Ross's Gull, Salton Sea

   
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Salton Sea - Ross's Gull
18 Nov 2006
Henry Detwiler

Directions to this rarity, along with some photos of the gull and other area birds

Click on thumbnail pictures for full-sized shots.
  

We left Yuma at 6:00am, which is 5:00am California time.  Just after sunrise we made it to Garst Road, where this Peregrine Falcon was waiting for breakfast to fly by.


Peregrine Falcon, Salton Sea


Peregrine Falcon, Salton Sea

 

At the boat launch, some 100 people were already gathered, watching the Ross's Gull found by Guy McCaskie on 17 Nov 06.  It was a real beauty, sporting a pinkish breast and a partial line around the face.  But not five minutes after we arrived at 6:20 am, it flew off to the north.  No worries, though, it came and went several times that morning.


Ross's Gull, Salton Sea
   


Ross's Gull, Salton Sea


Ross's Gull, Salton Sea
At one point it flew south of the boat launch jetty, feeding in the "surf" and then flying to a small rock, where it posed for photos.  It was not at all worried about the myriad photographers, and let some approach to within 10 yards.


Ross's Gull, Salton Sea

The gull continued to entertain birders late into the morning, when we left to look at other birds in the area, such as the Roseate Spoonbill along Bowles Road!

 


Ross's Gull, Salton Sea



Follow the dotted reddish line to the Ross's Gull

DIRECTIONS:
- From I-8, take Hwy 111 north to Calipatria
- From the center of Calipatria, drive north 3.5 miles to Sinclair Road, which will have a sign for Sonny Bono Salton Sea NWR, and turn left
- Drive west on Sinclair Road 4.5 miles to Garst Road, which will have a sign to Red Hill Marina, and turn right
- Drive north on Garst Road for 1.5 miles and then turn west (left) towards Red Hill Marina
- Follow the perimeter road to the south of "Red Hill" and park at the boat launch
- The Ross's Gull has been seen on both sides of the boat launch feeding in the mud flats and along the shore
 

 
 


 


Brown Pelicans, Salton Sea

 

At Obsidian Butte, hundreds of Brown and White Pelicans mingled with Ring-billed, California, and a couple of immature Yellow-footed Gulls, putting on a great birding spectacle.

Our final stops of the day before heading back to Yuma were Finney and Ramer Lakes, where this cooperative Loggerhead Shrike posed for a photo.


Loggerhead Shrike, Salton Sea

Photos Henry D. Detwiler