White Pelican at Santee Lakes


San Diego to the Colorado River ABA Tour
Jan 8-12, 2003, Outstanding weather!
- narrated by Henry Detwiler

Bob and I took 16 fellow bird enthusiasts birding for 4 days to San Diego, the Laguna Mts., and the Colorado River.  
species total

Click on thumbnail pictures for full-sized shots.

Day 3 - Friday

Great Egret at Santee Lakes

On Friday morning we headed out to Mission Dam Park, where we found a few birds and lots of fog!  Santee Lakes was our next stop, with an incredible variety of bird life.  Waders, pelicans, Double-crested Cormorants, Red-shoulder Hawk, and Wood Duck were everywhere. 

Double-crested Cormorants

Santee Lakes
The best bird of the morning was the Tricolored Blackbird, a bird that isn't so common in the area any more.  

Tricolored Blackbird

Red-tailed Hawk at Paso Picacho Campground

From Santee we headed up into the mountains.  At Rancho Guyamaca State Park we spotted the elusive White-headed Woodpecker, Oak Titmice, and lots & lots of Acorn Woodpeckers.  At Julian we were rewarded by a female Williamson's Sapsucker next to the Bird Feeder store.  And just before heading downhill to Brawley, we saw the ubiquitous (but previously missed) Pygmy Nuthatches!

Days 4 & 5 - Saturday & Sunday Morning

On Saturday we left Brawley into the rising sun.  The Imperial Dunes were awesome in the morning light.  From there we dropped down into the Colorado Valley, and soon entered Cibola NWR.  From the desert trail we were rewarded with looks at Sage, Brewer's, Chipping, and other sparrows. At the observation platform Sandhill Cranes mingled with Snow, Ross', & White-fronted Geese.

Enjoying the Imperial Dunes

Canada, Snow, White-fronted, & Ross Geese

Great-horned Owl in Athel Tamarisk
On the way to Blythe we saw the turquoise jewels known as Mountain Bluebirds.  North of Blythe we visited some of Bob's friends, and found this awesome owl peering down at us.  Other nice birds there were Phainopepla, Ladder-backed Woodpecker, and both Blue-gray and Black-tailed Gnatcatcher.
Heading south once again, we made it to Palm Canyon in KOFA NWR.  In a desert wash we located Crissal Thrasher and Black-throated Sparrows.  High above the canyon White-throated Swifts circled, and the sharp-eyed Jim picked out some distant Bighorn Sheep.  

Sunset over KOFA NWR 

Townsend's Solitaire 
Senator Wash

On Sunday morning we started out early to get a jump on the rails.  We never saw a one, but we heard Clapper, Virginia, Black, and Sora.  At Senator Wash we re-loctated the CBC Townsend's Solitaire, and farther south we got our Inca & Common Ground Doves. Back in the Imperial Valley we finally scored on White-faced Ibis, and our final bird of the trip was a fine Prairie Falcon!  An excellent trip! 
Back to days 1 and 2!
More pictures! Page 3

