Friday, April 26, 2013

Salt Creek Beach

American Pelican with California Gulls and a Black-necked Stilt and Eared Grebes in the water beyond
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?
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.

American Avocets
                                                  American Avocets covered the skies.

Long-billed Curlew
                                             Curlews were around and in nearby farmer fields.

White-faced Ibis
                                  The Ibis, Terns, Pelicans, Sandpipers, and Gulls littered the skies.

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"
   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.

Western Sandpipers
 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 the Yellow-footed Gull.......a special bird unique to this ecosystem.  But our day was far from over.....

A party at the beach


  1. don't think i'd like the dead fish odor. the curlews are cool!

  2. Well---even if 'people' don't like that area, the birds obviously do. You got some great bird photos at the Salt Creek Beach, Salton Sea. That Curlew is a gorgeous bird.


  3. Nice!

    hehe those Pelicans look a might conspicuous there.

  4. Fun bird shots...sketchy or not I can see why to go :-)

  5. This is a wonderful post and even though you describe the smell, this is a place I'd love to see.

  6. Brings back memories of hanging out at the Sea. Sure glad there's no smellainternet. I remember how bad it can be.

  7. I have a particular fondness for Sandpipers. They are elegant.
    You made a comment about running out of material.. Wing it.
    I do that every day.

  8. I'm so glad you were able to visit here and so sorry that it smelled so bad! OH...but the birds!!!

  9. Hola Chris!!!.. Qué de pájaros para yo hacerles fotos.. Ese pelícano.. jaja. Me encanta la tercera foto.. Esta muy chula (cool).. Besos y saludos españoles.

  10. Great photos Chris and an impressive amount of birds :) Thanks for sharing :)

  11. Gosh the bill on the long billed curlew is quite something Chris, you captured it well. Once again I so admire your dedication under difficult does pay off though, you get the best shots.

  12. Nice in flight shot of the Long-billed Curlew and American Avocets Chris:)

  13. Great birds and photos, Chris! I love the Avocets and the Curlew shots!

  14. Pewno by mi zapach ryb przeszkadzał, ale widok wspaniałych ptaków by to wynagrodził. Ptak z bardzo długim dziobem jest ciekawy i piekny. Pozdrawiam.
    I certainly would interfere with the smell of fish, but the view is great birds to for this. A bird with a long beak is interesting and beautiful. Yours.

  15. No matter what the smell, it was worth it for you to get those shots.


  16. I love the elegance of those sandpipers.

  17. Loving your bird photos, as always! That long-billed curlew is amazing!


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