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  1. Re: [inlandcountybirds] Eurasian Green-winged Teal at SJWA, June 18 LINK
    DATE: Jun 18, 2017 @ 9:32pm, 35 day(s) ago
    What appears to be a male Common (Eurasian) Green-winged Teal was observed this afternoon, June 18, at the San Jacinto Wildlife Area. The location is in the north east corner of the Walker Ponds corresponding to W9 and W10 on the hunting blind map (available at the SJWA Kiosk on Davis Road).  The bird spent much of the time hidden with an island of reeds, and unlike the other ducks present this individual was pretty active when out of the reeds.  My pictures aren’t terrific given sun angle, harsh light and distance but through the scope diagnostic field marks were clearly observed. This includes the more obvious long white horizontal scapular bar, and the stronger white-creamy facial markings that were apparent from the base of the bill. Through the scope we could see no trace of a vertical white bar associated with American Green-winged Teal and intergrades.  However, the individual appeared to be beginning to molt into eclipse plumage and so more diagnostic features may be muted. Curtis Marantz was the other observer and also took photographs, perhaps closer and in better light.  Also present in and out of the reeds were two Wilson’s Phalarope  (1 female in alternate plumage and what appeared to be a male (photos available), a single alternate plumage Greater Yellowlegs, and an alternate plumage Long-billed Dowitcher (photos available). Of interest on adjacent Mystic Lake were four Clark’s Grebes and a carefully estimated 125 Eared Grebe nests.  My Flickr album:  https://www.flickr.com/photos/ aem123/albums/ 72157682257833724
    Tony Metcalf 
    On Sun, Jun 18, 2017 at 5:14 PM, Tom Benson Thomasabenson@... [inlandcountybirds] < inlandcountybirds-noreply@yahoogroups.com > wrote:
    
      Tony Metcalf called to report a Eurasian Green-winged Teal at the San Jacinto Wildlife Area this afternoon, June 18. The bird is in the Walker Ponds part of the wildlife area, in ponds W9-10 (those might actually be hunting blind numbers). This sighting is quite unusual in that there are few inland records of this subspecies for southern, and this is also probably one of very few June records for the state. I'm sure Tony will follow up with a link to his photos.
    
    Tom Benson
    San Bernardino, CA
    
    --
    Anthony Metcalf
    Department of Biology
    California State University, San Bernardino
    5500 University Parkway
    San Bernardino, CA   92407
    (909) 537-7501
    FAX: (909) 537-7038
  2. -back to top-
  3. Common (Eurasian) Green-winged Teal at the San Jacinto Wildlife Area, 18 June 2017 LINK
    DATE: Jun 18, 2017 @ 9:27pm, 35 day(s) ago
    What appears to be a male Common (Eurasian) Green-winged
    Teal was observed this afternoon, June 18, at the San Jacinto Wildlife Area.
    The location is in the north east corner of the Walker Ponds corresponding to
    W9 and W10 on the hunting blind map (available at the SJWA Kiosk on Davis Road).  The bird spent much of the time hidden with
    an island of reeds, and unlike the other ducks present this individual was
    pretty active when out of the reeds.  My
    pictures aren’t terrific given sun angle, harsh light and distance but through
    the scope diagnostic field marks were clearly observed. This includes the more
    obvious long white horizontal scapular bar, and the stronger white-creamy
    facial markings that were apparent from the base of the bill. Through the scope
    we could see no trace of a vertical white bar associated with American
    Green-winged Teal and intergrades. 
    However, the individual appeared to be beginning to molt into eclipse
    plumage and so more diagnostic features may be muted. Curtis Marantz was the
    other observer and also took photographs, perhaps closer and in better light. Also present in and out of the reeds were two Wilson’s
    Phalarope  (1 female in alternate plumage
    and what appeared to be a male (photos available), a single alternate plumage
    Greater Yellowlegs, and an alternate plumage Long-billed Dowitcher (photos
    available). Of interest on adjacent Mystic Lake were four Clark’s Grebes
    and a carefully estimated 125 Eared Grebe nests. My Flickr album: https://www.flickr.com/photos/aem123/albums/72157682257833724    
    
    --
    Anthony Metcalf
    Department of Biology
    California State University, San Bernardino
    5500 University Parkway
    San Bernardino, CA   92407
    (909) 537-7501
    FAX: (909) 537-7038
  4. -back to top-
  5. Hooded Merganser SJWA June 16 LINK
    DATE: Jun 16, 2017 @ 5:34pm, 37 day(s) ago
    With very few summer records for the species in the region I was surprised to find a young male Hooded Merganser at the SJWA this morning.  My evaporation survey was productive; ten species of ducks included Wood Duck, Blue-winged Teal, Green-winged Teal, and Bufflehead.
    
    Chet
  6. -back to top-
  7. RE: [inlandcountybirds] Digest Number 5247 LINK
    DATE: May 26, 2017 @ 7:35pm, 58 day(s) ago
    Hi Davis!
    
    Three or four is not that unusual in late May.  A couple of birders had six YF Gulls at Obsidian Butte a couple of days ago, according to eBird.
    
    Good birding! Ed
    
    Ed Stonick Pasadena, CA
    
    Sent from Mail for Windows 10
    
    From: inlandcountybirds@yahoogroups.com
    Sent: Friday, May 26, 2017 6:14 PM
    To: inlandcountybirds@yahoogroups.com
    Subject: [inlandcountybirds] Digest Number 5247
     InlandCountyBirds Group
    1 Message Digest #5247
    
    1 Salton Sea and yellow legs, a cautionary tale by "Davis Hawkowl" davishawkowl@...
    
    Message 1 Salton Sea and yellow legs, a cautionary tale
    Thu May25,2017 9:33pm (PDT) . Posted by: "Davis Hawkowl" davishawkowl@...
    
    This intrepid Massachusetts birder recently spent a lovely
    vacation at Joshua Tree with accommodating wife in tow.
    Hoping to score a few coastal birds we spent the last
    two days on the coast. This provided a great excuse to
    circle around the east side of the Salton Sea on May
    4th looking for gulls of the yellow-footed persuasion.
    Watching the weather, we realized this would be the
    hottest day of our trip so at 4am we hit the road hoping to
    catch the cool of first light and banking on early success.
    
    
    
    Sure enough we neared our destination at dawn scoring
    lesser nighthawk at a rest stop. Dawn along
    Schrimpf Road was magical with a coy least bittern being the
    highlight. One minute it was perched at the reed edge
    catching the first rays and then it vanished without any sign of
    movement.
    
    
    
    The tern show at the cove at the junction with Garst was
    spectacular, but we didn’t linger long because we had a
    gull to find. No luck at Red Hill Marina.
    By the time we made it to the visitor center (closed
    some days because of budget cuts) the sun was out in
    force. No luck seeing the barn owl so I shouldered
    my scope and we marched out to Rock Hill. Great looks
    at three Franklin Gulls, Burrowing Owl and nesting
    Gull-billed Terns, but no yellow-legged gulls. By the
    time we got back it was getting hot.
    
    
    
    Pulling out of the refuge driveway there was a collection
    of ibis, egrets, ducks, and gulls. We do a
    quick pull over and I scan. The smaller gulls I
    skipped right over but three larger gulls stood out. Two had
    bright yellow legs and one was more dingy
    yellow. Bill, check. Mantle, check. Clean white
    head, check. Yellow bill with red spot (no black),
    check. Yellow gape, check. Interacting primarily with
    each other, check. Yellow-eye Hmm, pale whitish eye,
    not distinctly yellow. I grab the scope and move
    in for a closer look while wife is back in the car with the
    A/C running. Still not able to get a clearly yellow
    eye and the orbital ring was more orange than the yellow
    I’d expect from Sibley’s pictures.
    Sibley also warns that some Western Gulls can have
    yellow legs in breeding plumage. Worried about burning
    out my wife forever on birdwatching, I get back into the car move
    on to other birds.
    
