Spent Saturday morning (Oct 27) in the Bard Valley (southeast Imperial County) this morning, visiting mesquite bosque along White Road, the Living Waters Ministry, West Pond, and Senator Wash. Despite the stiff winds there were lots of birds about, and before noon I’d tallied 76 species.
Snowy Egret along White Road
The invasion of the nuthatches continues, and I had a Red-breasted Nuthatch at Living Waters. Also had my first American Robin and a flock of 16 Cedar Waxwings along White Road. This has been a good season for House Wrens, too, and this morning I heard five of them. Dark-eyed Junco and Spotted Towhee rounded out the northern winter visitors that do not make it down to our area on an annual basis.
Cedar Waxwings & Black Phoebe, Bard Valley
An adult Red-shouldered Hawk at Living Waters was expected but nonetheless good to see. At West Pond were the first Canvasback and Bufflehead I’ve seen this fall. An American White Pelican on Mittry Lake (Arizona) was unusual. Not much luck with rails this morning; one distant Virginia and one close Clapper Rail at one of the All American Canal seeps. Senator Wash was bare save for 22 Western Grebes.
Juvenile Male Vermilion Flycatcher, Hidden Shores
Alamo River Wetlands Project. Click on thumnails for larger images. 35 species of bird and five species of odonates were seen in about four hours. Bird, dragon and damsels seen are listed at bottom of page!
Saltcedar (Tamarix spp.) was under siege at the Alamo River Wetlands Projetct, Shank Road site, this past Saturday as about 25 “pullers” attacked the non-native invasive species with their bare… or gloved hands! Pullers in attendance were from all over of the Imperial Valley and all had fun.
First stop of the morning for me was Johnny’s Burritos in Brawley for my machaca with eggs fix. A large raptor silhouetted in top of a big eucalytus tree caught my eye. North 7th and D Street in the middle of Brawley is NOT where you would expect to find a PEREGRINE FALCON but there it was bathed in beautiful smorning sunlight. Peregrine Falcon are one of the fastest birds in the world and they dine on other birds which they catch out of the air while in flight. Apparently it has caught on to the fact that Brawley has an over abundance of Rock Pigeons.
Following are several pictures of the wetlands and pullers hard at play! All were rewarded with a fine selection of fruit and prizes were awarded for “Best Bouquet”, “Most Pulled” and several other silly catagories. Some fine silly bird jokes were told as well.
The next two pictures are a before and after with phragmites remaining and the saltcedar removed.
Aside from the huge flock of the vegetation eating American Coot that are regulars, there are a large number of Double-crested Cormorant hanging out at the wetlands because their are a lot of small fish for them to eat. Double-crested Cormorant lack oils in their feathers which allows them to practically fly underwater to catch fish but it means they must frequently come out of the water to dry their feathers. That is why you often see them perched with their wings spread wide to dry. This photo is of an immature bird. Adults are black and the “double-crest” only occurs on adults for a very short time during breeding season. They nest is several places here in Imperial Valley like Ramer Lake and Mullet Islnad on the Salton Sea.
Another fish eating bird present was Forster’s Tern. They catch fish by diving headfirst into the water like a kingfisher.
This Forster’s Tern was diving headfirst and catching minnows at waters edge right in front of us!
See ya at the sea…………………………..
Alamo River Wetlands Project–Shank Rd., Imperial, US-CA
Oct 27, 2012 7:18 AM - 11:05 AM
Comments: Submitted from BirdLog for Android v1.6 Saltcedar Pull event. About 25 people showed up to pull tamarix. Dragonflies - Blue-eyed Darner, Common Green Darner, Variegated Meadowhawk, Rambur’s Forktail, Familiar Bluet.
Northern Shoveler 1
Ruddy Duck 1
Pied-billed Grebe 1
Eared Grebe 2
Western Grebe 2
Double-crested Cormorant 150
Snowy Egret 14
Cattle Egret 17
Green Heron 2
White-faced Ibis 150
Turkey Vulture 2
Northern Harrier 1
Red-tailed Hawk 2
American Coot 400
Spotted Sandpiper 6
Greater Yellowlegs 1
Least Sandpiper 50
Long-billed Dowitcher 9
Ring-billed Gull 30
Forster’s Tern 3
Mourning Dove 2
Northern Flicker 1
Black Phoebe 5
Say’s Phoebe 2
Tree Swallow 10
Barn Swallow 10
Marsh Wren 1
Yellow-rumped Warbler 15
Savannah Sparrow 2
Red-winged Blackbird 35
Western Meadowlark 4
Great-tailed Grackle 3
This report was generated automatically by eBird v3 (http://ebird.org/)