Date: 7/16/17 9:36 am From: 'Guy' <guymcc...> [inlandcountybirds] <inlandcountybirds-noreply...> Subject: [inlandcountybirds] Salton Sea (south) - 15 July 2017
I spent Saturday, 15 July 2017 (5:30 AM to 5:30 PM) birding a few select locations within the Imperial Valley and along the south shore of the Salton Sea. I started the day at in the area at the intersection of Carter and Fites Roads southwest of Brawley then moved north into Brawley where I looked at the hummingbird feeders on Willard Avenue. I then drove northward to Ramer Lake, the IID Wetlands, and into Niland. In Niland I birded northward along International Avenue, west along 4th Street, then south along Luna Avenue. I then drove southwestward by way of Alcott, English, Pound. Davis and Schrimpf Roads to Morton Bay, spending time at the intersection of Pound and Davis Roads. From here I drove south on Garst and west on Sinclair Roads to the Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge HQ. After spending a little time at the Refuge HQ's and Rock Hill, I checked for water birds along the shoreline of the Salton Sea between the west end of Sinclair Road and Obsidian Butte, and from Obsidian Butte to the west end of Young Road. I then drove to Unit 1 of the Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge where I spent a little time. From here I drove southeastward into Westmorland, then south on Forrester and Ross Roads to Sunbeam Lake and Lakeview Golfcourse, stopping along the way at an irrigated field with many birds west of Imperial. I then looked over Fig Lagoon before continuing west to San Diego.
It was overcast most of the morning but clear in the afternoon, with a light wind from the south early in the morning, but dropping to nothing more than a light breeze, and temperatures ranging from 85 to 110 degrees.
Species seen and/or heard - Gadwall (1), Mallard (75), Cinnamon Teal (10), Northern Shoveler (3), Northern Pintail (1), Redhead (10), Lesser Scaup (1 - one male at Rock Hill was evidently summering locally), Ruddy Duck (250), Gambel's Quail (20 - including two families with chicks), Pied-billed Grebe (10), Eared Grebe (300), Western Grebe (50), Clark's Grebe (5), Aechmophorus sp. (50), Rock Pigeon (100), Eurasian Collared-Dove (150), Inca Dove (15), Common Ground-Dove (30), White-winged Dove (150), Mourning Dove (75), Greater Roadrunner (2), Lesser Nighthawk (1), Black-chinned Hummingbird (5), Anna's Hummingbird (6), Costa's Hummingbird (5), Ridgway's Rail (5), Common Gallinule (10), American Coot (150), Black-necked Stilt (300), American Avocet (250), Black-bellied Plover (1), Snowy Plover (15), Killdeer (35), Whimbrel (150 - all in an irrigated field immediately west of Imperial), Long-billed Curlew (5), Marbled Godwit (35), Stilt Sandpiper (2 - two adults in alternate-plumage at Unit 1 of the Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge were the first that I have encountered this fall), Least Sandpiper (50), Western Sandpiper (500), Long-billed Dowitcher (150), Greater Yellowlegs (35), Willet (25), Lesser Yellowlegs (1), Wilson's Phalarope (2), Laughing Gull (6 - all in an irrigated field immediately west of Imperial), Ring-billed Gull (75), Yellow-footed Gull (10), California Gull (30), Gull-billed Tern (60 - none on nests, but including about six chicks at Rock Hill), Caspian Tern (50), Black Tern (25), Forster's Tern (35), Black Skimmer (300), Neotropic Cormorant (25 - at least twenty-five including adults feeding full-grown young in nests at Ramer Lake), Double-crested Cormorant (500 - some at Ramer Lake where nesting), American White Pelican (350), Brown Pelican (250), American Bittern (1 - one at the IID Wetlands south of Niland), Least Bittern (10), Great Blue Heron (50), Great Egret (75 - most at Ramer Lake where nesting), Snowy Egret (150), Cattle Egret (2000 - many at Ramer Lake where nesting), Green Heron (10), Black-crowned Night-Heron (50), White-faced Ibis (2500), Turkey Vulture (10), Cooper's Hawk (1 - one immature near the intersection of Carter and Fites Roads southwest of Brawley was likely an early fall migrant/winter visitor), Red-tailed Hawk (1 - one adult near the intersection of Bannister and Lack Roads northwest of Westmorland), Barn Owl (1), Great Horned Owl (1 - one adult at the Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge HQ), Burrowing Owl (30), Gila Woodpecker (2), Ladder-backed Woodpecker (1), American Kestrel (15), Peregrine Falcon (1), Black Phoebe (15), Vermilion Flycatcher (1 - a hatch-year bird at Lakeview Golfcourse), Western Kingbird (50), Loggerhead Shrike (2), Common Raven (2), Tree Swallow (5), Northern Rough-winged Swallow (15), Cliff Swallow (1000), Barn Swallow (5 - five at the intersection of Carter and Fites Roads southwest of Brawley), Verdin (20), Marsh Wren (5), Black-tailed Gnatcatcher (6), Northern Mockingbird (10), European Starling (100), House Sparrow (50), House Finch (25), Lesser Goldfinch (1 - one near the southern end of International Avenue in Niland was the first that I have encountered since 26 April so likely fall migrants), Lucy's Warbler (1 - one hatch-year bird near the intersection of Carter and Fites Roads southwest of Brawley lacked rusty caps and had limited pale rust on their rumps), Common Yellowthroat (10), Yellow-breasted Chat (2 - two singing near the intersection of Carter and Fites Roads southwest of Brawley), Abert's Towhee (10), Black-throated Sparrow (1 - one hatch-year bird with a muted facial-pattern of an adult but lacking black on the throat and breast at Rock Hill was found by Kimball L. Garrett establishes the earliest date for a post-breeding wanderer in the Imperial County portion of the Salton Sink), Song Sparrow (12), Blue Grosbeak (1 - one female along International Avenue in Niland), Red-winged Blackbird (1500), Western Meadowlark (15), Yellow-headed Blackbird (5), Brewer's Blackbird (10), Great-tailed Grackle (150), Bronzed Cowbird (5 - an adult male with a female and a hatch-year bird near the southern end of International Avenue in Niland, one adult female at Sunbeam Lake and one adult male at Lakeview Golfcourse), Brown-headed Cowbird (20), Hooded Oriole (1 - one female near the southern end of International Avenue in Niland) and Bullock's Oriole (8 - including a "flock" of six at the IID Wetlands which were believed to be migrants) - 107 species.