More pictures! Page 4

San Diego, Laguna Mts., Colorado River, 8-12 Jan 2003
# Species Location
1 Red-throated Loon CA
2 Pacific Loon CA
3 Common Loon CA
4 Pied-billed Grebe CA, AZ
5 Horned Grebe CA
6 Eared Grebe CA
7 Western Grebe CA
8 Clark's Grebe CA
9 Black-vented Shearwater CA
10 American White Pelican CA
11 Brown Pelican CA
12 Brandt's Cormorant CA
13 Double-crested Cormorant CA, AZ
14 Pelagic Cormorant CA
15 Great Blue Heron CA, AZ
16 Great Egret CA, AZ
17 Snowy Egret CA, AZ
18 Cattle Egret CA, AZ
19 Black-crowned Night Heron CA
20 White-faced Ibis CA
21 Greater White-fronted Goose AZ
22 Snow Goose AZ
23 Ross' Goose AZ
24 Canada Goose CA, AZ
25 Brant CA
26 Gadwall CA, AZ
27 American Wigeon CA, AZ
28 Blue-winged Teal CA
29 Mallard CA, AZ
30 Cinnamon Teal CA
31 Northern Shoveler CA, AZ
32 Northern Pintail CA, AZ
33 Green-winged Teal CA, AZ
34 Canvasback CA
35 Redhead CA, AZ
36 Ring-necked Duck CA, AZ
37 Lesser Scaup CA
38 Surf Scoter CA
39 Long-tailed Duck CA
40 Bufflehead CA
41 Common Goldeneye AZ
42 Hooded Merganser CA
43 Common Merganser CA
44 Red-breasted Merganser CA
45 Ruddy Duck CA, AZ
46 Osprey CA, AZ
47 White-tailed Kite CA
48 Northern Harrier CA, AZ
49 Sharp-shinned Hawk CA
50 Cooper's Hawk CA
51 Red-shouldered Hawk CA
52 Red-tailed Hawk CA, AZ
53 Golden Eagle CA, AZ
54 American Kestrel CA, AZ
55 Peregrine Falcon CA
56 Prairie Falcon CA
57 Wild Turkey CA
58 Gambel's Quail AZ
59 California Quail  CA
60 Clapper Rail AZ
61 Black Rail AZ
62 Virginia Rail AZ
63 Sora AZ
64 Common Moorhen CA
65 American Coot CA, AZ
66 Black-bellied Plover CA
67 Snowy Plover CA
68 Killdeer CA, AZ
69 Black-necked Stilt CA
70 American Avocet CA
71 Greater Yellowlegs CA
72 Willet CA
73 Wandering Tattler CA
74 Spotted Sandpiper CA
75 Whimbrel CA
76 Long-billed Curlew CA
77 Marbled Godwit CA
78 Ruddy Turnstone CA
79 Black Turnstone CA
80 Sanderling CA
81 Western Sandpiper CA
82 Least Sandpiper AZ
83 Dunlin CA
84 Short-billed Dowitcher CA
85 Turkey Vulture CA, AZ
86 Bonaparte's Gull CA
87 Heerman's Gull CA
88 Mew Gull CA
89 Ring-billed Gull CA, AZ
90 California Gull CA
91 Herring Gull CA
92 Western Gull CA
# Species Location
93 Glaucous-Winged Gull CA
94 Caspian Tern CA
95 Royal Tern CA
96 Forster's Tern CA
97 Rock Dove CA, AZ
98 Mourning Dove CA, AZ
99 Inca Dove AZ
100 Common Ground-Dove AZ
101 Greater Roadrunner CA, AZ
102 Great Horned Owl CA
103 Burrowing Owl CA
104 White-throated Swift CA
105 Anna's Hummingbird CA, AZ
106 Belted Kingfisher CA, AZ
107 Acorn Woodpecker CA
108 Gila Woodpecker AZ
109 Williamson's Sapsucker CA
110 Ladder-backed Woodpecker CA, AZ
111 Nuttal's Woodpecker CA
112 Downy Woodpecker CA
113 Hairy Woodpecker CA
114 White-headed Woodpecker CA
115 Northern Flicker CA
116 Black Phoebe CA, AZ
117 Say's Phoebe CA, AZ
118 Vermilion Flycatcher AZ
119 Loggerhead Shrike CA, AZ
120 Stellar's Jay CA
121 Western Scrub Jay CA
122 American Crow CA
123 Common Raven CA, AZ
124 Wrentit CA
125 Tree Swallow CA, AZ
126 Barn Swallow AZ
127 Mountain Chickadee CA
128 Oak Titmouse CA
129 Verdin CA, AZ
130 Bushtit CA
131 White-breasted Nuthatch CA
132 Pygmy Nuthatch CA
133 Cactus Wren AZ
134 Rock Wren CA
135 Bewick's Wren CA
136 House Wren CA
137 Marsh Wren CA, AZ
138 Ruby-crowned Kinglet CA, AZ
139 Blue-gray Gnatcatcher CA, AZ
140 California Gnatcatcher CA
141 Black-tailed Gnatcatcher AZ
142 Western Bluebird CA
143 Mountain Bluebird CA, AZ
144 Townsend's Solitaire AZ
145 Hermit Thrush CA
146 American Robin CA
147 Northern Mockingbird CA, AZ
148 California Thrasher CA
149 Crissal Thrasher CA, AZ
150 European Starling CA, AZ
151 American Pipit CA, AZ
152 Cedar Waxwing CA
153 Phainopepla CA, AZ
154 Yellow-rumped Warbler CA, AZ
155 Common Yellowthroat CA, AZ
156 Orange-crowned Warbler CA, AZ
157 Green-tailed Towhee CA, AZ
158 Spotted Towhee CA, AZ
159 California Towhee CA
160 Abert's Towhee CA, AZ
161 Chipping Sparrow AZ
162 Brewer's Sparrow AZ
163 Vesper Sparrow AZ
164 Lark Sparrow CA
165 Black-throated Sparrow AZ
166 Sage Sparrow AZ
167 Savannah Sparrow CA, AZ
168 Fox Sparrow CA
169 Song Sparrow CA, AZ
170 Lincoln's Sparrow AZ
171 White-crowned Sparrow CA, AZ
172 Golden-crowned Sparrow CA
173 Dark-eyed Junco CA, AZ
174 Red-winged Blackbird CA, AZ
175 Tricolored Blackbird CA
176 Western Meadowlark CA, AZ
177 Yellow-headed Blackbird CA, AZ
178 Brewer's Blackbird CA
179 Great-tailed Grackle CA, AZ
180 House Finch CA, AZ
181 Lesser Goldfinch CA
182 American Goldfinch CA
183 House Sparrow CA, AZ

Photos Henry D. Detwiler