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 degrees.
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 day.
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.