    
    
    Half a mile down the road she made a point that we were not
    coming back here so why not turn around and get a look with a
    better lighting angle. Bang a u-turn and back we
    go. The birds are still there. This time we park
    to the north of them. Still can’t get a good yellow eye
    and that orbital ring is decidedly orangish, not
    yellow. I stand in the hot sun with my Sibley’s book
    looking for clues. His app on my phone gives me
    another angle to try; voice. Fortunately one of the
    targets takes this moment to vocalize. Definitely not
    the gruffness of the yellow-footed in the app but not so
    squeaky as the Western. I head for the cool of the
    car. The birds fly off in an easterly direction.
    I decide I can’t call any of the three a
    yellow-footed for sure. Sibley says that Western
    Gulls are rare at the Salton Sea and the yellow-legged
    version even rarer. But adult yellow-footed
    gulls are also rare in early May and no one is reporting
    more than one or two at a time on ebird. My lack
    of familiarity with west-coast gulls is a
    hurdle. What was I looking at…
    
    
    
    My wife is willing to search a little longer so we cut over
    on Lindsey to Lack Road and head north next to the geothermal
    plants. Looking out from the seawall is a moonscape
    with dead shrub stems poking up. The only two birds
    are two gulls, the first being a classic Western Gull
    with pink legs picking at a dead fish. Just out of my
    scope’s field of view on the right is another gull
    watching. Brighter and cleaner white head, slightly
    longer neck, yellow bill with red gonydeal spot and no black,
    slightly lighter mantle (at that lighting angle at least),
    and most importantly bright yellow legs. Because of
    the distance, the direction they were facing and the sun
    the eye color was not able to be discerned. Nor
    did they call. But with the two birds literally
    side-by-side, the differences that were described in my
    book stood out. Five minutes of study and I called it a day and
    retreated to the shade of the car. By 5pm we
    were in the marine fog layer enjoying the cool mist.
    
    
    
    The Salton Sea was all that was promised, fabulous birds,
    desolate landscapes, hot sun and that indescribable smell.
    About those first three gulls Well, I am leaning
    back towards Yellow-footed after looking at a number of internet
    pictures of Yellow-footed having what I would call orangish
    orbital rings and little info about Westerns having yellow
    legs. Four adult Yellow-footed gulls in one day
    Anything is possible.
    
    
    
