Sunday, July 15, 2007
Yesterday Dave Pavlik (another young birder working in Weldon, CA for the summer) and I made a killer trip to the Salton Sea. Dave came on Fri, and we managed to find both California Gnatcatchers and Red-crowned Parrots (both lifers for Dave). On Sat, we got up at 2:30 so as to get an early start. The reason? The Salton Sea is an amazing birding spot, and it regularly has Yellow-footed Gulls, a species found nowhere else in the US. Of course, we found them (lifers for us both) - at least 50 total.
The sea also had THOUSANDS of other birds - terns (Black, Gull-billed, Caspian, Common and Forster's, along with Black Skimmers), shorebirds (esp. Long-billed Curlews, Black-necked Stilts, Avocets, Wilson's and Red-necked Phalaropes), both species of Pelicans, etc. We were also lucky enough to see a Wood Stork, a rare species for CA and a lifer for me.
Several Avocets "attacked" the car while we drove next to a couple ponds - they must have had nests nearby. They'd run at the car, calling loudly, and spread their wings. We had to be careful not to hit any with the car. :-)
Another highlight for me was the Burrowing Owls - these adorable lil guys are very tame, allowing close approach and good photos.
So, a sweet day - 2 lifers, 22 state birds, and a lot of other interesting birds!!