I had a few days off from work so I decided it was time to get down to the So. Calif. before the gas prices rose even more! First time I ever had the chance to bird the Anza-Borrego Desert. It was great! Some of the highlights were:
Hidden Valley Wildlife Area- California "Least" Bell's Vireo (a first for me), a Mac Warbler, Hooded Oriole, and lots of nesting Common Yellowthroats.
San Jacinto Wildlife Area - Along the road leading to the area was a nice flooded field that held many ducks (Am. Wigeon, GW & Cinnamon Teals, a few Redheads, 1 No. Pintail to name a few) and some common shorebirds. The main refuge road is closed not too far from the start due to flooding. But, right at the closed section was a nice pair of BW Teal.
Coachella Valley Preserve: 3 Black-throated Gray Warblers & a Wilson's Warbler.
North Shore of the Salton Sea (most of the birds found at the end of 76th St): Shorebirds of interest were - 2 Snowy Plovers, 1 Semi-palmated Plover, a Willet, a number of Whimbrels and BB Plovers. Many swallows were cruising over the water and shoreline. And a Greater Roadrunner raced across the road at 81st St. At Anthony's Fish Farm there were several Lesser Scaups.
San Diego Co 4/5
Clark's Dry Lake - Many of the resident desert birds were found here (BT, Sage & Lark Sparrows; BT Gnatcatcher, Cactus Wren, Phainopepla's, Verdin, G. Quail, to name a few), plus a Hooded Oriole, a Common Yellowthroat, and both OC and Nashville Warblers. Spent some time looking for Le Conte's Thrashers and all I could find with mockingbirds trying to fake me out. Oh well, next time!
Yaqui Well- Many migrants were found along the trail on the way to the well and back. (Chipping Sparrows, Lazuli Bunting, Bullock's Orioles, BH Grosbeaks, Wilson's & BT Gray Warblers, Warbling Vireo, Costa's HB, even a Willow Flycatcher!) Across the street from the trail, at the Tamarisk Grove CG, is a nesting Long-eared Owl. Nice display of blooming Ocotillo's and other flowers.
Cuyamaca SP (Green Valley CG) - Typical oak woodland habitat birds that included a pair of Hairy Woodpeckers.
Lot's more places to explore next trip!
Imperial Co 4/5-6
In-ko-pah/Desert Tower area (4/5) - Along side the frontage road in the cottonwoods I found Bushtits, California Towhee's, Costa's HB, Phainopepla, and a OC Warbler. Running across the road were a covey of California Quails.
Cattle Call Park (4/6) - Gila Woodpecker
Ramer Lake - A huge heron/egret rookery (quite impressive) and some waterfowl that included ( a Redhead & several Lesser Scaup)
Garst Rd & Red Hill Marina - GW & BW Teal
Garst Rd (end)- many shorebirds that included a Snowy Plover.
All and all too short of a trip, but very enjoyable.
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