    Davis Hawkowl
    
    Amherst, MA
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  8. -back to top-
  9. Salton Sea and yellow legs, a cautionary tale LINK
    DATE: May 25, 2017 @ 8:13pm, 59 day(s) ago
    This intrepid Massachusetts birder recently
    spent a lovely
    vacation at Joshua Tree with accommodating wife in tow.   Hoping to score a few coastal
    birds we spent
    the last two days on the coast.   This
    provided a great excuse to circle around the east side of the
    Salton Sea on May
    4th looking for gulls of the yellow-footed persuasion.   Watching the weather, we
    realized this would
    be the hottest day of our trip so at 4am we hit the road hoping to
    catch the
    cool of first light and banking on early success.   Sure enough we neared our destination at dawn
    scoring lesser
    nighthawk at a rest stop.   Dawn
    along
    Schrimpf Road was magical with a coy least bittern being the
    highlight.   One minute it
    was perched at the reed edge
    catching the first rays and then it vanished without any sign of
    movement.  
      The tern show at the cove at the junction with
    Garst was
    spectacular, but we didn’t linger long because we had a gull to
    find.   No luck at Red Hill
    Marina.   By the time we
    made it to the visitor center
    (closed some days because of budget cuts) the sun was out in
    force.   No luck seeing the
    barn owl so I shouldered
    my scope and we marched out to Rock Hill.  
    Great looks at three Franklin Gulls, Burrowing Owl and
    nesting
    Gull-billed Terns, but no yellow-legged gulls.  
    By the time we got back it was getting hot.   Pulling out of the refuge driveway there was a
    collection of
    ibis, egrets, ducks, and gulls.   We
    do a
    quick pull over and I scan.   The
    smaller
    gulls I skipped right over but three larger gulls stood out.   Two had bright yellow legs
    and one was more
    dingy yellow.   Bill, check.
    Mantle,
    check. Clean white head, check.   Yellow
    bill with red spot (no black), check. Yellow gape, check.
    Interacting primarily
    with each other, check.   Yellow-eye   Hmm, pale whitish eye, not
    distinctly yellow.   I grab
    the scope and move in for a closer
    look while wife is back in the car with the A/C running.    Still not able to get a
    clearly yellow eye
    and the orbital ring was more orange than the yellow I’d expect
    from Sibley’s
    pictures.   Sibley also
    warns that some
    Western Gulls can have yellow legs in breeding plumage. Worried
    about burning
    out my wife forever on birdwatching, I get back into the car move
    on to other
    birds.   Half a mile down the road she made a point that
    we were not
    coming back here so why not turn around and get a look with a
    better lighting
    angle.   Bang a u-turn and
    back we go. The
    birds are still there.   This
    time we park
    to the north of them. Still can’t get a good yellow eye and that
    orbital ring
    is decidedly orangish, not yellow. I stand in the hot sun with my
    Sibley’s book
    looking for clues.   His app
    on my phone
    gives me another angle to try; voice.  
    Fortunately one of the targets takes this moment to
    vocalize.   Definitely not
    the gruffness of the
    yellow-footed in the app but not so squeaky as the Western.   I head for the cool of the
    car.   The birds fly off in
    an easterly direction.   I
    decide I can’t call any of the three a
    yellow-footed for sure.   Sibley
    says that
    Western Gulls are rare at the Salton Sea and the yellow-legged
    version even
    rarer.   But adult
    yellow-footed gulls are
    also rare in early May and no one is reporting more than one or
    two at a time
    on ebird.   My lack of
    familiarity with
    west-coast gulls is a hurdle.   What
    was I
    looking at…   My wife is willing to search a little longer so
    we cut over
    on Lindsey to Lack Road and head north next to the geothermal
    plants.   Looking out from
    the seawall is a moonscape with dead shrub stems poking up.  
    The only two birds are two gulls, the first being a classic
    Western Gull
    with pink legs picking at a dead fish.   Just
    out of my scope’s field of view on the right is another gull
    watching.   Brighter and
    cleaner white head, slightly
    longer neck, yellow bill with red gonydeal spot and no black,
    slightly lighter
    mantle (at that lighting angle at least), and most importantly
    bright yellow
    legs. Because of the distance, the direction they were facing and
    the sun the
    eye color was not able to be discerned.  
    Nor did they call.   But
    with the
    two birds literally side-by-side, the differences that were
    described in my
    book stood out. Five minutes of study and I called it a day and
    retreated to
    the shade of the car.    By
    5pm we were in
    the marine fog layer enjoying the cool mist.   The Salton Sea was all that was promised,
    fabulous birds,
    desolate landscapes, hot sun and that indescribable smell.   About those first three
    gulls Well, I am leaning
    back towards Yellow-footed after looking at a number of internet
    pictures of
    Yellow-footed having what I would call orangish orbital rings and
    little info about Westerns having yellow legs.  
    Four adult Yellow-footed gulls in one day   Anything is possible.   Davis Hawkowl Amherst, MA
  10. -back to top-
  11. Salton Sea (south) 12 May 2017 LINK
    DATE: May 13, 2017 @ 9:38am, 2 month(s) ago
    I spent Friday, 12 May 2017
    (5:30 AM to 5:00 PM), birding a few select locations along the south shore of
    the Salton Sea and within the Imperial Valley. I started the day at Fig Lagoon,
    Lakeview Golfcourse and Sunbeam Lake, then drove north into Brawley, stopping
    along the way in the area around the intersection of Carter and Fites Roads. In
    Brawley I looked briefly at the hummingbird feeders on Willard Avenue, then
    spent a little more time in Cattle Call Park. I then drove north to Niland,
    stopping at the IID Wetlands on the way. In Niland I birded quickly northward
    along International Avenue, west along the western part of 4 th
    Street, and southward along Luna Avenue. I then drove westward by way of Alcott,
    Pound and Davis Roads to the southwestern corner of the Wister Unit. From here I
    drove south along Davis Road and west along Schrimpf Road to Morton Bay, then
    south on Garst and west on Sinclair Roads to the Salton Sea National Wildlife
    Refuge HQ. I then spent a little time around the Refuge HQ’s and Rock Hill. I
    then checked for water birds along the shoreline of the Salton Sea between Rock
    Hill to Obsidian Butte, and from Obsidian Butte along the south shore of the
    Salton Sea to Unit 1 of the Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge, spending a
    little time in the area around the intersection of Lack and Lindsey Roads and at
    the west end of Young Road. I then drove southeastward through Westmorland into
    Brawley and south on Dogwood Road to near the southeastern corner of El Centro.
    After spending time near El Centro, I drove west and looked at Sunbeam Lake and
    Fig Lagoon before continuing west to San Diego.
    The sky was clear and there
    was no wind most of the day, with overcast moving in during the latter half of
    the afternoon, and a strong wind from the west at the time I departed, and with
    temperatures ranging from 65 to 95 degrees. Apart from Ruddy Ducks, most
    other ducks had evidently moved out of the area. Shorebirds and gulls were
    decidedly scarce, with no “peeps” found, and very few gulls along the shore of
    the Salton Sea. Migrant land-birds were less numerous than five days ago, with
    wood warbler numbers noticeably less, but with flycatchers more
    noticeable.      Species seen and/or
    heard – Gadwall (2), American Wigeon (1), Mallard (50), Cinnamon Teal (10),
    Northern Shoveler (5), Green-winged Teal (2), Redhead (5), Lesser Scaup (5),
    Bufflehead (1 – one “female” at Rock Hill), Ruddy Duck (1000), Gambel’s Quail
    (10), Pied-billed Grebe (1), Eared Grebe (750 – most on less salty bodies of
    water at Morton Bay, Rock Hill and Unit 1 of the Salton Sea National Wildlife
    Refuge, with very few on the open water of the Salton Sea), Western Grebe (6),
    Clark’s Grebe (2), Rock Pigeon (50), Eurasian Collared-Dove (200), Inca Dove
    (15), Common Ground-Dove (25), White-winged Dove (35), Mourning Dove (20), Greater Roadrunner
    (3), Lesser Nighthawk (1), White-throated Swift (1 – one over
    Sunbeam Lake in the late afternoon was probably forced down by the overcast sky
    and strong wind),   Black-chinned
    Hummingbird (20), Anna’s Hummingbird (15), Costa’s Hummingbird (2), Rufous
    Hummingbird (1 – one female frequenting feeders near the southeastern corner of
    El Centro), Calliope Hummingbird (3
    – one adult male and two females frequenting feeders near the southeastern
    corner of El Centro), Ridgway’s Rail (2), Virginia Rail (1 – one calling at the
    northeast corner of the IID Wetlands near Niland), Common Gallinule (3),
    American Coot (250), Black-necked Stilt (50), American Avocet (15),
    Black-bellied Plover (1), Snowy Plover (3), Killdeer (15), Stilt Sandpiper (20 –
    about twenty adults in in alternate-plumage between Rock Hill and Obsidian
    Butte), Long-billed Dowitcher (35), Spotted Sandpiper (15), Willet (1), Wilson’s
    Phalarope (3), Red-necked Phalarope (20), Ring-billed Gull (25), Yellow-footed
