Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Birding the Salton Sea

Hello from Palm Desert, California!

My wife and I are currently on vacation in Palm Desert after a couple of days in San Diego. On Sunday, we decided to spend the morning birding at the Salton Sea which is about an hour and a half south of where we are staying. The Salton Sea is a huge inland body of water that was created in 1905 when the Colorado River flooded. The sea averages 15 miles wide by 35 miles long. The southern end of the sea is where both birds and birders flock. There are lots of great birding locations in this part of the sea including Sonny Bono National Wildlife Refuge. I have never been to any place that attracts more individual birds than this area. There are thousands of pelicans (both American White and Brown), gulls, terns, and shorebirds.

One of my favorite birds here were the numerous Red-necked Phalaropes. They were also one of the only shorebirds that would come close enough for good photos!

Red-necked Phalarope
I was also able to get two lifers in the area! There were a lot of Yellow-footed Gulls and we also found 2 Crissal Thrashers!

Burrowing Owl near the Salton Sea
I will post more about our trip later this week.

-Rob

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