Pied-billed Grebe

   
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Yuma Elderhostel Trip
Jan 21-25, 2002 - 40-68 degrees
narrated by Henry Detwiler

A group of twenty-one intrepid adventurers from all parts of the country converged on Yuma to search for birds.  
128
species (list follows at end of page)

Click on thumbnail pictures for full-sized shots.


Elderhostel Group at Betty's Kitchen


Merlin south of Mittry Lake

Our first two days were spent close to the Colorado River, a natural magnet for birds in this desert country.  At  Kool Corner, we got a peak at our resident Great Horned Owl, and excellent looks at this Merlin.  In the adjoining horse pasture we looked at the first Vermilion Flycatcher of the day, too. 
At Betty's Kitchen we hiked the short trail and found some of our typical southwestern birds such as Verdin, Abert's Towhee, gnatcatcher, shrike, and the wintering Hermit Thrush and Ruby-crowned Kinglet
   

Loggerhead Shrike at Betty's Kitchen

Pied-billed Grebe
    
After lunch we drove up river to the Imperial Dam area.  My attempts to lure out Black Rails were in vain, but we did spot lots of other birds, including this photogenic Pied-billed Grebe.


Desilting Ponds at Imperial Dam

At the desilting ponds south of Imperial Dam, we looked at perched Ospreys, Lesser Scaup, Bufflehead, more wigeons, Canvasback, and Ring-necked Duck.
Bob & Company
     
Tuesday morning was spent on Martinez Lake & the Colorado River with Ron and his Yuma River Tours.  Ron took us to see Clarke's and Western Grebes, Herman the Great Egret, Ospreys, and excellent looks at a most cooperative Least Bittern. 
   

Ron (right) and Yuma River Tours


Backwater of the Colorado River 
    

Martinez Lake 

We ate lunch at the Martinez Lake Restaurant, where the owners were feeding hummers and a covey of quail. 




Female Gambel's Quail
    


Pam talks about the cottonwoods

Imperial NWR

Pam Martin gave us a tour of Imperial National Wildlife Refuge, where we watched Snow & Canada Geese, Vermilion Flycatchers, and many other birds.

 

Wednesday was a half day, and we spent it in the Gila Valley searching for grassland and scrub desert species.  Not two minutes after arriving at a saltbush flat, we were spotting Sage Sparrows and LeConte's Thrashers.


Sage Sparrow


LeConte's Thrasher
As we headed back to Tacna for a big chicken dinner, we got a fleeting look at a Ferruginous Hawk and then played leapfrog with a Prairie Falcon along the railroad telephone poles. 

   
ON to PAGE 2

   
Yuma Area Elderhostel Trip, 21-25 Jan 2002
    
 
# Species
1 Western Grebe
2 Eared Grebe
3 Pied-billed Grebe
4 Clark's Grebe
5 Brown Pelican
6 White Pelican
7 Double-crested Cormorant
8 Green Heron
9 Least Bittern
10 Great Blue Heron
11 Great Egret
12 Cattle Egret
13 Black-crowned Night Heron
14 Snowy Egret
15 White-faced Ibis
16 Ring-necked Duck
17 Greater Scaup
18 Wood Duck
19 Ruddy Duck
20 Redhead
21 Northern Pintail
22 Mallard
23 Lesser Scaup
24 Green-winged Teal
25 Common Merganser
26 Common Goldeneye
27 Cinnamon Teal
28 Canvasback
29 Bufflehead
30 American Wigeon
31 Canada Goose
32 Snow Goose
33 Northern Shoveler
34 Ross' Goose
35 Gadwall
36 Virginia Rail
37 Sora
38 Common Moorhen
39 American Coot
40 American Avocet
41 Black-necked Stilt
42 Black-bellied Plover
43 Killdeer
44 Mountain Plover
45 Long-billed Dowitcher
46 Stilt Sandpiper
47 Willet
48 Spotted Sandpiper
49 Marbled Godwit
50 Long-billed Curlew
51 Lesser Yellowlegs
52 Least Sandpiper
53 Greater Yellowlegs
54 Western Sandpiper
55 Dunlin
56 Bonaparte's Gull
57 California Gull
58 Herring Gull
59 Ring-billed Gull
60 Caspian Tern
61 Forster's Tern
62 Turkey Vulture
63 Ferruginous Hawk
64 Northern Harrier

 

 
 
# Species
65 Osprey
66 Red-tailed Hawk
67 Sharp-shinned Hawk
68 Cooper's Hawk
69 Prairie Falcon
70 American Kestrel
71 Merlin
72 Peregrine Falcon
73 Gambel's Quail
74 Ring-necked Pheasant
75 Inca Dove
76 Common Ground-Dove
77 Mourning Dove
78 Rock Dove
79 Greater Roadrunner
80 Burrowing Owl
81 Great Horned Owl
82 White-throated Swift
83 Anna's Hummingbird
84 Belted Kingfisher
85 Gila Woodpecker
86 Ladder-backed Woodpecker
87 Northern Flicker
88 Say's Phoebe
89 Black Phoebe
90 Vermilion Flycatcher
91 Horned Lark
92 Northern Rough-winged Swallow
93 Tree Swallow
94 Common Raven
95 Verdin
96 Cactus Wren
97 Marsh Wren
98 House Wren
99 Hermit Thrush
100 American Robin
101 Black-tailed Gnatcatcher
102 Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
103 Ruby-crowned Kinglet
104 Loggerhead Shrike
105 Northern Mockingbird
106 Crissal Thrasher
107 Leconte's Thrasher
108 American Pipit
109 Phainopepla
110 European Starling
111 Yellow-rumped Warbler
112 Common Yellowthroat
113 Orange-crowned Warbler
114 Western Meadowlark
115 Red-winged Blackbird
116 Great-tailed Grackle
117 Brewer's Blackbird
118 House Sparrow
119 Song Sparrow
120 Abert's Towhee
121 Vesper Sparrow
122 Savannah Sparrow
123 Sage Sparrow
124 Dark-eyed Junco
125 Lincoln's Sparrow
126 Brewer's Sparrow
127 White-crowned Sparrow
128 House Finch

        

Photos Henry D. Detwiler & Bob Miller