Date: 11/8/18 8:51 am
From: <guymcc...> [inlandcountybirds] <inlandcountybirds-noreply...>
Subject: [inlandcountybirds] Salton Sea (south) - 7 Nov 2018
I spent most of Wednesday, 7 November 2018 (6:00 AM to 4:30 PM), with Lars
Jonsson and his wife visitors from Sweden, checking a few locations in the
Imperial Valley and along the south shore of the Salton Sea. We started the
day at Ramer Lake where viewing was limited by ground fog. From Rammer Lake
we drove northward to the area west of Calipatria, stopping to look at Young
Reservoir on the way. From there we continued northward to Morton Bay by way
of English and Schrimpf Roads, stopping to look for gulls near the
intersection of Davis and Schrimpf Roads. From there we drove 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
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. From
there we drove southeastward through Westmorland into Brawley. After leaving
Lars Jonsson and his wife at their vehicle for an early return drive to Los
Angeles, I looked at the hummingbird feeders on Willard Avenue, spent a
little time at Cattle Call Park, and looked briefly at Jeffrey Thomas Park.
I then drove south on Forrester Road, stopping to look at Sheldon Reservoir,
and ended the day at Fig Lagoon.

The sky was clear, but with ground fog in the early morning, little to no
wind throughout the day, and with temperatures ranging from 60 to 85

Thousands of unidentified waterfowl and gulls were congregated on the open
water off the mouths of the Alamo and New Rivers, presumably resting for the

Species seen and/or heard - Snow Goose (2000), Ross's Goose (1000), Cackling
Goose (15 - fifteen leucopareia at Unit 1 of the Salton Sea National
Wildlife Refuge were the first that I have encountered this fall/winter)
Cinnamon Teal (30), Northern Shoveler (3500), Gadwall (20), American Wigeon
(10), Mallard (150), Northern Pintail (350), Green-winged Teal (750),
Redhead (5), Ring-necked Duck (75 - most at Fig Lagoon), Lesser Scaup (10),
Bufflehead (3), Ruddy Duck (2000), Gambel's Quail (25), Pied-billed Grebe
(10), Eared Grebe (75), Western Grebe (20), Clark's Grebe (3),
Western/Clark's Grebe (20), Rock Pigeon (300), Eurasian Collared-Dove (250),
Inca Dove (3 - three together at Jeffrey Thomas Park in Brawley), Common
Ground-Dove (20), White-winged Dove (2 - two together at Cattle Call Park in
Brawley), Mourning Dove (150), Greater Roadrunner (1), Anna's Hummingbird
(3), Costa's Hummingbird (1), Ridgway's Rail (1), Sora (5), Common Gallinule
(5), American Coot (500), Sandhill Crane (250), Black-necked Stilt (75),
American Avocet (150), Black-bellied Plover (20), Killdeer (35), Long-billed
Curlew (75), Marbled Godwit (75), Ruddy Turnstone (1 - one near the west end
of Sinclair Road probably present since at least 12 September and wintering
locally), Stilt Sandpiper (3 - three with Long-billed Dowitchers near the
west end of Sinclair Road), Dunlin (2), Least Sandpiper (500), Western
Sandpiper (10), Least/Western Sandpipers (1500), Long-billed Dowitcher
(350), Wilson's Snipe (75 - large number seen in flight at Unit 1 of the
Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge), Spotted Sandpiper (1), Lesser
Yellowlegs (6 - six together at Unit 1 of the Salton Sea National Wildlife
Refuge), Willet (50), Greater Yellowlegs (50), Wilson's Phalarope (1 - one
with Long-billed Dowitchers at Unit 1 of the Salton Sea National Wildlife
Refuge), Bonaparte's Gull (10), Franklin's Gull (3 - two first-winter
plumage birds with Ring-billed Gulls near the intersection of Davis and
Schrimpf Roads and one more first-winter plumage bird on the open water of
the Salton Sea off the north end of Lack Road - smaller than accompanying
Ring-billed Gulls with obvious black hind-hood and white eye-crescents),
Ring-billed Gull (3500), California Gull (250 - most on Sheldon Reservoir
where gulls gather to bath in the late afternoon), Herring Gull (50),
Caspian Tern (5), Forster's Tern (10), Common Loon (1 - one on Young
Reservoir near Calipatria), Neotropic Cormorant (75 - most at Ramer Lake,
but including three together at Sheldon Reservoir), Double-crested Cormorant
(250), American White Pelican (250), Brown Pelican (5), Least Bittern (5),
Great Blue Heron (30), Great Egret (75), Snowy Egret (150), Cattle Egret
(2000), Green Heron (1), Black-crowned Night-Heron (30), White-faced Ibis
(2500), Turkey Vulture (15), Osprey (4), Northern Harrier (15), Cooper's
Hawk (5), Red-tailed Hawk (15), Burrowing Owl (3), Belted Kingfisher (2),
Gila Woodpecker (2), Red-naped Sapsucker (1 - one at Cattle Call Park in
Brawley known present since 23 October), Ladder-backed Woodpecker (1),
Northern Flicker (10), American Kestrel (25), Merlin (1), Black Phoebe (15),
Say's Phoebe (15), Vermilion Flycatcher (1 - one male at Cattle Call Park in
Brawley), Loggerhead Shrike (6), Common Raven (2), Tree Swallow (10), Verdin
(10), House Wren (1), Marsh Wren (6), Blue-gray Gnatcatcher (1),
Ruby-crowned Kinglet (10), Northern Mockingbird (15), European Starling
(350), American Pipit (30), House Sparrow (75), House Finch (20), Lesser
Goldfinch (2), Abert's Towhee (15), Chipping Sparrow (10 - a flock of about
ten at Jeffrey Thomas Park in Brawley), Savannah Sparrow (25), Song Sparrow
(5), White-crowned Sparrow (150), Western Meadowlark (20), Red-winged
Blackbird (1000), Brown-headed Cowbird (5), Brewer's Blackbird (30),
Great-tailed Grackle (150), Orange-crowned Warbler (1), Common Yellowthroat
(5) and Yellow-rumped Warbler (75) - 115 species.

Guy McCaskie

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