Date: 10/11/18 9:02 am From: <guymcc...> [inlandcountybirds] <inlandcountybirds-noreply...> Subject: [inlandcountybirds] Salton Sea (south) - 10 October 2018
We (Therese R. Clawson) spent Wednesday, 10 October 2018 (6:30 AM to 5:45 PM) checking a few locations in the Imperial Valley and along the south shore of the Salton Sea. We started the day Ramer Lake, then drove northward through Calipatria to the IID Wetlands, stopping to look at the Earthrise algae plant at Hoober Road on the way. After spending time in the northeastern corner of the IID Wetlands, we proceeded northward into Niland. In Niland we birded northward along International Avenue, west along 4th Street, and south along Luna Avenue. We then drove northwestward by way of Highway 111 to the Wister Unit HQ. After birding around the Wister Unit HQ (very little bird activity) we drove south through the Wister Unit on Davis Road and west on Schrimpf Road to Morton Bay, stopping briefly to look at the wet areas at the intersection of Pound and Davis Roads, and Schrimpf and Davis Roads. From there we drove southwestward by way of Garst and Sinclair Roads to the Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge HQ. After spending time around the Refuge HQ buildings and looking at Rock Hill, we checked for water birds along the shore of the Salton Sea between the west end of Sinclair Road and Obsidian Butte, and between Obsidian Butte and the west end of Young Road. We then drove southwestward to Unit 1 of the Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge and the north end of Poe Road. From there we drove southeastward through Westmorland into Brawley where we looked for passerines in Riverview Cemetery. We then drove south on Forrester Road, stopping to look at Sheldon Reservoir, and ended the day at Fig Lagoon.
There was very little cloud-cover, light wind in the afternoon, and temperatures ranging from 60 to 85 degrees.
Species seen and/or heard - Greater White-fronted Goose (20 - twenty in flight over Ramer Lake at dawn), Blue-winged Teal (6 - six female-plumage birds with Cinnamon Teal at Ramer Lake had gray faces, obvious eye-stripes and small bills), Cinnamon Teal (30), Cinnamon/Blue-winged Teal (40), Northern Shoveler (1000), Gadwall (5), American Wigeon (10), Mallard (75), Northern Pintail (25), Green-winged Teal (350), Redhead (15), Lesser Scaup (2 - two together at Fig Lagoon are the first that I have encountered locally this fall), Ruddy Duck (750), Gambel's Quail (15), Pied-billed Grebe (15), Eared Grebe (50), Western Grebe (20), Clark's Grebe (5), Western/Clark's Grebe (20), Rock Pigeon (150), Eurasian Collared-Dove (250), Inca Dove (5), Common Ground-Dove (25), White-winged Dove (1 - one with Eurasian Collared-Doves at the Wister Unit HQ), Mourning Dove (150), Greater Roadrunner (4), Anna's Hummingbird (15), Costa's Hummingbird (1), Rufous Hummingbird (1 - one female Selasphorus presumed to be this species frequenting the hummingbird feeders on West 4th Street in Niland was exceptionally late - the latest known are single birds in Brawley 15-16 October 2009 and on 29 October 2000), Ridgway's Rail (3), Sora (6), Common Gallinule (5), American Coot (500 - many on Sheldon Reservoir), Sandhill Crane (65), Black-necked Stilt (250), American Avocet (500), Black-bellied Plover (350 - most at the north end of Poe Road), Snowy Plover (2), Killdeer (30), Long-billed Curlew (50), Marbled Godwit (150), Stilt Sandpiper (1 - one with Greater Yellowlegs at the intersection of Pound and Davis Roads), Dunlin (25), Least Sandpiper (750), Western Sandpiper (1500), Least/Western Sandpipers (1500), Long-billed Dowitcher (150), Wilson's Snipe (6), Spotted Sandpiper (3), Willet (75), Greater Yellowlegs (50), Wilson's Phalarope (1 - one at the at the Earthrise algae plant at Hoober Road), Laughing Gull (20), Ring-billed Gull (1500), Western Gull (1 - one adult with bright pink legs and feet along the shore of the Salton Sea between the west ends of Lindsey and Young Roads), Yellow-footed Gull (1 - one adult at the north end of Poe Road), California Gull (350 - most on Sheldon Reservoir), Herring Gull (25), Caspian Tern (15), Black Tern (10), Forster's Tern (25), Black Skimmer (1 - one adult at Rock Hill), Neotropic Cormorant (100), Double-crested Cormorant (250), American White Pelican (350), Brown Pelican (75), American Bittern (1 - one at Unit 1 of the Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge), Least Bittern (10), Great Blue Heron (25), Great Egret (75), Snowy Egret (150), Reddish Egret (1 - one mostly gray immature at the north end of Poe Road was actively running through shallow water with wings open at times - a rare to casual visitor to the Salton Sink), Cattle Egret (1500), Green Heron (5), Black-crowned Night-Heron (25), White-faced Ibis (500), Turkey Vulture (30), Osprey (2), Northern Harrier (10), Sharp-shinned Hawk (1), Cooper's Hawk (3), Red-shouldered Hawk (1 - one immature in flight over the western part of Niland), Red-tailed Hawk (10), Burrowing Owl (5), Belted Kingfisher (3), Gila Woodpecker (2), Ladder-backed Woodpecker (3), Northern Flicker (15 - the first that I have encountered locally this fall), American Kestrel (25), Merlin (1 - one female columbarius near the Wister Unit HQ was the first that I have encountered locally this fall), Peregrine Falcon (1 - one adult at Unit 1 of the Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge), Western Flycatcher (2), Black Phoebe (15), Say's Phoebe (15), Vermilion Flycatcher (2 - one adult male and a female at Riverview Cemetery in Brawley), Loggerhead Shrike (6), Common Raven (2), Tree Swallow (50), Barn Swallow (200), Verdin (10), House Wren (3), Marsh Wren (5), Blue-gray Gnatcatcher (2), Black-tailed Gnatcatcher (4), Ruby-crowned Kinglet (3 - the first that I have encountered locally this fall), Northern Mockingbird (15), European Starling (350), Cedar Waxwing (1 - one along Luna Avenue in Niland was the first that I have encountered locally this fall), Phainopepla (2), House Sparrow (75), House Finch (35), Lesser Goldfinch (3), Abert's Towhee (15), Chipping Sparrow (20 - a flock of about twenty at Riverview Cemetery in Brawley), Savannah Sparrow (35), Song Sparrow (6), Lincoln's Sparrow (3), White-crowned Sparrow (50), Dark-eyed Junco (3 - one at the Wister Unit HQ and two with Chipping Sparrows at Riverview Cemetery in Brawley were the first that I have encountered locally this fall), Yellow-headed Blackbird (2), Western Meadowlark (20), Red-winged Blackbird (1500), Brown-headed Cowbird (5), Brewer's Blackbird (50), Great-tailed Grackle (75), Orange-crowned Warbler (5), Common Yellowthroat (5), American Redstart (2 - one adult male and one "female" at the northeastern corner of the IID Wetlands near Niland), Yellow Warbler (1), Yellow-rumped Warbler (75) and Black-throated Gray Warbler (1) - 128 species.