We continued our trek along the Eastern half of the Salton sea. At times it was barren. No life to be seen anywhere. We knew that there were places to stop, but where were they?
American Avocets covered the skies.
Curlews were around and in nearby farmer fields.
The Ibis, Terns, Pelicans, Sandpipers, and Gulls littered the skies.
We combed the beaches and counted birds. We were able to get close to the Western Sandpipers below. They are going from one molt to the other here in this pic.
And while the dead fish smell sometimes led me to almost vomiting, I was able to hold it back as I counted the birds and snapped the shots. Sometimes looking at the pictures is much better than living and "breathing in" the actual experience. Salt Creek Beach. Most birders head here after birding at the Sonny Bono Unit 2 refuge. Why? Many times a lot of birds hang out here that don't hang out at the refuge....like the Yellow-footed Gull.......a special bird unique to this ecosystem. But our day was far from over.....
|American Pelican with California Gulls and a Black-necked Stilt and Eared Grebes in the water beyond|
We stopped at places like Bombay Beach. Truly an American taste for the finest in 3rd world living. Boarded up homes were still home for many. And it took me back to my days in Peace Corps in West Africa. A big bellied man sunned on the fish head encrusted beaches. What was this stuff getting into my shoes? Don't think about it. Keep moving. Oh....what's that smell??!!! But we searched for birds.
|Long-billed Curlew(note the cinnamon underparts of the wing. These are clear field marks that this is a Curlew and not a Whimbrel. The top of the head is also different but we can't see that in this pic.)|
On this day, we would get up close and personal with Bonaparte's Gulls. A lifebird for me. It was said that these birds hung out at Salt Creek Beach, north of Bombay Beach.
|Bonaparte's Gull-French for "Cool gull"|
|A party at the beach|