    Gull (1 – one adult at the west end of Young), California Gull (15 – all
    subadult birds in varying degrees of “ratty-looking” plumage), Least Tern (3 – three adults at Unit 1
    of the Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge), Gull-billed Tern (125 – about eighty-five, many on
    nests, at Rock Hill and about fifteen more along the shore of the Salton Sea
    between Rock Hill and the west end of Young Road, and about twenty-five at Unit
    1 of the Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge), Caspian Tern (10), Black Tern
    (20), Forster’s Tern (5), Black Skimmer (40 – about twenty-five at Rock Hill and
    fifteen at Unit 1 of the Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge), Neotropic
    Cormorant (13 – ten at Fig
    Lagoon/Sunbeam Lake and three together at Unit 1 of the Salton Sea National
    Wildlife Refuge), Double-crested Cormorant (30), American White Pelican (35),
    Brown Pelican (25), Least Bittern (1), Great Blue Heron (25), Great Egret (30),
    Snowy Egret (25), Cattle Egret
    (500), Green Heron (2), Black-crowned Night-Heron (2), White-faced Ibis (5),
    Turkey Vulture (10), Northern Harrier (1 – one near the Salton Sea National
    Wildlife Refuge HQ), Swainson’s Hawk
    (1 – one light-morph immature in flight near the southeast corner of El Centro),
    Burrowing Owl (10), Gila Woodpecker (5), Ladder-backed Woodpecker (1), American
    Kestrel (15), Olive-sided Flycatcher
    (1 – one at the northeast corner of the IID Wetlands near Niland), Western
    Wood-Pewee (20), Willow Flycatcher
    (1 – one near the northeast corner of the IID Wetlands was the first that I have
    encountered this year), Pacific-slope Flycatcher (1), Black Phoebe (10), Say’s
    Phoebe (1 – one at the Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge HQ where apparently
    nesting), Vermilion Flycatcher (6 – two pairs, two each with at least one
    recently fledged young at Lakeview Golfcourse), Ash-throated Flycatcher (1),
    Western Kingbird (15), Loggerhead
    Shrike (1 – one along Davis Road was the first that I have seen at the Salton
    Sink since 2 April), Warbling Vireo (15), Common Raven (3), Horned Lark (2),
    Northern Rough-winged Swallow (30), Cliff Swallow (250), Barn Swallow (5),
    Verdin (15), Marsh Wren (15), Black-tailed Gnatcatcher (2), Swainson’s Thrush
    (1), Northern Mockingbird (15), European Starling (150), House Sparrow (50),
    House Finch (35), Orange-crowned Warbler (1), Common Yellowthroat (5), Yellow Warbler (5), Townsend’s Warbler (1), Wilson’s
    Warbler (15), Abert’s Towhee (15), Song Sparrow (10), White-crowned Sparrow (1 – one adult
    black-lored individual of the subspecies oriantha at the Salton Sea National
    Wildlife Refuge HQ), Western Tanager (5), Black-headed Grosbeak (2), Blue
    Grosbeak (1), Lazuli Bunting (3), Red-winged Blackbird (500), Western Meadowlark
    (20), Yellow-headed Blackbird (10), Brewer’s Blackbird (25), Great-tailed
    Grackle (150), Bronzed Cowbird (3 –
    one adult male displaying [“helicopter flight”] to two adult females at the
    southern end of International in Niland), at Sunbeam Lake), Brown-headed Cowbird
    (25) and Bullock’s Oriole (2) - 116
    species.   Guy McCaskie   
  12. -back to top-
  13. Salton Sea (south) - 26 April 2017 LINK
    DATE: Apr 27, 2017 @ 7:48am, 3 month(s) ago
    I spent Wednesday, 26 April
    2017 (5:45 AM to 5:45 PM), birding a few select locations along the south shore
    of the Salton Sea and within the Imperial Valley. I started the day at Fig
    Lagoon, Lakeview Golfcourse and Sunbeam Lake, then drove north to Brawley,
    stopping along the way briefly at Sheldon Reservoir and for a much longer time
    in the area around the intersection of Carter and Fites Roads. In Brawley I
    looked briefly at the hummingbird feeders on Willard Avenue, then spent a little
    time in Cattle Call Park. I then drove north to Niland, stopping at the east end
    of Date Street in Calipatria and at the northeast corner of the IID Wetlands on
    the way. In Niland I birded quickly northward along International Avenue, west
    along 4 th Street, and southward along Luna Avenue. I then drove
    westward by way of Alcott, Pound, Davis and Schrimpf Roads to Morton Bay, then
    south on Garst and west on Sinclair Roads to the Salton Sea National Wildlife
    Refuge HQ. I then checked for water birds around Rock Hill and along the
    shoreline of the Salton Sea from Rock Hill to Obsidian Butte, then from Obsidian
    Butte along the south shore of the Salton Sea to Unit 1 of the Salton Sea
    National Wildlife Refuge, spending a little time in the area around the
    intersection of Lack and Lindsey Roads and at the west end of Young Road. I then
    drove southeastward through Westmorland into Brawley and south on Dogwood Road
    to near the southeastern corner of El Centro. After spending time in El Centro,
    I drove west, and looked at Fig Lagoon before heading west to San
    Diego.
    There was some scattered
    high cloud-cover throughout the day, calm in the morning but with wind in the
    late afternoon, and with temperatures ranging from 55 to 95
    degrees. Ducks, other than Northern
    Shovelers and Ruddy Ducks, are now scarce. I encountered a nice variety of
    shorebirds even though the total number of these birds was low. I also
    encountered a nice variety of migrant passerines. The recent influx of
    California Gulls and Caspian Terns at Rock Hill is of some concern since it
    could impact the success of the Gull-billed Tern nesting.      Species seen and/or
    heard – Gadwall (10), American Wigeon (1), Mallard (15), Cinnamon Teal (20),
    Northern Shoveler (150), Northern Pintail (3), Green-winged Teal (2), Redhead
    (5), Lesser Scaup (5), Ruddy Duck (250), Gambel’s Quail (15), Pied-billed Grebe
    (10), Eared Grebe (150 – virtually all on less salty bodies of water such as
    Morton Bay, and the ponds at Rock Hill and in Unit 1 of the Salton Sea National
    Wildlife Refuge, with very few on the open water of the Salton Sea), Western
    Grebe (5), Clark’s Grebe (5), Rock Pigeon (150), Eurasian Collared-Dove (200),
    Inca Dove (25), Common Ground-Dove (25), White-winged Dove (30), Mourning Dove (75), Greater Roadrunner
    (3), Lesser Nighthawk (1), Vaux’s Swift (1), Black-chinned Hummingbird (20),
    Anna’s Hummingbird (15), Costa’s Hummingbird (3), Calliope Hummingbird (1 – one adult
    male frequenting feeders near the southeastern corner of El Centro was known
    present since 24 April), Rufous Hummingbird (5), Ridgway’s Rail (2), Virginia
    Rail (1 – one calling at the northeastern corner of the IID Wetlands), Common
    Gallinule (2), American Coot (350), Black-necked Stilt (50), American Avocet
    (100), Black-bellied Plover (15), Snowy Plover (2), Semipalmated Plover (25),
    Killdeer (20), Whimbrel (150), Long-billed Curlew (2), Marbled Godwit (5), Red Knot (6 – six in alternate-plumage
    at the northeast corner of Obsidian Butte), Stilt Sandpiper (20 – twenty adults
    in in alternate-plumage at Rock Hill), Sanderling (2 – two in basic-plumage
    along the shore of the Salton Sea in the area of the intersection of Lack and
    Lindsey Roads), Dunlin (5), Least Sandpiper (250 – most in an irrigated field at
    the intersection of Garst and Sinclair Roads), Western Sandpiper (2500 –
    virtually all along the shore of the Salton Sea where there were virtually no
    Least Sandpipers), Short-billed
    Dowitcher (5 – five in alternate-plumage, showing much white on their
    bellies, at Rock Hill), Long-billed Dowitcher (150), Spotted Sandpiper (3),
    Greater Yellowlegs (20), Willet (25), Lesser Yellowlegs (3), Red-necked
    Phalarope (350), Franklin’s Gull (2
    – one adult in alternate-plumage with Ring-billed Gulls at the east end of Date
    Street in Calipatria and one adult in alternate-plumage with Ring-billed Gulls
    in an irrigated field at the intersection of Garst and Sinclair Roads),
    Ring-billed Gull (1000), California Gull (40), Herring Gull (1 – one sub-adult
    between Rock Hill and Obsidian Butte), Gull-billed Tern (85 – about sixty-five, many on nests,
    at Rock Hill and about twenty more along the shore of the Salton Sea between the
    north end of Lack and the west end of Young Roads, but only one white-headed
    sub-adult at Unit 1 of the Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge), Caspian Tern
    (25), Black Tern (30 – about thirty at Morton Bay were the first that I have
    encountered this year), Forster’s Tern (2), Black Skimmer (20 – about twenty at
    Rock Hill), Common Loon (2 – one in
    basic-plumage on Fig Lagoon at dawn had been joined by an adult in
    alternate-plumage by the late afternoon), Neotropic Cormorant (10 – one on the Salton Sea near the
    north end of Lack Road and at least nine at Fig Lagoon and Sunbeam Lake),
    Double-crested Cormorant (35), American White Pelican (5), Least Bittern (1),
    Great Blue Heron (30), Great Egret (50), Snowy Egret (20), Cattle Egret (1500), Green Heron (10),
    Black-crowned Night-Heron (1), White-faced Ibis (250), Turkey Vulture (10),
    Northern Harrier (3), Red-tailed Hawk (2), Barn Owl (1 – one roosting in a palm
    tree at the Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge HQ), Burrowing Owl (15), Belted
    Kingfisher (3), Gila Woodpecker (10), Ladder-backed Woodpecker (3), American
    Kestrel (10), Western Wood-Pewee
    (1), Hammond’s Flycatcher (1), Pacific-slope Flycatcher (1), Black Phoebe
