Date: 10/12/17 8:22 am
From: 'Guy' <guymcc...> [inlandcountybirds] <inlandcountybirds-noreply...>
Subject: [inlandcountybirds] Salton Sea (south) - 11 Oct 2017
I spent Wednesday, 11 October 2017 (6:45 AM to 5:45 PM) birding a few select
locations within the Imperial Valley and along the south shore of the Salton
Sea. I started the day at the IID Wetlands near Niland, spending time at the
northeast corner. From there I drove northward into Niland, where I birded
northward along International Avenue, west along 4th Street, then south
along Luna Avenue. From there I drove southwestward by way of McDonald,
Davis and Schrimpf Roads to Morton Bay, then southwestward by way of Garst
and Sinclair Roads to the Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge HQ. After
spending a little time around the refuge HQ buildings and Rock Hill, I
checked for water birds along the shore 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. From there I drove eastward to Calipatria, spending a
little time looking for land-bird west of the town. I then drove south into
Brawley, stopping briefly at Ramer Lake. In Brawley, I looked at Riverview
Cemetery, then quickly at the hummingbird feeders on Willard Avenue and at
Cattle Call Park. I then continued south by way of Dogwood Road to near the
southeast corner of El Centro, and ending the day at Fig Lagoon before
heading west to San Diego.

It was partially cloudy with no wind, and with temperatures ranging
from 55 to 95 degrees.

I spent much more time looking through sparrows and other land-birds
than during recent trips, and limited my time along the shore of the Salton
Sea.

