  We missed seeing any snipe the whole day!  Sparrows were also out and about, with large numbers of Savannahs and at least one Vesper.  

American Coot

Martinez Lake provided excellent looks at Western Grebes and White Pelicans.  We heard the grebes' mating calls, and from their vantage point, Jackie & Elaine saw their "pattering" dance on the water. The sewage ponds at Fisher's Landing had several more Black-necked Stilts and Least Sandpipers, but even better was the Sage Sparrow and Bewick's Wren.  Then we said goodbye to Jackie and Elaine, and headed south to Imperial Dam for lunch.

Great Egret

A Vermilion Flycatcher, Dark-eyed Juncos, and a Lark Sparrow at the Hidden Shores Golf  Course watched us as we watched them.  We spent another two hours in a rather fruitless search for suitable habitat among the lettuce fields of the n. Gila Valley. 

I got a fine close-up of the Great Egret above and this odd couple Killdeer and Spotted Sandpiper.  There were also several skittish kingfishers along the canals, but not much else.

Killdeer & Spotted Sandpiper

Peregrine Falcon

On Sunday I was happy to see a Prairie Falcon fly low directly over my head as I was filling a feeder, hover for a second as it scanned the yard, and then take off.  Later that day we went to look for the Peregrine Falcon making life a risky venture for the Rock Doves on 1st Street downtown.  We found him on the top of a high microwave tower and got some long-range shots.

Red-necked Grebe - first record for Yuma?

At a final stop along the Colorado River w. of Joe Henry Park the bird gods smiled upon us; a Red-necked Grebe came in for a landing several hundred yards downstream.  We got excellent views of it through the scope, but the pics turned out poorly.  

Imperial NWR & Yuma, 14-15 Dec 2002
# Species
1 Red-necked Grebe
2 Clark's Grebe
3 Pied-Billed Grebe
4 Western Grebe
5 White Pelican
6 Double-crested Cormorant
7 Snowy Egret
8 Great Blue Heron
9 Great Egret
10 White-faced Ibis
11 Lesser Scaup
12 Ring-Necked Duck
13 Gadwall
14 Ruddy Duck
15 Redhead
16 Northern Shoveler
17 Ross' Goose
18 Mallard
19 Green-Winged Teal
20 Canvasback
21 Bufflehead
22 American Wigeon
23 Snow Goose
24 Canada Goose
25 Northern Pintail
26 Cinnamon Teal
27 American Coot
28 Virginia Rail
29 Black-necked Stilt
30 Killdeer
31 Spotted Sandpiper
32 Greater Yellowlegs
33 Least Sandpiper
34 Ring-Billed Gull
35 Caspian Tern
36 Cooper's Hawk
37 Bald Eagle
38 Northern Harrier
39 Osprey
40 Red-tailed Hawk
41 Sharp-shinned Hawk
42 American Kestrel
43 Prairie Falcon
44 Peregrine Falcon
45 Gambel's Quail
# Species
46 Rock Dove
47 Common Ground Dove
48 Mourning Dove
49 Inca Dove
50 Anna's Hummingbird
51 Costa's Hummingbird
52 Belted Kingfisher
53 Gila Woodpecker
54 Ladder-backed Woodpecker
55 Northern Flicker
56 Vermilion Flycatcher
57 Black Phoebe
58 Say's Phoebe
59 Gray Flycatcher
60 Barn Swallow
61 Rough-winged Swallow
62 Tree Swallow
63 Common Raven
64 Verdin
65 Bewick's Wren
66 Marsh Wren
67 Rock Wren
68 Ruby-Crowned Kinglet
69 Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
70 Loggerhead Shrike
71 Northern Mockingbird
72 Phainopepla
73 European Starling
74 Common Yellowthroat
75 Orange-crowned Warbler
76 Yellow-rumped Warbler
77 Western Meadowlark
78 Red-Winged Blackbird
79 Great-tailed Grackle
80 Brewer's Blackbird
81 House Sparrow
82 House Finch
83 Song Sparrow
84 Vesper Sparrow
85 White-crowned Sparrow
86 Savannah Sparrow
87 Sage Sparrow
88 Dark-eyed Junco
89 Abert's Towhee
90 Lark Sparrow

Photos Henry D. Detwiler