    (20), Say’s Phoebe (1 – one at the Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge HQ where
    this species could be nesting), Vermilion Flycatcher (4 – two pairs at Lakeview
    Golfcourse), Western Kingbird (50),
    Cassin’s Vireo (1 – one at Cattle Call Park in Brawley), Warbling Vireo (35),
    Common Raven (2), Tree Swallow (200), Northern Rough-winged Swallow (30), Bank
    Swallow (1 – one with Tree Swallows near the north end of Garst Road), Cliff
    Swallow (350), Barn Swallow (150 – including four with Cliff Swallows at the
    intersection of Carter and Fites Roads southwest of Brawley where this species
    has nested in recent years), Verdin (15), Marsh Wren (15), Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
    (1 – one near the intersection of Carter and Fites Roads southwest of Brawley),
    Black-tailed Gnatcatcher (3), Swainson’s Thrush (2), Brown Thrasher (1 – one near the
    southeastern corner of El Centro was known present since 23 April and may be the
    same bird known here between 27 December through 16 March), Northern Mockingbird
    (25), European Starling (250), Phainopepla (2 – one male at Lakeview Golfcourse
    and one female near the intersection of Fites and Carter Roads southwest of
    Brawley), House Sparrow (50), House Finch (35), Lesser Goldfinch (2 – a pair at
    the northeast corner of the IID Wetlands near Niland), Orange-crowned Warbler
    (5), Nashville Warbler (3), MacGillivray’s Warbler (1 – one male near the
    southeastern corner of El Centro), Common Yellowthroat (5), Yellow Warbler (6), Yellow-rumped Warbler (25),
    Black-throated Gray Warbler (2), Townsend’s Warbler (3), Wilson’s Warbler (50),
    Yellow-breasted Chat (2 – one near the intersection of Fites and Carter Roads
    southwest of Brawley and one near the southeastern corner of El Centro were both
    believed to be migrants), Abert’s Towhee (20), Savannah Sparrow (1 – one near
    the entrance to Unit 1 of the Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge), Song Sparrow
    (10), White-crowned Sparrow (1 – one white-lored gambelli at Cattle Call Park in
    Brawley), Summer Tanager (1 – one
    adult male at Lakeview Golfcourse was believed to be of the western subspecies
    cooperi ), Western Tanager (25),
    Black-headed Grosbeak (15), Lazuli Bunting (5), Red-winged Blackbird (1500),
    Western Meadowlark (25), Yellow-headed Blackbird (15 – about twelve at Fig
    Lagoon and two adult males at the old sewage treatment pond adjacent to Highway
    111 at the southern end of Calipatria where this species has nested in recent
    years), Brewer’s Blackbird (50), Great-tailed Grackle (200), Bronzed Cowbird (2 – two adult males together at the
    intersection of Fites and Carter Roads southwest of Brawley), Brown-headed
    Cowbird (35) and Bullock’s Oriole
    (20) - 138 species.   Guy McCaskie
  14. -back to top-
  15. Salton Sea (south) -19 Apr 2017 LINK
    DATE: Apr 20, 2017 @ 8:32am, 3 month(s) ago
    I spent Wednesday, 19 April
    2017 (6:00 AM to 6:00 PM), birding a few select locations along the south shore
    of the Salton Sea and within the Imperial Valley. I started the day at Fig
    Lagoon, Lakeview Golfcourse and Sunbeam Lake, then drove north into Brawley,
    stopping along the way briefly at Sheldon Reservoir and for much longer in the
    area around the intersection of Carter and Fites Roads. In Brawley I looked
    briefly at the hummingbird feeders on Willard Avenue, then spent a little more
    time in Cattle Call Park. I then drove north to Niland, stopping at the east end
    of Date Street in Calipatria and at the northeast corner of the IID Wetlands on
    the way. In Niland I birded quickly northward along International Avenue, west
    along the western part of 4 th Street, and southward along Luna
    Avenue. I then drove westward by way of Alcott, Pound and Davis Roads to the
    southwestern corner of the Wister Unit. From here I drove south along Davis Road
    and west along Schrimpf Road to Morton Bay, then south on Garst and west on
    Sinclair Roads to the Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge HQ and Rock Hill. I
    then checked for water birds along the shoreline of the Salton Sea from Rock
    Hill to Obsidian Butte and, from Obsidian Butte along the south shore of the
    Salton Sea to the north end of Poe Road, spending a little time in the area
    around the intersection of Lack and Lindsey Roads, the west end of Young Road,
    at Unit 1 of the Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge and at Carter Reservoir. I
    then drove southeastward through Westmorland into Brawley and south on Dogwood
    Road to near the southeastern corner of El Centro. After spending time in El
    Centro, I drove west, and looked at Fig Lagoon before heading west to San
    Diego.
    It was mostly clear
    throughout the day, with some wind in the morning, and with temperatures ranging
    from 65 to 95 degrees. Numbers of ducks have
    continued to decline as these birds depart for breeding grounds to the north,
    and the number and variety of shorebirds was noticeably less than on 14 April.
    Migrant land-birds were still present in small numbers, but the variety was much
    reduced.     Species seen and/or heard –
    Brant (105 – a flock of 105 on Fig
    Lagoon all day), Gadwall (15), American Wigeon (25 – most at the southwest
    corner of the Wister Unit), Mallard (15), Cinnamon Teal (30), Northern Shoveler
    (150), Northern Pintail (5), Green-winged Teal (5), Redhead (4), Lesser Scaup
    (3), Ruddy Duck (300), Gambel’s Quail (15), Pied-billed Grebe (10), Eared Grebe
    (75), Western Grebe (2), Clark’s Grebe (2), Rock Pigeon (150), Eurasian
    Collared-Dove (200), Inca Dove (30), Common Ground-Dove (20), White-winged Dove
    (20), Mourning Dove (75), Greater
    Roadrunner (2), Lesser Nighthawk (1), Black-chinned Hummingbird (15), Anna’s
    Hummingbird (15), Costa’s Hummingbird (2), Rufous Hummingbird (2), Sora (1),
    Common Gallinule (5), American Coot (350), Black-necked Stilt (50), American
    Avocet (150), Black-bellied Plover (30), Snowy Plover (1), Semipalmated Plover
    (5), Killdeer (25), Whimbrel (250), Long-billed Curlew (5), Marbled Godwit (2),
    Least Sandpiper (25), Western Sandpiper (1500), Long-billed Dowitcher (150),
    Spotted Sandpiper (3), Willet (20), Red-necked Phalarope (75), Franklin’s Gull (3 – three adults in
    alternate plumage with Ring-billed Gulls at the east end of Date Street in
    Calipatria), Ring-billed Gull (500), California Gull (30), Herring Gull (1),
    Gull-billed Tern (75 – most in the
    area of the Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge HQ and only one, a white-headed
    second-year bird, at Unit 1 of the Salton Sea National
    Wildlife Refuge), Caspian Tern (1), Forster’s Tern (10), Black Skimmer (3 –
    two together at Rock Hill and one at Unit 1 of the Salton Sea National Wildlife
    Refuge), Neotropic Cormorant (13 –
    three on the Salton Sea near the north end of Lack Road and ten at Fig
    Lagoon/Sunbeam Lake), Double-crested Cormorant (100), American White Pelican
    (15), Least Bittern (1), Great Blue Heron (50), Great Egret (75), Snowy Egret
    (30), Cattle Egret (1500), Green
    Heron (2), Black-crowned Night-Heron (3), White-faced Ibis (750), Turkey Vulture
    (10), Osprey (1 – one at Carter Reservoir), Northern Harrier (1), Swainson’s Hawk (1 – one dark-morph
    near the intersection of Fites and Carter Roads southwest of Brawley), Barn Owl
    (1), Great Horned Owl (1 – one near a nest at Cattle Call Park in Brawley),
    Burrowing Owl (15), Gila Woodpecker (10), Ladder-backed Woodpecker (3), American
    Kestrel (15), Pacific-slope Flycatcher (1), Black Phoebe (20), Vermilion
    Flycatcher (6 – two pairs at Lakeview Golfcourse and another pair at Sunbeam
    Lake), Ash-throated Flycatcher (10), Western Kingbird (50), Cassin’s Vireo (2), Warbling
    Vireo (10), Common Raven (3), Horned Lark (1), Tree Swallow (50), Northern
    Rough-winged Swallow (30), Bank Swallow (2 – one with Tree Swallows at Rock Hill
    and one with other swallows near the north end of Garst Road), Cliff Swallow
    (350), Barn Swallow (15 – including four with Cliff Swallows at the intersection
    of Carter and Fites Roads southwest of Brawley where this species has nested in
    recent years), Verdin (15), Marsh Wren (15), Black-tailed Gnatcatcher (1),
    Mockingbird (25), European Starling (300), Phainopepla (1 – one adult male at
    Lakeview Golfcourse), House Sparrow (50), House Finch (35), Orange-crowned
    Warbler (25), Nashville Warbler (15), Common Yellowthroat (6), American Redstart (1 - one adult male
    in the willows at the northeast corner of the IID Wetlands was first seen here
    on 23 September), Yellow-rumped Warbler (30), Wilson’s Warbler (35), Yellow-breasted Chat (1 – one singing
    near the intersection of Fites and Carter Roads southwest
    of Brawley where this species persists and probably nests), Abert’s Towhee
    (25), Chipping Sparrow (1), Song Sparrow (15), Lincoln’s Sparrow (1),
    White-crowned Sparrow (5 – including three black-lored oriantha near the south end of
    International in Niland), Western Tanager (5), Black-headed Grosbeak (5), Lazuli
    Bunting (5), Red-winged Blackbird (1500), Western Meadowlark (30), Yellow-headed
    Blackbird (2 – two adult males at the old sewage treatment pond adjacent to
    Highway 111 at the southern end of Calipatria where this species has nested in
    recent years), Brewer’s Blackbird (50), Great-tailed Grackle (200), Brown-headed
    Cowbird (30), Hooded Oriole (1) and Bullock’s Oriole (5) - 119 species.   Guy
