Salton Sea (south) - 21 April 2018

Guy McCaskie
 

We (Therese R. Clawson) spent the Saturday, 21 April 2018 (5:45 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 at Sheldon Reservoir, then moved northward to the area at the intersection of Carter and Fites Roads southwest of Brawley. From here we drove northward to the area around Calipatria, checking for water-birds on Young Reservoir and looking at gulls at the west end of Date Street in Calipatria. We then continued northward to Niland, stopping at the IID Wetlands on the way. In Niland we I birded northward along International Avenue, west along 4th Street, then south along Luna Avenue. From there we drove southwestward by way of Alcott, Pound, 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 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 from Obsidian Butte to the west end of Young Road, and southwestward to Unit 1 of the Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge. We then drove southeastward through Westmorland into Brawley. In Brawley we quickly looked at the hummingbird feeders on Willard Avenue and at Cattle Call Park. From here we drove eastward to Dogwood Road and south to near the southeastern corner of El Centro. From there I drove west to Lakeview Golf Course and ended the day at Fig Lagoon.

It was mostly clear, but with cloud-cover in the late afternoon, and with virtually no, and with temperatures ranging from 50 to 95 degrees.

     Species seen and/or heard – Snow Goose (15 – fifteen “cripples” at Unit 1 of the Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge), Blue-winged Teal (15 – fifteen counted with Cinnamon Teal at the intersection of Pound and Davis Roads)), Cinnamon Teal (150), Northern Shoveler (300), Gadwall (5), Mallard (30), Green-winged Teal (10), Redhead (5),  Ring-necked Duck (2 – two together at Fig Lagoon), Lesser Scaup (1 – one at Sheldon Reservoir), Red-breasted Merganser (1 – one adult male at Obsidian Butte), Ruddy Duck (750), Gambel’s Quail (25), Pied-billed Grebe (5), Eared Grebe (10 – none on the open water of the Salton Sea), Western Grebe (5), Clark’s Grebe (3), Rock Pigeon (50), Eurasian Collared-Dove (150), Inca Dove (15), Common Ground-Dove (30), White-winged Dove (15), Mourning Dove (100), Greater Roadrunner (1), Lesser Nighthawk (1), Vaux’s Swift (2 – two near the intersection of Carter and Fites Roads southwest of Brawley), Black-chinned Hummingbird (10), Anna’s Hummingbird (10), Costa’s Hummingbird (1), Sora (1), Common Gallinule (2), American Coot (350), Black-necked Stilt (75), American Avocet (100), Black-bellied Plover (25), Snowy Plover (2), Semipalmated Plover (30),  Killdeer (15), Whimbrel (75), Long-billed Curlew (6), Marbled Godwit (15), Stilt Sandpiper (60 – at least sixty at Unit 1 of the Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge), Dunlin (6), Least Sandpiper (500), Pectoral Sandpiper (1 – one adult at Unit 1 of the Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge), Western Sandpiper (3500), Long-billed Dowitcher (750), Spotted Sandpiper (5), Lesser Yellowlegs (1), Willet (30), Franklin’s Gull (15 – fifteen adults in alternate-plumage with Ring-billed Gulls at the east end of Date Street in Calipatria all had a strong pink wash on their under-parts), Ring-billed Gull (2500), California Gull (10), Herring Gull (1), Gull-billed Tern (150 – about one-hundred twenty, including some on nests, at Rock Hill and about 30 at Unit 1 of the Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge), Caspian Tern (75), Black Tern (20), Black Skimmer (20 – fifteen at Rock Hill and five at Unit 1 of the Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge), Common Loon (1 – one in alternate-plumage at Fig Lagoon), Neotropic Cormorant (6 – one at the IID Wetlands and five at Fig Lagoon), Double-crested Cormorant (50), American White Pelican (10), Least Bittern (2), Great Blue Heron (25), Great Egret (10), Snowy Egret (15), Cattle Egret (250), Green Heron (1), Black-crowned Night-Heron (2), White-faced Ibis (350), Turkey Vulture (10), White-tailed Kite (1 – one at Unit 1 of the Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge), Northern Harrier (3), Sharp-shinned Hawk (1 – one near the intersection of Carter and Fites roads southwest of Brawley), Swainson’s Hawk (2 – two late migrant dark-morph birds between Calipatria and Niland) Red-tailed Hawk (1), Burrowing Owl (10), Belted Kingfisher (1), Gila Woodpecker (1), American Kestrel (25), Western Wood-Pewee (1 – one in the western part of Niland), Western Flycatcher (1), Black Phoebe (15), Say’s Phoebe (2 – a pair at the Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge HQ), Vermilion Flycatcher (2 – an adult male and a female together at Lakeview Golf Course), Ash-throated Flycatcher (3), Western Kingbird (30), Loggerhead Shrike (1), Warbling Vireo (6), Common Raven (2), Tree Swallow (300), Northern Rough-winged Swallow (10), Bank Swallow (1 – one with Tree Swallows near the north end of Garst Road), Cliff Swallow (250), Barn Swallow (50), Verdin (10), Marsh Wren (10), Black-tailed Gnatcatcher (2), Hermit Thrush (2), Northern Mockingbird (20), European Starling (250), Phainopepla (1), House Sparrow (75), House Finch (35), Abert’s Towhee (10), Chipping Sparrow (15), Brewer’s Sparrow (6), Savannah Sparrow (1), Song Sparrow (10), White-crowned Sparrow (35), Yellow-breasted Chat (2 – two singing near the intersection of Carter and Fites Roads southwest of Brawley), Yellow-headed Blackbird (1), Western Meadowlark (15), Hooded Oriole (2), Bullock’s Oriole (20), Red-winged Blackbird (350), Bronzed Cowbird (4 – two adult males near the southern end of International Avenue in Niland and an adult male and female together at Lakeview Golf Course), Brown-headed Cowbird (15), Brewer’s Blackbird (30), Great-tailed Grackle (150), Orange-crowned Warbler (15), Nashville Warbler (15), Common Yellowthroat (5), Yellow Warbler (5), Yellow-rumped Warbler (20 – including one “Myrtle Warbler” at the Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge HQ), Black-throated Gray Warbler (2), Wilson’s Warbler (6), Western Tanager (2), Black-headed Grosbeak (15) and Lazuli Bunting (2) – 130 species.

 

Guy McCaskie

 

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