Species seen and/or heard - Canada Goose (1 - one at Fig Lagoon),
Blue-winged Teal (20 - at least twenty), Cinnamon Teal (5),
Blue-winged/Cinnamon Teal (25), Northern Shoveler (500), Gadwall (2),
American Wigeon (5), Mallard (15), Northern Pintail (5), Green-winged Teal
(10), Redhead (15), Ring-necked Duck (2 - a male and female together at Fig
Lagoon), Lesser Scaup (30 - thirty on Morton Bay are the first that I have
encountered locally this fall), Ruddy Duck (1200), Gambel's Quail (5),
Pied-billed Grebe (15), Eared Grebe (2), Western Grebe (20), Clark's Grebe
(4), Aechmophorus sp. (15), Rock Pigeon (100), Eurasian Collared-Dove (200),
Inca Dove (20), Common Ground-Dove (35), White-winged Dove (1 - one in
flight along 4th Street in the western part of Niland), Mourning Dove (75),
Greater Roadrunner (2), Anna's Hummingbird (10), Costa's Hummingbird (1),
Ridgway's Rail (3), Virginia Rail (2), Sora (10), Common Gallinule (2),
American Coot (150), Sandhill Crane (5 - five in flight near the
intersection of Dogwood and Keystone Roads south of Brawley), Black-necked
Stilt (50), American Avocet (250), Black-bellied Plover (30), Snowy Plover
(1), Semipalmated Plover (1), Killdeer (35), Long-billed Curlew (2), Marbled
Godwit (50), Stilt Sandpiper (5 - five with Long-billed Dowitchers at the
west end of Sinclair Road), Dunlin (15), Least Sandpiper (150), Western
Sandpiper (750), Long-billed Dowitcher (300), Spotted Sandpiper (1), Lesser
Yellowlegs (5), Willet (75), Greater Yellowlegs (20), Ring-billed Gull
(500), Western Gull (6 - six along the shore of the Salton Sea between
Obsidian Butte and the west end of Young Road), Yellow-footed Gull (10),
California Gull (30), Herring Gull (40), Caspian Tern (25), Forster's Tern
(15), Black Skimmer (12 - six adults and six hatch-year birds at Rock Hill),
Neotropic Cormorant (11 - ten at Ramer Lake and one at Fig Lagoon),
Double-crested Cormorant (250), American White Pelican (300), Brown Pelican
(75), Least Bittern (10), Great Blue Heron (20), Great Egret (50), Snowy
Egret (150), Cattle Egret (1500), Green Heron (1), Black-crowned Night-Heron
(5), White-faced Ibis (250), Turkey Vulture (25), Osprey (2), Northern
Harrier (5), Sharp-shinned Hawk (1), Cooper's Hawk (3), Red-tailed Hawk (2),
Burrowing Owl (3), Belted Kingfisher (5), Lewis's Woodpecker (1 - one
hatch-year bird seen well on the top of a utility pole and in flight along
4th street in the western part of Niland - this woodpecker is an irregular
straggler to the Salton Sink, occurring on an average of once in every three
years, with one near Westmorland on 23 September 1989 establishing the
earliest date for a fall migrant), Gila Woodpecker (3), Red-naped Sapsucker
(2 - one along 4th street in the western part of Niland and one along Luna
Avenue in the western part of Niland), Red-breasted Sapsucker (1 - one well
seen along 4th street in the western part of Niland had a mostly red head, a
short white moustachial-stripe and much black on the back establishes the
earliest date for this casual winter visitor to the Salton Sink with one in
Niland on 16 October 2009 being the previous earliest) Ladder-backed
Woodpecker (2), Northern (Red-shafted) Flicker (5), American Kestrel (30),
Merlin (3 - one near the south end of International Avenue in Niland, one
near the intersection of Davis and Schrimpf Roads and one at the
intersection of Sperry and Bowles Roads west of Calipatria), Black Phoebe
(35), Say's Phoebe (25), Vermilion Flycatcher (2 - two at Riverview Cemetery
in Brawley), Western Kingbird (1 - one unusually late individual well
studied near the south end of International Avenue in Niland - most have
departed by early September), Loggerhead Shrike (5), Common Raven (1), Tree
Swallow (150), Barn Swallow (750), Verdin (10), Red-breasted Nuthatch (2 -
one at the northeast corner of the IID Wetlands near Niland and one along
Luna Avenue in the western part of Niland), House Wren (5), Marsh Wren (10),
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher (1), Black-tailed Gnatcatcher (3), Ruby-crowned
Kinglet (5), Townsend's Solitaire (1 - one at the intersection of Sperry and
Bowles Roads west of Calipatria was foraging near and on the ground along
the edge of a flooded meadow - overall gray coloration, buffy markings on
the wings, white on the outer tail-feathers and conspicuous white eye-ring
all noted), Northern Mockingbird (20), European Starling (350), Cedar
Waxwing (5 - a flock of five in flight along Luna Avenue in the western part
of Niland), Phainopepla (5), House Sparrow (75), House Finch (50), Pine
Siskin (1 - one with an American Goldfinch at the northeast corner of the
IID Wetlands near Niland), Lesser Goldfinch (20), American Goldfinch (1 -
one, believed to be an adult male, in basic-plumage feeding on sunflowers at
the northeast corner of the IID Wetlands near Niland ties the earliest date
for a fall migrant at the Salton Sink, the other being one in Niland on 11
October 2007)), Abert's Towhee (15), Chipping Sparrow (25), Brewer's Sparrow
(10), Lark Sparrow (2 - two at the intersection of Sperry and Bowles Roads
west of Calipatria), Savannah Sparrow (35), Fox Sparrow (1 - one, identified
as Passerella iliaca altivagans by Philip Unitt, near the southeast corner
of El Centro was known present since 8 October - this sparrow is a casual
winter visitor to the Salton Sink, occurring on an average of only once in
every three years), Song Sparrow (15 - including two well marked individuals
of the migratory subspecies montana at the northeast corner of the IID
Wetlands near Niland), Lincoln's Sparrow (10), White-crowned Sparrow (100),
Golden-crowned Sparrow (1 - one in first-winter plumage bird well studied as
it fed on the ground with White-crowned Sparrows at the northeast corner of
the IID Wetlands near Niland establishes the earliest date for a fall
migrant at the Salton Sink - one in residential southwestern Brawley on 21
October 2009 being the previous earliest), Dark-eyed Junco (1 - one "Oregon
Junco" at the northeast corner of the IID Wetlands near Niland is the first
that I have encountered locally this fall), Yellow-headed Blackbird (2),
Western Meadowlark (15), Red-winged Blackbird (1500), Brown-headed Cowbird
(25), Brewer's Blackbird (50), Great-tailed Grackle (150), Orange-crowned
Warbler (10), Common Yellowthroat (5), Yellow Warbler (1) and Yellow-rumped
Warbler (75) - 131 species.



Guy McCaskie




 
Join us on Facebook!