    McCaskie
  16. -back to top-
  17. Salton Sea (south) - 14 Apr 2017 LINK
    DATE: Apr 15, 2017 @ 10:03am, 3 month(s) ago
    I spent Friday, 14 April
    2017 (6:00 AM to 6:00 PM), birding a few select locations along the south shore
    of the Salton Sea and within the Imperial Valley. I started the day at Fig
    Lagoon, Lakeview Golfcourse and Sunbeam Lake, then drove north into Brawley,
    stopping along the way briefly at Sheldon Reservoir and for much longer in the
    area around the intersection of Carter and Fites Roads. In Brawley I looked
    briefly at the hummingbird feeders on Willard Avenue, then spent a little time
    around part of southwestern Brawley and in Cattle Call Park. I then drove north
    to Niland, stopping at the east end of Date Street in Calipatria and at the
    northeast corner of the IID Wetlands on the way. In Niland I birded quickly
    northward along International Avenue, west along Noffsinger Road, and southward
    along Luna Avenue. I then drove westward by way of Alcott, Pound, Davis and
    Schrimpf Roads to Morton Bay, then south on Garst and west on Sinclair Roads to
    the Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge HQ and Rock Hill. I then checked for
    water birds along the shoreline of the Salton Sea from Rock Hill to Obsidian
    Butte and, from Obsidian Butte along the south shore of the Salton Sea to Unit 1
    of the Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge, spending a little time in the area
    around the intersection of Lack and Lindsey Roads and at the west end of Young
    Road. I then drove southeastward through Westmorland into Brawley and south on
    Dogwood Road to near the southeastern corner of El Centro. After spending time
    in El Centro, I drove west, and looked at Fig Lagoon before heading west to San
    Diego.
    There some high cloud-cover
    part of the day, with some light wind in the morning, and with temperatures
    ranging from 55 to 85 degrees. Numbers of ducks have
    continued to decline as these birds depart for breeding grounds to the north; I
    encountered a nice variety of shorebirds, and the number and variety of migrant
    passerines was to me impressive.      Species seen and/or
    heard – Snow Goose (11 – eleven, including two blue-morph birds, at Unit 1 of
    the Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge were all probably wounded during the
    hunting season), Gadwall (6), American Wigeon (4), Mallard (15), Cinnamon Teal
    (60), Northern Shoveler (250), Northern Pintail (4), Green-winged Teal (6),
    Redhead (4), Lesser Scaup (6), Ruddy Duck (300), Gambel’s Quail (15),
    Pied-billed Grebe (10), Eared Grebe (75), Western Grebe (2), Clark’s Grebe (4),
    Rock Pigeon (150), Eurasian Collared-Dove (200), Inca Dove (20), Common
    Ground-Dove (25), White-winged Dove (15), Mourning Dove (75), Greater Roadrunner
    (2), Black-chinned Hummingbird (15), Anna’s Hummingbird (10), Costa’s
    Hummingbird (2), Calliope Hummingbird
    (1 – one female frequenting feeders near the southeastern corner of El
    Centro), Rufous Hummingbird (1), Ridgway’s Rail (2), Virginia Rail (1 – one
    calling at the northeastern corner of the IID Wetlands), Sora (2), Common
    Gallinule (1), American Coot (350), Black-necked Stilt (50), American Avocet
    (150), Black-bellied Plover (60 – including a flock of 35 in alternate-plumage
    at a recently irrigated field Kramer Road between Silsbee
    and Drew Roads ), Snowy Plover (2), Semipalmated Plover (5), Killdeer (20),
    Whimbrel (750), Long-billed Curlew (25), Marbled Godwit (20), Red Knot (1 – one in alternate-plumage
    at the northeast corner of Obsidian Butte), Stilt Sandpiper (1 – one adult in
    alternate-plumage at Unit 1 of the Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge), Sanderling (2 – two in basic-plumage
    near the southwest corner of Obsidian Butte), Dunlin (5 – five at Unit 1 of the
    Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge), Least Sandpiper (70), Western Sandpiper
    (3500), Short-billed Dowitcher (2 –
    two in alternate-plumage, showing much white on their bellies, near the
    intersection of Lack and Lindsey Roads are the first that I have encountered
    locally this year), Long-billed Dowitcher (200), Spotted Sandpiper (1), Greater
    Yellowlegs (20), Willet (25), Lesser Yellowlegs (2), Red-necked Phalarope (350 –
    about 350 at Morton Bay are the first that I have encountered locally this
    year), Franklin’s Gull (20 – twenty
    in alternate plumage with Ring-billed Gulls at the east end of Date Street in
    Calipatria), Ring-billed Gull (500), California Gull (30), Herring Gull (3),
    Gull-billed Tern (60 – about fifty
    at the Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge HQ but only about ten at Unit 1 of
    the Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge), Caspian Tern (10), Forster’s Tern
    (10), Common Loon (3 – two in
    alternate-plumage and one in basic-plumage together on Fig Lagoon at dawn),
    Neotropic Cormorant (10 – one on the
    Salton Sea near the north end of Lack Road and nine together on a snag at Fig
    Lagoon), Double-crested Cormorant (150), American White Pelican (15), Least
    Bittern (1), Great Blue Heron (50), Great Egret (75), Snowy Egret (30), Cattle Egret (2500), Green Heron (3),
    Black-crowned Night-Heron (5), White-faced Ibis (1000), Turkey Vulture (10),
    Northern Harrier (1), Cooper’s Hawk (1 – near the southeast corner of El Centro
    was believed to be a bird present through the winter at this location), Barn Owl
    (1), Great Horned Owl (1 – one down-covered young at a nest at Cattle Call Park
    in Brawley), Burrowing Owl (15), Belted Kingfisher (1), Gila Woodpecker (6),
    Ladder-backed Woodpecker (1), American Kestrel (15), Olive-sided Flycatcher (1 – one near the intersection of Fites and Carter Roads southwest of
    Brawley establishes the earliest date by one day for
    a spring migrant at the Salton Sink ), Western Wood-Pewee (1 - one near the
    intersection of Fites and Carter Roads southwest of Brawley establishes one of
    the earliest dates for a spring migrant at the Salton Sink), Hammond’s
    Flycatcher (1), Pacific-slope Flycatcher (2), Black Phoebe (20), Vermilion
    Flycatcher (6 – two pairs at Lakeview Golfcourse and another pair at Sunbeam
    Lake), Ash-throated Flycatcher (1), Western Kingbird (60), Warbling Vireo (15), Common
    Raven (3), Horned Lark (5), Tree Swallow (500), Northern Rough-winged Swallow
    (30), Bank Swallow (2 – one with Tree Swallows at Rock Hill and one with other
    swallows at Fig Lagoon), Cliff Swallow (350), Barn Swallow (35 – including four
    with Cliff Swallows at the intersection of Carter and Fites Roads southwest of
    Brawley where this species has nested in recent years), Verdin (15), Marsh Wren
    (15), Black-tailed Gnatcatcher (2), Ruby-crowned Kinglet (1), Swainson’s Thrush (1 – one at the
    northeastern corner of the IID Wetlands establishes one of the earliest dates
    for a spring migrant at the Salton Sink), Crissal Thrasher (2 – two chasing each
    other near the intersection of Fites and Carter Roads
    southwest of Brawley where this species persists and no doubt still nests),
    Northern Mockingbird (25), European Starling (300), Phainopepla (1 – one female
    near the intersection of Fites and Carter Roads southwest of Brawley), House
    Sparrow (50), American Pipit (150 – most at a recently irrigated field Kramer
    Road between Silsbee and Drew Roads), House Finch (35), Northern Waterthrush (1 – one giving
    the diagnostic metallic “chink” call-notes at the northeastern corner of the IID
    Wetlands had most likely wintered undetected locally and was under observation
    by Steve Hampton as I arrived), Orange-crowned Warbler (5), Nashville Warbler
    (20), MacGillivray’s Warbler (1 – one female near the
    southeastern corner of El Centro), Common Yellowthroat (6), American Redstart (1 - one adult male
    singing from the willows at the northeast corner of the IID Wetlands was first
    seen here on 23 September), Yellow
    Warbler (1 – one female near the southeastern corner of El Centro was the
    earliest known spring migrant this year), Yellow-rumped Warbler (35),
    Black-throated Gray Warbler (3), Townsend’s Warbler (1), Hermit Warbler (1 – one adult male at
    Cattle Call Park in Brawley establishes the earliest date by one day for a
    spring migrant at the Salton Sink), Wilson’s Warbler (15), Abert’s Towhee (20),
    Song Sparrow (15), Lincoln’s Sparrow (1), White-crowned Sparrow (5 – all
    white-lored gambelli ), Western
    Tanager (2 – single adult males at the intersection of
    Fites and Carter Roads southwest of Brawley and near the southern edge of Niland
    were the
    first that I have encountered locally this year ), Black-headed Grosbeak (5 - the
    first that I have encountered locally this year), Lazuli Bunting (15 - the first
    that I have encountered locally this year), Red-winged Blackbird (1500), Western
    Meadowlark (30), Yellow-headed Blackbird (2 – two adult males at the old sewage
    treatment pond adjacent to Highway 111 at the southern end of Calipatria where
    this species has nested in recent years), Brewer’s Blackbird (50), Great-tailed
    Grackle (200), Bronzed Cowbird (1 –
    one adult male at the intersection of Fites and Carter Roads southwest of
    Brawley was the first that I have encountered locally this year), Brown-headed
    Cowbird (35) and Bullock’s Oriole
    (5) - 139 species.
     
