Near Obsidian Butte at Salton Sea 


San Diego Bird Festival
"Salton Sea Sojourn"

Feb. 11-12, 2002 
Guide -
Bob Miller

An overnight trip from San Diego to the Salton Sea and back through Anza-Borrego Desert SP and the Laguna Mountains. 

For more festival pictures
click HERE

109 species (list follows at end of page)

Click on thumbnail pictures for full-sized shots.

Black Phoebe

At 0600 we were on the freeway and counting already! First stop was Jacumba for Tricolored Blackbird and a couple of Californians...Quail and Thrasher that is! Dropping off Mountain Springs grade, we picked up Rock Wren, Black Phoebe, coffee and a snack.

Ferruginous Hawk, as we were enroute to  the Imperial site of the New River Wetlands project was great. So were the wetlands! From there we struck out for the Salton Sea. This little group of dozing birds hold a secret, click on the thumbnail and look closely at their silhouette.

Black-necked Stilt & American Avocet

Western Gull

We did not find any Yellow-footed Gull but this lone Western Gull is a rarity at the Salton Sea. Ironic since we had seen hundreds of them in San Diego during the week of the festival. 

We raced to the center of the Imperial Valley just in time to see several hundred Sandhill Cranes fly out to their night roost. The two individual birds on the bottom left were much larger than all of the others. After a great dinner at Su Casa Restaurant, one tired group of birders hit the hay.

Sandhill Cranes

After a fine continental breakfast at the Brawley Inn, and a walk around the neighborhood for Gila Woodpecker and Common Ground-Dove, we were on our way West to Unit One of the Sonny Bono Salton Sea NWR. We had this Burrowing Owl along the way.

Burrowing Owl

There were thousands of Ross' and Snow Geese with a few Canada's in the mix. The geese were moving around a lot and were constantly coming over us. 


Looking at geese.

Costa's Hummingbird

One last try for Yellow-footed Gull at Poe Road almost worked but young gulls in-between their seasons....?  Off to the Anza-Borrego Desert SP we went. This Costa's Hummingbird is the semi- official greeter outside the visitors center.

We initially thought this was an Anna's Hummingbird building a nest just outside the door of the visitors center. After studying the numerous pictures taken of it, I have concluded that it was a Black-chinned. Never enough time in a day, we went up the very steep Montezuma Grade and into Julian for Ice Cream and a visit with Rick at The Birdwatcher.

Black-chinned Hummingbird

Cuyumaca Meadow in the Laguna Mountains

Timers on cameras are great! After several stops in the Laguna Mountains, it was time to put on the blinders and get on down the mountain. There was that 3 o'clock deadline thing again! We made it with ten minutes to spare. Shucks, could have made one more stop. Help, I'm birding and I can't stop! PS, did you find the Yellowlegs?!
San Diego Bird Festival "Salton Sea Sojourn"
Feb. 11-12, 2002
  1. Pied-billed Grebe

  2. Eared Grebe

  3. American White Pelican

  4. Brown Pelican

  5. Double-crested Cormorant

  6. Great Blue Heron

  7. Great Egret

  8. Snowy Egret

  9. Cattle Egret

  10. Green Heron

  11. White-faced Ibis

  12. Snow Goose

  13. Ross's Goose

  14. Canada Goose

  15. American Wigeon

  16. Mallard

  17. Northern Pintail

  18. Cinnamon Teal

  19. Northern Shoveler

  20. Canvasback

  21. Redhead

  22. Ring-necked Duck

  23. Lesser Scaup

  24. Bufflehead

  25. Ruddy Duck

  26. Turkey Vulture

  27. Osprey

  28. Northern Harrier

  29. Cooper's Hawk

  30. Red-tailed Hawk

  31. Ferruginous Hawk

  32. American Kestrel

  33. California Quail

  34. Sandhill Crane

  35. Virginia Rail

  36. Sora

  37. Common Moorhen

  38. American Coot

  39. Black-necked Stilt

  40. American Avocet

  41. Killdeer

  42. Marbled Godwit

  43. Long-billed Curlew

  44. Greater Yellowlegs

  45. Lesser Yellowlegs

  46. Spotted Sandpiper

  47. Willet

  48. Western Sandpiper

  49. Least Sandpiper

  50. Stilt Sandpiper

  51. Ring-billed Gull

  52. California Gull

  53. Western Gull

  54. Herring Gull

  55. Bonaparte's Gull

  1. Rock Dove

  2. Mourning Dove

  3. Common Ground-Dove

  4. Barn Owl

  5. Burrowing Owl

  6. Anna's Hummingbird

  7. Costa's Hummingbird

  8. Belted Kingfisher

  9. Acorn Woodpecker

  10. Gila Woodpecker

  11. Ladder-backed Woodpecker

  12. Nuttall's Woodpecker

  13. Northern Flicker

  14. Black Phoebe

  15. Say's Phoebe

  16. Horned Lark

  17. Tree Swallow

  18. Northern Rough-winged Swallow

  19. Cliff Swallow

  20. American Pipit

  21. Ruby-crowned Kinglet

  22. Phainopepla

  23. Cedar Waxwing

  24. Cactus Wren

  25. Rock Wren

  26. Marsh Wren

  27. Northern Mockingbird

  28. California Thrasher

  29. Western Bluebird

  30. American Robin

  31. Black-tailed Gnatcatcher

  32. White-breasted Nuthatch

  33. Verdin

  34. Loggerhead Shrike

  35. Steller's Jay

  36. Western Scrub-Jay

  37. American Crow

  38. Common Raven

  39. European Starling

  40. Yellow-rumped Warbler

  41. Common Yellowthroat

  42. Spotted Towhee

  43. Abert's Towhee

  44. Savannah Sparrow

  45. Song Sparrow

  46. White-crowned Sparrow

  47. Dark-eyed Junco

  48. Red-winged Blackbird

  49. Tricolored Blackbird

  50. Western Meadowlark

  51. Great-tailed Grackle

  52. House Finch

  53. Lesser Goldfinch

  54. House Sparrow

Photos Bob Miller