Snow Geese


Salton Sea Birding Festival
17-18 Feb 2007
Narrator: Henry Detwiler

A fine weekend of birding the Imperial Valley as a guide for the Target Tours during the Salton Sea Birding Festival.

215 species--bird list is at the bottom of the page
Click on thumbnail pictures for full-sized shots.


Mountain Bluebird

Our first target was the Ferruginous Hawk, and we saw one on a pole along Walker right away.  But it flew south before we all got a nice look, so we followed it.  There we get good flight views as it headed back to Walker.  In the field across from the hawk were numerous Mountain Bluebirds.  In the far side of the same field someone noticed a couple of birds flitting about. They were Mountain Plovers! To top off the good birds in this neck of the valley, we spotted a Prairie Falcon as it few over the road.

At the headquarters building, Howard showed us a sleeping Barn owl nestled in a palm tree's fronds. 

Barn Owl

Barn Owl

Thousands of Snow and Ross's Geese were milling about the surrounding alfalfa fields.

Peregrine Falcon

At the corner of Garst and Sinclair, a beautiful adult Peregrine Falcon posed on a power pole cross beam, providing fine views for all. 

American Avocet

At Red Hill Marina Howard spotted 3 juvenile Yellow-footed Gulls at the end of the pier, along with dozens of American Avocets and Marbled Godwits.

Target Tours #1

A quick jaunt over to Cattle Call Park yielded this beautiful Gray Flycatcher catching insects in the mesquites.  Our time was running out, so we missed the Red-naped Sapsucker and Vermilion Flycatcher.

Gray Flycatcher


Mountain Plover

On Sunday we once again saw the Ferruginous Hawk along Walker.  At the corner of Gentry and Bowles was a field full of Mountain Plovers.  We set up scopes and watched these plainly marked marked plovers scurry about and pick off insects from the dirt.

South of Obsidian Butte we tallied a dozen seasonally-rare Laughing Gulls.
Laughing Gull

Target Tour Group 2


Where the sea wall meets the New River delta, thousands of American White Pelicans, Northern Shovelers, other ducks, and shorebirds put on a spectacular show for our group of intrepid birders. 

Again we had only a few minutes at Cattle Call Park before we had to return to the Imperial Fair Grounds.  Alas, the Grey Flycatcher was a no-show, but we did get lucky with a wintering White-winged Dove. Over the two weekend mornings we tallied 102 birds--a fine collection of the birds of the Imperial Valley!


White-winged Dove
Cattle Call Park


Salton Sea, 17-18 Feb 2007

# Species
1 Pied-billed Grebe
2 Eared Grebe
3 Western Grebe
4 Clark's Grebe
5 American White Pelican
6 Brown Pelican
7 Double-crested Cormorant
8 Great Blue Heron
9 Great Egret
10 Snowy Egret
11 Cattle Egret
12 Green Heron
13 White-faced Ibis
14 Snow Goose
15 Ross' Goose
16 Canada Goose
17 Gadwall
18 American Wigeon
19 Mallard
20 Cinnamon Teal
21 Northern Shoveler
22 Northern Pintail
23 Green-winged Teal
24 Lesser Scaup
25 Common Goldeneye
26 Common Merganser
27 Ruddy Duck
28 Northern Harrier
29 Cooper's Hawk
30 Red-tailed Hawk
31 Ferruginous Hawk
32 American Kestrel
33 Peregrine Falcon
34 Prairie Falcon
35 Gambel's Quail
36 Sora
37 Common Moorhen
38 American Coot
39 Black-bellied Plover
40 Snowy Plover
41 Semipalmated Plover
42 Killdeer
43 Mountain Plover
44 Black-necked Stilt
45 American Avocet
46 Greater Yellowlegs
47 Lesser Yellowlegs
48 Willet
49 Spotted Sandpiper
50 Long-billed Curlew
51 Marbled Godwit
# Species
52 Western Sandpiper
53 Least Sandpiper
54 Dunlin
55 Long-billed Dowitcher
56 Turkey Vulture
57 Laughing Gull
58 Ring-billed Gull
59 California Gull
60 Herring Gull
61 Yellow-footed Gull
62 Glaucous-Winged Gull
63 Caspian Tern
64 Forster's Tern
65 Rock Pigeon
66 White-winged Dove
67 Mourning Dove
68 Common Ground-Dove
69 Eurasian Collared Dove
70 Greater Roadrunner
71 Barn Owl
72 Burrowing Owl
73 Anna's Hummingbird
74 Belted Kingfisher
75 Northern Flicker
76 Gray Flycatcher
77 Black Phoebe
78 Say's Phoebe
79 Vermilion Flycatcher
80 Loggerhead Shrike
81 Horned Lark
82 Tree Swallow
83 Northern Rough-winged Swallow
84 Barn Swallow
85 Verdin
86 Marsh Wren
87 Ruby-crowned Kinglet
88 Mountain Bluebird
89 American Robin
90 Northern Mockingbird
91 European Starling
92 American Pipit
93 Yellow-rumped Warbler
94 Orange-crowned Warbler
95 Abert's Towhee
96 Savannah Sparrow
97 White-crowned Sparrow
98 Red-winged Blackbird
99 Western Meadowlark
100 Great-tailed Grackle
101 House Finch
102 House Sparrow

Photos Henry D. Detwiler