    Guy McCaskie
  18. -back to top-
  19. Salton Sea (south) - 9 April 2017 LINK
    DATE: Apr 10, 2017 @ 8:44am, 3 month(s) ago
    I spent Sunday, 9 April 2017
    (6:15 AM to 5:15 PM), birding a few select locations along the south shore of
    the Salton Sea and within the Imperial Valley. I started the day at Fig Lagoon,
    Lakeview Golfcourse and Sunbeam Lake, then drove north into Brawley, stopping
    along the way at Sheldon Reservoir and in the area near the intersection of Carter
    and Fites Roads. I stopping briefly at the hummingbird feeders on Willard
    Avenue in Brawley, then looked around part of southwestern Brawley and Cattle
    Call Park. I then drove north to Niland, stopping at the east end of Date
    Street in Calipatria on the way. In Niland I birded quickly northward along
    International Avenue, west along the western part of 4 th Street, and
    southward along Luna Avenue. I then drove westward by way of Alcott, Pound,
    Davis and Schrimpf Roads to Morton Bay, then south on Garst and west on
    Sinclair Roads to the Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge HQ and Rock Hill. I
    then checked for water birds along the shoreline of the Salton Sea from Rock Hill
    to Obsidian Butte and, from Obsidian Butte along the south shore of the Salton
    Sea to Unit 1 of the Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge, spending a little
    time in the area around the intersection of Lack and Lindsey Roads and at the
    west end of Young Road. I then drove southeastward through Westmorland into
    Brawley, then south on Dogwood Road to near the southeastern corner of El
    Centro. After spending time in El Centro, I drove west, and looked at Lakeview
    Golfcourse and Fig Lagoon before heading west to San Diego. There was high cloud-cover
    through the day, with light winds, strongest in the late morning, and with
    temperatures ranging from 50 to 80 degrees. Numbers of ducks and
    shorebirds have declined in the last week, but migrant passerines were more in
    evidence. Species seen and/or heard – Snow Goose (11
    – eleven, including two blue-morph birds, at Unit 1 of the Salton Sea
    National Wildlife Refuge were all probably wounded during the hunting season),
    Gadwall (15), American Wigeon (1), Mallard (20), Blue-winged Teal (2 – a
    pair at Unit 1 of the Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge), Cinnamon Teal (75),
    Northern Shoveler (500), Northern Pintail (2), Green-winged Teal (10), Redhead
    (2), Lesser Scaup (15), Bufflehead (1), Ruddy Duck (300), Gambel’s Quail
    (15), Pied-billed Grebe (10), Eared Grebe (100), Western Grebe (2),
    Clark’s Grebe (4), Rock Pigeon (150), Eurasian Collared-Dove (200), Inca
    Dove (20), Common Ground-Dove (25), White-winged Dove (15), Mourning Dove (75), Greater Roadrunner
    (1), Vaux’s Swift (1 –
    one at the north end of Garst Road establishes one of the earliest dated for a
    spring migrant at the Salton Sink), Black-chinned Hummingbird (10),
    Anna’s Hummingbird (15), Costa’s Hummingbird (1), Rufous
    Hummingbird (1), Ridgway’s Rail (1), Sora (5), Common Gallinule (1),
    American Coot (350), Black-necked Stilt (50), American Avocet (150),
    Black-bellied Plover (2), Snowy Plover (1), Killdeer (20), Whimbrel (75), Long-billed
    Curlew (5), Marbled Godwit (20), Stilt Sandpiper (1 – one adult in
    alternate-plumage at Unit 1 of the Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge), Dunlin
    (35 – about thirty-five, all acquiring black on their bellies, at Unit 1
    of the Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge), Least Sandpiper (50), Western
    Sandpiper (500), Long-billed Dowitcher (250), Spotted Sandpiper (1), Greater
    Yellowlegs (25), Willet (15), Lesser Yellowlegs (1), Bonaparte’s Gull
    (2), Franklin’s Gull (25
    – twenty-five in alternate plumage with Ring-billed Gulls at the east end
    of Date Street in Calipatria), Heermann’s
    Gull (1 – one adult in alternate-plumage at Rock Hill),
    Ring-billed Gull (1000), California Gull (15), Herring Gull (3), Gull-billed
    Tern (75 – about fifty at
    the Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge HQ and about twenty-five at Unit 1 of
    the Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge), Black Skimmer (2), Neotropic
    Cormorant (10 – one on the
    Salton Sea near the north end of Lack Road and nine together on a snag at Fig
    Lagoon), Double-crested Cormorant (250), American White Pelican (50), Least
    Bittern (2), Great Blue Heron (35), Great Egret (75), Snowy Egret (50), Cattle Egret (2000), Green Heron (2),
    Black-crowned Night-Heron (5), White-faced Ibis (1500), Turkey Vulture (10),
    Northern Harrier (6), Sharp-shinned Hawk (1 – one adult near the
    southeast corner of El Centro), Cooper’s Hawk (1 – one Harassing a
    Northern Harrier near the Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge HQ), Red-tailed
    Hawk (2), Barn Owl (1 – one at the Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge
    HQ), Great Horned Owl (1 – one down-covered juvenile on a nest at Cattle
    Call Park in Brawley), Burrowing Owl (15), Gila Woodpecker (5), American
    Kestrel (15), Hammond’s Flycatcher (1 – one near the southeast
    corner of El Centro is the first that I have encountered locally this spring),
    Pacific-slope Flycatcher (1), Black Phoebe (20), Vermilion Flycatcher (6
    – three pairs at Lakeview Golfcourse where now resident), Ash-throated
    Flycatcher (2), Western Kingbird (50),
    Common Raven (5), Horned Lark (1), Tree Swallow (1500), Northern Rough-winged
    Swallow (30), Bank Swallow (2 – one with other swallows near the
    intersection of Young and Lack Roads and one with other swallows at Fig Lagoon
    were the first that I have encountered this year), Cliff Swallow (350), Barn
    Swallow (30 – including two with Cliff Swallows at the intersection of Carter
    and Fites Roads southwest of Brawley where this species has nested in recent
    years), Verdin (15), Marsh Wren (15), Black-tailed Gnatcatcher (2),
    Ruby-crowned Kinglet (1), Northern Mockingbird (15), European Starling (300),
    Phainopepla (1 – one male at Lakeview Golfcourse), House Sparrow (50),
    American Pipit (1), House Finch (30), Orange-crowned Warbler (3), Nashville
    Warbler (10), Common Yellowthroat (5), Yellow-rumped Warbler (35),
    Black-throated Gray Warbler (1), Townsend’s Warbler (1 – a somewhat
    early adult near the intersection of Carter and Fites Roads southwest of
    Brawley was the first that I have encountered locally this spring),
    Wilson’s Warbler (6), Abert’s Towhee (15), Chipping Sparrow (5
    – five together at Lakeview Golfcourse), Song Sparrow (15),
    Lincoln’s Sparrow (1), White-crowned Sparrow (2), Red-winged Blackbird
    (1500), Western Meadowlark (30), Yellow-headed Blackbird (2), Brewer’s
    Blackbird (35), Great-tailed Grackle (200), Brown-headed Cowbird (30) and Bullock’s
    Oriole (10) - 122 species.   Guy McCaskie  
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  21. Wood Ducks, Lake Elsinore, etc 4/4/2017 LINK
    DATE: Apr 4, 2017 @ 8:08pm, 4 month(s) ago
    Late this afternoon, Tuesday 4/4/2017, there were two male Wood Ducks on a wooden dock that is on the shoreline just north of Perret Park on the west side of Lake Elsinore. Perret Park and the lake were otherwise very quiet (probably due to the numerous people using the park.)Note: sincethe winter rains, the lake level has risen to cover the fences on the north and south sides of the park, so there is no longer anyshoreline walking access other than at the park.
    
