Thursday, January 27, 2022

Part 2: Bonny Sono Salton Sea Wildlife Refuge (Vendel Rd)

The second part of my day trip went to the southern most tip of the Salton Sea. (green squares) 
There, in the middle of agriculture fields are a few ponds where migrating ducks can find a safe have during winter and hunting season.  
The access road is terrible, a gravel road with deep washboard ruts. Horrible. I slowed down to a walking speed to cover the 2 miles (3.2 km) in one piece. 
It was nearly noon when I arrived there, bright sun shining and, 68 F (20 C), not the ideal time
of the day to take photos. 
From the view platform at the parking space 
one gets a good view over the area and the most of the ponds around.
Some areas are off the limit to give the birds enough space and peace to thrive.
I spend about two hours here just watching. 
Also here the lack of water is obvious. The ponds very shallow.
This area here is showing mostly ducks, geese and marsh birds. 
I briefly saw a Marsh Wren (Sumpfzaunkönig) and heard a Gallinule (Ralle) calling,
Snowy Egret (Schmuckreiher), black legs, yellow feet
Cattle Egrets (Kuhreiher) black legs and feet

but was not able to see any among the tall marsh grass. 
Those are the birds I could take photos of. Some are blurry because of the heated, wavy air over the water. Most of the birds were either feeding or sleeping.
Green-winged Teal, Northern Shoveler, Dunlin, Dowitcher 
(Carolinakrickente, Löffelente, Alpenstrandläufer, Schlammläufer)

(for those who are interested)
Marbled Godwit (Pflugschnepfe)
Green-winged Teal (Carolinakrickenten)
More Dowitchers (Schlammläufer)
Northern Pintail (front), (Spiessente) 
American Coot (Blässhühner)

American Avoced (standing), (Amerikanischer Säbelschnäbler)
Northern Shoveler, Grey-winged Teal 
and more Snow Geese (Schneegänse)
That is all for now. I hope it was not too boring for the non birders of you. For me it definitely was one of the highlights of this winter stay in Southwest California.

Blooming Acacia (Huisache), Süsse Akazie

Bonny Sono Salton Sea WLR (part one)

 Going on another birding trip had been on my bucket list for quite a while. Today was the day.  The Salton Sea has been for years an important area for wintering/migrating birds. 

More information about the history see here: Salton Sea .

It is an hour drive (71mi) from our location and I started out soon after sunrise to use the cooler moving air. By mid noon the ground will be so warmed up that the air will look wavy on photos.

More about Bonny Sono Salton Sea Wildlife Refuge. There is lots of information and further links to find on that page.

When I arrived there were already three cars in the parking lot. Walking slowly on Rocky Hill Trail I tried to keep tap on all the birds I could possibly see.

On a nearby meadow were thousands of Snow Geese (Schneegänse), 
a few Cattle Egrets (Kuhreiher) 
and Great White Egrets (Silberreiher ).
Snow Geese grazing

While I was taking photos a group of other visitors arrived 

and the whole flock of geese soon filled the air.
On nearby ponds showed even more ducks and geese.
Snow Geese and Northern Shoveler Ducks (Löffelenten)
 Some were familiar to me but others not. Like these Black-necked Stilts (Amerikanischer Stelzenläufer)
The White-faced Ibis (Brillensichler)
Unfortunately several of these ponds have dried out 
and the Salton Sea itself has shrank very much (drought) so that the water which once lapped up at the rocks in the foreground is now way out behind the line of shrubs. 
Only with my long camera zoom one could make out more birds in the distance.
I never climbed up to the rocky outcrop's outlook because I had planned to go to the second refuge as well and the temperatures were rising fast. 
While ambling back I briefly saw a Greater Road Runner (Wegekuckuck) in the distance, 
head turned in the wrong direction, looking away from me.
A Blu-grey Gnatcatcher (Blaumückenfänger)
Usually they are fast moving little birds, but this one sat patiently and looked at me for quite a while.
Verdin (Goldkopf-Beutelmseise)
Back on the parking lot I head some doves and small birds in the shrubs and decided to stay a while in the shade and wait what would show up. 
I was lucky, a Gambel's Quail (Helmwachtel )was looking for seeds
among some tiny Common Ground Doves (Sperlingstäubchen)
Here ends the first part of my birding adventure.
After a brief lunch I left for the second part of the Wildlife Refuge a few miles away.


Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Dixie's days in the desert

 The days are running into months and you 

might wonder what our dog "Dixie" is up to

all day long.

As a LSGD 

(life stock guardian dog)

she is vigilant but laid back by nature.

She is not a dog who likes or needs long walks either.

"Dixie" enjoys vastly being outside for most of the day.

She definitely dislikes being confined in the camper trailer.

Not enough space for her taste, and that thing rocks

every time someone moves around,

despite its four supportive legs.

Being outside is her favourite, even if the law says 

dogs have to be leashed all the time.

Protecting us from any intruder is very important to her!

She watches the area from different angles. 
Or she snoozes. 
Warming up in the sun, and cooling down in the shade.
Under a creosote bush near the road
or in the wind shade among rabbit shrubs.
Little birds don't bother her, they hop right by.
 People and dogs walking by have to be announced, though,
as soon as she hears the crunching of gravel.
Sometimes we allow her "to meet and greet".
Then all barking stops and the tail wags. 

Regular walks along the nearby irrigation canal,
 where "Dixie" picks up
a stick every time to carry home. Her chosen "chores". 
She misses gathering empty cans, we figure.
To ease her barking we parked the van in the entrance to our spot.
What she doesn't see, does not aggravate her as much.
More snoozing, less noise. 
Watching over her dad 
and giving him lots of cuddles. 
Live is good!



Ihr fragt euch sicher was denn unser Hund Dixie den ganzen Tag so macht. Sie muß natürlich sehr viel auf uns Aufpassen. 

Raus aus dem Wohnwagen ist ihre Devise. Es ist ihr dort drin zu eng und das Ding schaukelt auch noch jedesmal wenn einer sich bewegt. Wie furchtbar!

Da sie ein Herdenschutzhund ist braucht sie auch nicht viel Bewegung, sie liebt es den Platz von allen Ecken aus zu bewachen. 

Oder zu schlafen. Mal in der Sonne, mal im Schatten. 

Vögel kümmern sie nicht, aber wehe es wagt sich einer auf der Straße vorbeizukommen. Der wird dann gleich wird lauthals verwarnt. 

Manchmal darf man auch jemanden begrüßen. Besonders gerne Menschen mit Hund.

Von unseren Spaziergängen am Bewässerungskanal entlang bringt sie regelmäßig Holzstücke nach Hause. Wir vermuten sie vermißt es leere Dosen zu sammeln, wie zuhause.

Um das Bellen zu minimieren haben wir herausgefunden daß es hilft den Wagen in er Einfahrt zu parken. Da sieht sie nicht mehr alles was vorbeigeht. Es hilft sehr.

Wenn Herrchen im Schatten döst oder mit seinem Handy spielt muß man ein Auge auf ihn haben. Ab und zu ein wenig Schmusen ist auch wichtig.

So läßt es sich gut leben!