Southwest Birders
Read about our adventures and thoughts on birding in Arizona, California, and other locales. Check back weekly for updates!

May 2013
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Rare Bird Alert
Filed under: California
Posted by: Bob @ 3:22 pm

Hi all,

May 24, 2013. 8:30am

Guy McCaskie and Elizabeth Cooper found a HUDSONIAN GODWIT at Kershaw Pond this morning. The bird is a female. It is feeding quite successfully so it may well stay for the rest of this day but the odds are very high that it will take to the air and be VERY far from here when it lands again somewhere in Canada or Alaska as they are known to fly over a thousand miles at a time in migration!

These birds nest in the extreme north and spend their winter in South America. They look similar to Marbled Godwit which are common along the shore of the Salton Sea right now. There are no other Godwit on the Kershaw pond with this one though.


This small pond in on the east side of Kershaw Road, just north of the Alamo River, a few miles north of Rutherford Road and about half a mile south of Titsworth Road. This road carries a lot of farm and truck traffic so please get as far off the pavement as possible.

Here is what I have been able to gather in limited time so this is NOT the absolute facts! Hudsonian Godwit sightings in California “average” about once per year. There may only be two records for Imperial County and one of those records was of a bird that was found dead. All spring records in California have occurred between May 9th and May 31st.

See ya at the sea………………………

Here is the eBird report for my one hour visit
Kershaw Rd. pond, Imperial, US-CA
May 24, 2013 9:05 AM - 10:11 AM
Protocol: Stationary
Comments:     Submitted from  BirdLog NA for Android v1.7
23 species

Gadwall  2
Mallard  14
Cinnamon Teal  8
Redhead  1
Double-crested Cormorant  7
Great Blue Heron  1
Snowy Egret  3
Cattle Egret  1
Green Heron  1
White-faced Ibis  3
American Coot  6
Killdeer  2
Black-necked Stilt  17
American Avocet  8
Spotted Sandpiper  1
Hudsonian Godwit  1     Found by Guy McCaskie and Elizabeth Cooper.
Eurasian Collared-Dove  2
White-winged Dove  3
Common Ground-Dove  1
Northern Rough-winged Swallow  2
Cliff Swallow  15
Song Sparrow  1
Red-winged Blackbird  50

View this checklist online at

This report was generated automatically by eBird v3 (

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May the 4th Be With You
Filed under: California
Posted by: Bob @ 5:29 pm

Hi all,

On May fourth…..I spent the morning in search of a Great Black-backed Gull that had been seen on the north end of the Salton Sea a few days earlier and had not yet been seen again. If it is not on that end of the Salton Sea then it might be on my end! If the record is accepted it will be the first for California! Sure thought I had found it at Lack and Lindsey when I found a large dark bird sleeping on the beach there. That bird had a fine nap because it was over an hour before it stood up. Turned out to be a Yellow-footed Gull. Hate it when that happens! Had some great sightings on the day though. Watched a Bobcat chase a rabbit, my first of season Black Tern, two Franklin’s Gull in breeding plumage and two adult male Snowy Plover in battle.

More pictures from the day can be viewed on Flickr here.

Some video of Snowy Plover males battling over territory can be viewed on YouTube here.

Bobcat (Lynx rufus)

Desert Cottontail, Eurasian Collared-Dove and a Common Ground-Dove.

A baby Desert Cottontail and an adult male Gambel’s Quail.

Late for the season male Common Goldeneye.

Great Black-backed SUSPECT that slept for an hour…..Yellow-footed Gull.

Convergent lady beetle (Hippodamia convergens)

Seven-spotted Ladybird (Coccinella septempunctata)

Immature Yellow-footed Gull.

See ya at the sea……………………………..

eBird report for the day.

Imperial Valley–general area, Imperial, US-CA
May 4, 2013 6:37 AM - 12:22 PM
Protocol: Traveling
53.0 mile(s)
Comments:     Black-backed run. From Brawley on Hwy 111 to Sinclair. Garst Road and Red Hill then birded the shore of the Salton Sea to Poe Road with stops at the SBSSNWR visitor center, Obsidian Butte, seawall to Young Road then to Poe Road.
70 species

Gadwall  4     (2) in pond off McKindrey road on east side of Obsidian Butte, (2) at Lack and Lindsey.
Mallard  6
Cinnamon Teal  8
Northern Shoveler  7
Common Goldeneye  1     Photographed. Male in very worn plumage. Possible immature. in pond south of seawall coming off of Obsidian Butte
Ruddy Duck  100
Gambel’s Quail  18
Eared Grebe  200
Neotropic Cormorant  1     Lack and Lindsey
Double-crested Cormorant  300
American White Pelican  16     North end of Poe Road
Brown Pelican  4     Lack and Lindsey with NECO
Great Blue Heron  45
Great Egret  15
Snowy Egret  10
Green Heron  1
White-faced Ibis  75
Turkey Vulture  2
American Coot  300
Black-bellied Plover  2
Snowy Plover  6     North end of Poe Road. Including (1) very young fledgling.
Semipalmated Plover  15
Killdeer  30
Black-necked Stilt  200
Spotted Sandpiper  4
Greater Yellowlegs  2
Willet  5
Whimbrel  3
Marbled Godwit  30
Western Sandpiper  200
Long-billed Dowitcher  50
Wilson’s Phalarope  50
Red-necked Phalarope  1
Bonaparte’s Gull  8
Franklin’s Gull  2     In alternate plumage along seawall south of Obsidian Butte
Ring-billed Gull  30
Yellow-footed Gull  2     (1) near adult still showing black on bill.
California Gull  20
Gull-billed Tern  8
Caspian Tern  15
Black Tern  1     In alternate plumage north end of Lack Road on Seawal
Forster’s Tern  6
Black Skimmer  14
Rock Pigeon  40
Eurasian Collared-Dove  40
White-winged Dove  15
Mourning Dove  30
Common Ground-Dove  15
Great Horned Owl  2     (1) Red Hill, (1) SBSSNWR visitor center
Burrowing Owl  35
American Kestrel  10     Including one deceased fledgling lying in the roadway on young Road just east of seawall.
Black Phoebe  25
Western Kingbird  25
Warbling Vireo  2
Common Raven  2     Lack and Lindsey Roads.
Northern Rough-winged Swallow  30
Verdin  4
Marsh Wren  1
Northern Mockingbird  6
European Starling  40
Orange-crowned Warbler  2
Townsend’s Warbler  3
Wilson’s Warbler  3
Song Sparrow  1
Red-winged Blackbird  300
Western Meadowlark  50
Great-tailed Grackle  30
Brown-headed Cowbird  7
House Finch  3
House Sparrow  4

View this checklist online at

This report was generated automatically by eBird v3 (

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