White Ibis in Baker: traffic and directions
- The white ibis was present until at least noon today, and was seen continuously from dawn until then.
The ibises are very skittish, taking flight repeatedly.
Most of the time they were in the northernmost pond, but when spooked they would fly to the north side of the southernmost pond.
The white ibis perched several times in the top of a dead tree, easily visible from the west side.
Traffic east towards Las Vegas on I-15 North was not all that terrible either early in the morning [we arrived at 7:00 a.m.] or from 12:00-1:00, but traffic on I-15 South from just north of San Bernadino all the way through Temecula was horrible at 1:30-3:00.
Directions: Take I-15 North to Kelbalker Rd., exit 246, one exit north/east of the Baker Blvd. exit.
turn right at the end of the exit ramp [you'll be on the south side of I-15] and turn right almost immediately into the parking lot.
Walk the road west from the gate, which will be locked on Sunday and Monday; there is a walk-in entrance on the left side of the gate.
Walk about 250 yards, until you see the 20 mph traffic sign.
At that point, there is a gap in the fence big enough to get through. Chain link fence; don't wear your silk birding vest.
It enters the area at the southern end of the northern pond.
Muck boots, etc., proved unnecessary.
Despite the heavy rain last night and the remaining puddles, walking was pretty easy on the road into the plant and along the dike.
There may be more rain tonight, but it is not supposed to be as intense as the storm last night.
Also present was 1 and possibly more solitary sandpiper[s] in the southern pond, 1 or 2 willow flycatchers, some least sandpipers, a long-billed dowitcher, and a handful of greater yellowlegs.
[Zzyzx proved fairly unproductive from 11:00-12:00. Except for a herd of 11 desert bighorns right next to the road.]
The ibis is a lovely bird. Startlingly fresh plumage and vibrant eye and bill colors. Interestingly, the bill seems to have a uneven open-billed-stork-like gap in it, even when it is closed. I think this comes from when the bird used its bill to chew its way out of the wire-mesh cage it was being held in....