Lake & Imperial Dam
by Henry Detwiler
A trip with Dave and Al & Helga to scout out some likely spots for the
upcoming Christmas Bird Count.
thumbnail pictures for full-sized shots.
|Following some fine nut loaf at Al & Helga's we
set out for Martinez Lake & the Colorado River. It was a
beautiful morning--brisk & sunny. A sandbar on the river
at Fisher's Landing held the first surprise of the day--5 California
Gulls! We also spotted this Cooper's Hawk, on the prowl for a
On Martinez Lake we had American White Pelican,
four grebe species, several Redheads, and two Ospreys.
Loggerhead Shrikes, like this one, were a common site during the
course of the day. At the Fisher's Landing sewage treatment
ponds we found our next unexpected birds--two Dunlin, three
Black-necked Stilts, and a host of Least Sandpipers.
Driving along the road to Imperial NWR, we had one of those comical
birding moments. I spotted a woodpecker and we stopped for a better
look. I called out Gila Woodpecker. Dave called out
Ladder-backed. I examined it more closely, and said I really thought
it was a Gila. He examined it and held fast--Ladder-backed. Of
course, we were looking at two different birds! Al & Helga just
|From the observation tower at Imperial NWR we
watched Snow and Canada Geese, and searched unsuccessfully for one
of the refuge Bald Eagles. On the way out Dave spotted this
cooperative Peregrine Falcon.
At Imperial Dam we picked up our Vermilion Flycatchers and
some juncos. More pelicans were at the lakes and on the Colorado River
in this area--it was a good day for them.
Bonaparte's Gulls - Senator
Dave, Al, Henry & Helga
provided our final surprise for the day. Among the typical
Ring-billed Gulls were two tiny Bonaparte's Gulls.
Unfortunately, any wintering mergansers & loons were hidden
from sight. A drive up to the north shore of the lake
provided us with four burros and nice scenery, but no additional
birds. Our next scouting trip will be on the 14th of
December, the weekend before our CBC.