.

.
Borrego Springs, CA

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Last Sunday bird tour

Today was the first of the last three days of my assignment at Imperial NWR.  Nan and John Talley were signed up for my last bird tour of the season, but Nan sent me a message the other day that they were not enjoying the almost triple digit temps and had decided to head north to cooler weather. 

_MG_1751

So that left me with just myself for this tour.  Not a problem!  Instead of making sure any visitors had an enjoyable time, I could concentrate on just enjoying myself with my last glimpses of the wildlife management areas along the Colorado River.  

_MG_1753

Even though the temps were quickly approaching the 80’s, I was garbed in sweatpants and hoody inside the vehicle to help ward off the hordes of mosquitoes.  Ever since the refuge has flooded the marsh areas, and much water has been released from the upriver dams, the refuge has turned into a mosquito paradise with all the standing water.  I’d have to say it competes with the marshes of the upper Texas gulf coast for mosquito numbers.   I never expected that considering I’m in the Sonoran desert.

IMG_0294

Most of the wintering waterfowl has headed north towards their breeding grounds, but there are still plenty of American coots and egrets around.  Those are the Chocolate Mountains in the background.

IMG_0300

With the flooding of the marsh areas, the herons are busy beginning to nest and catch fish in the marsh areas.

IMG_0324

While encountering a couple of turkey vultures along the way, I spotted something else in the distance.

IMG_0313

Up popped a coyote out of the wet area.  It quickly headed out away from me.  I’ve noticed a definite lessening of coyote activity around the rig lately.  I’m guessing they’re busy raising this year’s young and can’t be bothered with Emma at the moment.  I’m happy about that.

IMG_0327

I also found a pair of Western Kingbirds in one of the riparian areas.  The top one was wrestling with a dragonfly.  I wish it had found something else to eat as dragonflies love feeding on mosquitoes.

IMG_0334

I decided I just couldn’t not include a pic of an American coot before I left here.  It’s the only bird I guarantee visitors will see on any bird tour I give here.  They’re almost as numerous as the mosquitoes.  I really liked the reflections of the bull rushes in the water as well. 

I took this shot as I was trying to get a clapper rail out into the open.  He was ‘clapping’ away not far from me.  I picked up two rocks to click together in hopes of enticing him out of the reeds, but it didn’t work.

It’s spring break around here for school kids, and tomorrow we have almost 30 youngsters coming to the refuge from the Yuma Proving Grounds holiday/summer day care program.  In this heat, that ought to wear us out for the day. Disappointed smile

IMG_0337

                                                                             THE END!!

Thanks for stopping by… talk to you later,  Judy

27 comments:

  1. I can imagine you are ready to be on the move after your stint at Imperial. Too bad the weather is getting hot when you just have a few days left.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Mosquitos in the desert. . .who would'a thunk it?

    That is a great pic of the coot!

    Onward to the next adventure. . .safe travels!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Well, we felt bad about not being able to take the tour, but since you mentioned the mosquitoes, I am pleased we were not there. Where are you off to when you leave?

    ReplyDelete
  4. Sounds like a busy week to finish your stint there.... glad you had the time to enjoy a last tour on your own.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Oh how we hate mosquitoes. We have them back in Ohio during the summer. Drives us nuts!

    Enjoy your last few days even with all the school kids.

    ReplyDelete
  6. You must be so excited to move on to your next destination. Glad you were able to get out one last time to view the birds, you got some beautiful shots of the vultures, even though they themselves aren't so beautiful.

    I don't like the sound of all those mosquitoes that you have to deal with. Up here they are the last thing we have to worry about at the moment.

    www.travelwithkevinandruth.com

    ReplyDelete
  7. So, what did you decide about returning next year? We're anxiously awaiting your decision.

    No mosquitos here, come on down!

    ReplyDelete
  8. I really don't think I've ever seen a mosquito in Arizona but Judy comes to Arizona and we get mosquitoes!! :))) Seriously, we've never spent much time around Yuma!

    ReplyDelete
  9. What a peaceful tour...that's one of the nice things I love about our hikes.
    I sure hope those skitters stay in Yuma.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Nice to take the tour by yourself. A reward for all that VC sitting you've done. :cD

    ReplyDelete
  11. We are going to be about 45 F today...it will be a warm spell:) Your last bird tour was soloand maybe a good time for some reflection for you and your photos! Triple digits well yall can keep that weather! Skeeters are the worst critters....I don't like them either:)

    ReplyDelete
  12. There seem to be a lot of old coots in this part of Texas also.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Sorry about the mosquitoes!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Those old coots are everywhere we go ... you too, I suspect. The bull rushes are the best part of that pictures.

    Hey, are you a bug magnet? Seems to be either mosquitoes or ticks where you go!! :- ) Enjoy your last couple of days.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Very nice to have a tour all to your self although I'm sorry for Nan and John that they missed you. Surprised at the mosquitoes. We really have not seen any in Florida yet. Hope we get out before we do. It seems we have flocks of coots every where where we go as well. I have to admit they really are cute and at least ours are quite chatty. Down to 3 days, you must be thrilled. Did I miss your decision about returning?

    ReplyDelete
  16. Good thing you got to tour on your own today ... you're bound to be worn out by all those kids tomorrow ;-o

    ReplyDelete
  17. Judy, glad you are enjoying your last few days/tours. Some great bird shots and I can understand why you are ready to escape the heat and move on! Safe travels when you do.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Yeah! You're done! Maybe by now, you're even on the road already ? Have a safe trip!

    ReplyDelete
  19. Mosquitoes would sure make me in a hurry to head out.

    ReplyDelete
  20. The Missouri Department Conservation is needing volunteers to help with the bird count. If you are interested send me an email and I will forward the MDC email I received. My email is: rjs0612@gmail.com


    Please be careful on the road.

    Rex

    ReplyDelete
  21. Judy,

    I am sorry to hear about the pesky mosquitoes. Your photos are gorgeous.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Judy,

    I am sorry to hear about the pesky mosquitoes. Your photos are gorgeous.

    ReplyDelete
  23. I love the tours you give all of us out here that can't be there in person! Really is a pretty spot. Other than the mosquitoes!

    ReplyDelete
  24. Awesome photos as usual. Hope the end of your of duty there has gone well. Now where are you? No post in a few days? I'm just now catching up with reading!

    ReplyDelete
  25. Thinking of you. Hope your having a good time, wherever you are!

    ReplyDelete
  26. Nice Post. Thanks for sharing this in Your blog

    ReplyDelete