    A few Great Egrets & Great Blue Herons are starting to nest at the historical locationon private property along Grand Avenue south of Perret Park.
    
    At Pond Park in Murrieta this morning 4/4/2017,there was a singing Bell's Vireo and a singing Yellow Warbler. There was still no sign of any Least Bitterns seen last year, but there are some White-faced Ibis that are starting to nest.
    
    Julie Szabo
    Wildomar, CA
  22. -back to top-
  23. Salton Sea (south) - 3 March 2017 LINK
    DATE: Mar 4, 2017 @ 2:27pm, 5 month(s) ago
    I spent Wednesday, 3 March 2017 (6:00 AM to 4:00 PM), birding a few select locations within the Imperial Valley and along part of the south shore of the Salton Sea. I started the day at Fig Lagoon and Sunbeam Lake, then drove north into Brawley, stopping briefly to look at Sheldon Reservoir and the area around the intersection of Carter and Fites Roads. In Brawley I stopping briefly at the hummingbird feeders on Willard Avenue and spent some time in Cattle Call Park. I then continued north to Niland, stopping briefly to look for land-birds at the northeastern corner of the IID Wetlands. In Niland I birded north along International Avenue, west along the western part of 4 th Street, and southward along Luna Avenue. I then drove westward by way of Alcott, Pound, Davis, Schrimpf, Garst and Sinclair Roads to Morton Bay and the Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge HQ. I then checked for water birds along the shoreline of the Salton Sea from Rock Hill to Obsidian Butte, and from Obsidian Butte along the south shore of the Salton Sea to Unit 1 of the Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge, spending a little time in the area around the intersection of Lack and Lindsey Roads and at the west end of Young Road. I then drove westward to nearby Carter Reservoir and southeastward to into Westmorland. From here I drove southward by way of Forrester and Ross Roads to Sunbeam Lake and Fig Lagoon, then heading west to San Diego at about 4:00 PM. There was some high broken cloud-cover part of the day, with virtually no wind, and temperatures ranging from 45 to 80 degrees. It was apparent that a number of the wintering waterbirds had left, diving ducks were on reservoirs and ditches rather than on the Salton Sea itself, raptors were few and far between, and land-birds were hard to find. Species seen and/or heard – Snow Goose (1500 – including at least 10 blue-morph birds), Ross’s Goose (6 – one with eleven presumed “cripples” at the Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge HQ and five identified with the somewhat distant Snow Geese at Unit 1 of the Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge), Gadwall (10), American Wigeon (20), Mallard (25), Cinnamon Teal (75), Northern Shoveler (1500), Northern Pintail (25), Green-winged Teal (150), Greater Scaup (2 – two with Lesser Scaup and Common Goldeneye in the ditch on the east side of the very northern part of Lack Road) Lesser Scaup (20), Bufflehead (2), Common Goldeneye (15 – four in the ditch on the east side of the very northern part of Lack Road, five at Carter Reservoir and six on Fig Lagoon), Red-breasted Merganser (1 – a female at Rock Hill), Ruddy Duck (500), Gambel’s Quail (15), Pied-billed Grebe (10), Eared Grebe (15), Western Grebe (2 – one on Fig Lagoon), Clark’s Grebe (5 – five at Morton Bay), Rock Pigeon (150), Eurasian Collared-Dove (150), Inca Dove (5), Common Ground-Dove (15), White-winged Dove (10 – ten in the southwestern part of Brawley where now regular in small numbers in winter), Mourning Dove (50), Greater Roadrunner (2), Anna’s Hummingbird (10), Costa’s Hummingbird (3), Ridgway’s Rail (1), Sora (3), Common Gallinule (2), American Coot (500), Sandhill Crane (50 – fifty at Unit 1 of the Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge), Black-necked Stilt (25), American Avocet (200), Black-bellied Plover (5), Killdeer (25), Whimbrel (6 – six with Long-billed Curlews near Fig Lagoon are the earliest of the spring migrants I have encountered this year), Long-billed Curlew (500), Marbled Godwit (100), Stilt Sandpiper (15 – at least fifteen with Long-billed Dowitchers at Unit 1 of the Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge), Least Sandpiper (250), Western Sandpiper (1 – one with Least Sandpipers near the intersection of Lack and Lindsey Roads was all that I was able to find), Long-billed Dowitcher (1500), Spotted Sandpiper (1), Greater Yellowlegs (15), Willet (2), Ring-billed Gull (2500), Western Gull (2 – one adult at the northeast corner of Obsidian Butte and one adult near the north end of Lack Road), California Gull (15), Herring Gull (50), Lesser Black-backed Gull (1 – one adult with virtually no head markings at the northeast corner of Obsidian Butte), Neotropic Cormorant (6 – five with Double-crested Cormorants at Sunbeam Lake and one perched on a boat dock at the north end of Garst Road), Double-crested Cormorant (150), American White Pelican (50), Brown Pelican (50), Least Bittern (2), Great Blue Heron (30), Great Egret (50), Snowy Egret (50), Cattle Egret (750), Green Heron (2), Black-crowned Night-Heron (6), White-faced Ibis (3500), Turkey Vulture (25), Northern Harrier (2), Red-tailed Hawk (4), Ferruginous Hawk (1 – one adult near the entrance to Unit 1 of the Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge was probably the same adult first seen here on 4 January), Great Horned Owl (1 – one at Cattle Call Park in Brawley where suspected nesting), Burrowing Owl (15), Belted Kingfisher (1), Gila Woodpecker (4), Ladder-backed Woodpecker (1), Northern Flicker (10), American Kestrel (25), Merlin (1 – One perched in a dead tree at the intersection of Davis and Schrimpf Roads), Black Phoebe (10), Say’s Phoebe (5), Vermilion Flycatcher (1 – one male at Sunbeam Lake), Loggerhead Shrike (2), Common Raven (3), Horned Lark (5), Tree Swallow (1500), Rough-winged Swallow (10), Cliff Swallow (15 – a total of about fifteen at scattered locations in the Imperial Valley are the earliest of the spring migrants I have encountered this year), Barn Swallow (15), Verdin (5), House Wren (1), Marsh Wren (10), Black-tailed Gnatcatcher (1), Ruby-crowned Kinglet (5), Northern Mockingbird (20), European Starling (350), House Sparrow (50), American Pipit (100 – a large flock near Fig Lagoon), House Finch (25), Orange-crowned Warbler (2), Common Yellowthroat (3), Yellow-rumped Warbler (35), Abert’s Towhee (10), Chipping Sparrow (15 – a flock at Cattle Call Park in Brawley), Savannah Sparrow (5), Song Sparrow (5), Lincoln’s Sparrow (2), White-crowned Sparrow (50), Red-winged Blackbird (2500), Western Meadowlark (35), Yellow-headed Blackbird (2), Brewer’s Blackbird (75), Great-tailed Grackle (100) and Brown-headed Cowbird (5) – 113 species.   Guy McCaskie  
  24. -back to top-
  25. San Timoteo Birding March 1st LINK
    DATE: Mar 1, 2017 @ 3:56pm, 5 month(s) ago
    I spent 2+ hours birding in San Timoteo Canyon today. Beautiful day, fairly birdy. At the pond near Fern Ave entrance, there were Mallards and Am Coot, but unexpected were about 8 Ring-necked Ducks. Also near the pond were a couple of Scaly-breasted Munias. Common Yellow-throats were singing.
    
    Near the pond area, had N Rough-winged Swallows--only a couple--swooping around. Also, about 6 or more White-throated Swifts flying over and flitting around the bridge at the San Tim Rroad crossing. Not sure I've seen swifts in the canyon before.
    
    I hiked the upper trail that starts near the eucalyptus grove and loops up into the canyon edges. Quite a way along past the grove, up hillside I saw a CA Gnatcatcher in a shrub--first time I've seen one in the canyon. Also, along that trail I had two Rufous-crowned Sparrows, Cassin's KB, several Say's Phoebes. The unexpected FC was what sure looked like an Ash-throated FC--seems early to me, but had the yellow under, reddish tail, brown back.
    
    At least 2 Kildeer were in the creek bottom. Had flyover Cooper's Hawk, RT Hawks, one DC Cormorant. A mangy-looking coyote was encountered.
    
    Judith Sparhawk
    Redlands
  26. -back to top-
  27. Whitewater Delta Orchard Oriole NESS LINK
    DATE: Feb 15, 2017 @ 2:17pm, 5 month(s) ago
    This morning we made the long slog out to the Whitewater River Delta at the NESS,, and were rewarded for our efforts by finding a female-type Orchard Oriole where the river empties into the sea. The bird was quite small for an Oriole, not much larger than nearby Yellow-rumped Warblers. It was very green, with a short tail, and thin white wing bars. It never vocalized, and I lost track of it after about 5 minutes of observation. Other notables at the Delta were 650 American White Pelicans, and a flock of 12 Snow Geese that included 2 Blue Morphs. Large numbers of wintering ducks were just offshore.
    
    Charity Hagen
    
    Lake Elsinore
    
    Sent from my iPhone
  28. -back to top-
  29. February 10, 2017 Salton Sea LINK
    DATE: Feb 10, 2017 @ 3:49pm, 5 month(s) ago
    Birders,
    
    If you've been putting off a trip to the Salton Sea because of recent
    inclement weather, delay no more. Today was a beautiful day at the Sea with
    temperatures ranging between 60-82. The roads are back to "normal" and the birds
    are there.
    
    Highlights of today:
    
    81st Avenue -- 7-8:30 am: the gull flock was easily visible from 81st
    Avenue this morning, but after an hour of scoping the Ring-bills and Herring
    Gulls I couldn't take any more. Then the Laughing Gull raised his head and I
    figured if I could miss that gull, the other could still be there. Fifteen
    minutes later, the head markings on a Bonapartes's Gull got my heart racing. For
    naught.
    
    Vendel Road delivered fields of Snow andRoss's and Sandhill Cranes
    and loads of ducks. Ridgeway's Rails serenaded near the parking area.
    
    10:00 Guy McCaskie's large flock of Mountain Plovers was still working the
    dirt field on the east side of Gentry just south of New River (although they
    were no longer present when I passed by there this afternoon).
    
    I did NOT see the Harriss's Sparrow at HQ but enjoyed Black-tailed
    Gnatcacther, Aberts Towhee, Gambels Quail and the other expected species.
    
    A Sora was singing at the north end of Garst.
    
    On Lack, just north of Lindsey, there was a Neotropic Cormornant (as
    reported yesterday by Guy McCaskie).
    
    Finally (saving the best for last), I stopped back at 81st Avenue on my way
    home to La Quinta for one more try (2:00). The gulls were in the rear of the
    field so I got permission to bird from inside Aqua Farming Technology. The
    Bonapartes and Laughing Gulls were close to the fence and then ... sure enough
    ... the BLACK-HEADED GULL (a new ABA bird for me).
    
    As I headed out with great satisfaction and turned north on Harrison (86),
    a Greater Roadrunner finished off my day.
    
    Good birding,
    
    Tom Harrison
    La Quinta, CA USA
  30. -back to top-


-revision history-
v1.30 - 01/05/16 - Revamped cloud logic, optimized database queries, linked to eBird rarities.
v1.23 - 12/08/11 - Added direct link to CBRC records.
v1.22 - 12/03/11 - Corrected GMT offsets on dates. Added last 5 posts at top.
v1.21 - 11/24/11 - Added direct link to range map for NA birds.
v1.2  - 11/23/11 - Greatly improved graphing technology - separates month vs. year by posts. Added species auto-complete functionality.
v1.14 - 11/22/11 - Added cloud bubble for common thread topics.
v1.13 - 11/22/11 - Added integrated photos where available.
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v1.11 - 11/22/11 - Added banding code, species look-up. Also direct link to recent eBird observations.
 v1.1 - 11/22/11 - Added 'date' functionality. Shows top 'month/year' combinations for a query. Restrict results to that 'month/year'.
 v1.0 - 11/21/11 - Initial version coded. Currently archiving 'lacobirds' and 'calbirds'.