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Southern California Birding 2013-3, Day 3
So Cal Birding 3-3

October 23, 2013. Birding the Salton Sea. Up early again, we were out by dawn looking for a mega-rarity at the south end of the Salton Sea. Shortly after sunrise, we spotted a Taiga Bean Goose associating with Canada Geese, Cackling Geese, White-fronted Geese, and snow geese while a flock of Sandhill Cranes hollered in the background. Moving on, we visited the Obsidian Butte area where about 8 juvenile Blue-footed Boobies waited for our arrival before heading out to feed. There were lots of other birds in the area including a juvenile Yellow-footed Gull, Greater Roadrunner, Osprey, and tons of shorebirds. Moving on again, we visited the Refuge Headquarters area where we saw lots of Common Ground Doves, Abert's Towhee, and a Barn Owl. Walking out to the shoreline, we were surprised to see a feral Flamingo that, with two friends, apparently had been living free for about 30 years. Late in the afternoon, we pointed the car north and headed for home. The main road through Joshua Tree National Park into 29 Palms was closed due to flashflood damage, so we got to drive the long way out through Joshua Tree Town, giving us the unexpected chance to visit our Starlight Road property, but we got home much later than we had hoped.

So Cal Birding 3-3
Obsidian Butte (view W from trailhead)
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Three of eight Blue-footed Bobbies at Obsidian Butte
So Cal Birding 3-3
Dead Blue-footed Bobby; unfortunately, not everyone survives
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Rocky dike
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Lots of ducks and shorebirds -- but bring a spotting scope
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The Double-crested Cormorant tree
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Family of Burrowing Owls at artificial nest
So Cal Birding 3-3
Liz at Sonny Bono NWR headquarters
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Sleepy Barn Owl
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Common Ground-Dove displaying usually hidden red wing feathers
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Rock Hill Trail
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Shoreline before Rock Hill
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Bench with shade overlooking loafing ponds
So Cal Birding 3-3
loafing ponds - view SW from Rock Hill
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Liz birding from atop Rock Hill
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Feral flamingo below Rock Hill
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Sign at Starlight Property, Joshua Tree, California
So Cal Birding 3-3
Sunset over Starlight Property (Mt. San Gorgonio in far distance)

Note: All distances, elevations, and other facts are approximate.
copyright; Last updated 131226

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