Kern and Imperial Counties
- Sorry for the late report. I haven't had a chance to get to my e-mail since returning home and to work.
On my way to the Salton Sea, I stopped near the town of Maricopa at first light and saw three Le Conte's Thrashers at the site described in the ABA's Southern California guide. They were along Petroleum Club Rd between Kerto and Cadet Rds.
Imperial 2/6/04 -- 2/8/04
In addition to several of the birds recently reported on the various list serves (for access to reports from all of the public CA lists, visit http://www.sialia.com/ ), I found a few other birds of interest.
2-4 Large-billed Savannah Sparrows were at the Niland Marina. From road's end, they were near the water in the first 400 yards north. Two were picking food items from the foam at the sea's edge, though based on the number of sightings, I think there were as many as four.
Anhinga was not found at Fig Lagoon. A male Vermilion Flycatcher was foraging along the short cut in the area described by Bob Miller. Three species of swallows were noted foraging at the Lagoon (Tree, Northern Rough-winged, and Barn--only a few of the latter). Cliff Swallow was seen near the refuge HQ at the west end of Sinclair.
At the refuge HQ at the southwest corner of the parking area was a Wilson's Warbler. I tried without success to interest some of the birders looking for the White-throated Sparrow that has been seen around the viewing platform. Though abundant in season, according to Birds of the Salton Sea (Patten, McCaskie, Unitt, 2003) there were only nine winter Wilson's Warbler records by press time.
At Finney Lake, at the site described in the ABA guide, I watched two foraging Crissal Thrashers. I arrived at first light, and it took over an hour to find them at the eastern end of the described canal where the area turns to ag fields. Neither they, nor the two mockingbirds in the area were singing. Great numbers of waterbirds flying over at sunrise. The gulls and egrets had a rosy glow in the morning sun.
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