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
thumbnail pictures for full-sized shots.
Elderhostel Group at Betty's
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,
|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
|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
Desilting Ponds at Imperial
desilting ponds south of Imperial Dam, we looked at perched
Ospreys, Lesser Scaup, Bufflehead, more wigeons, Canvasback, and
Bob & Company
|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
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.
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.
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