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Salton Sea, California

October 18–20, 2019

Trip is FULL. Please register for the wait list here.
Lying over 230 feet below sea level, the Salton Sea is an inland saline lake that was most recently formed when a diversion structure on the Colorado River failed, flooding the Salton Basin for nearly two years in the early 20th century. This modern sea is an otherworldly landscape that is a haven for a wide variety of birds, including waterfowl, waterbirds, and shorebirds, and supports one of the most diverse avian compositions in the United States.

On this three-day trip we’ll explore the extensive wetland habitats surrounding this lake; the irrigation districts are especially good for Ridgway’s Rail. We’ll search for American and Least Bittern, White-faced Ibis, Sandhill Crane, and other numerous herons and egrets. Both Brown and American White Pelicans are around in good numbers as well. There will be a large variety of waterfowl present, including Snow Geese just arriving for the winter, and multiple types of grebes. Not to be outdone by the waterfowl, shorebirds will test our ID capability, including American Avocet, Marbled Godwit, Long-billed Curlew, sandpipers and dowitchers, and with some luck, Mountain Plover. Another unique species found here is the Yellow-footed Gull, a post-breeding visitor from the Gulf of California to the south, joining many other gulls (like Laughing Gull) and terns, as well as possible Black Skimmers.

A favorite of many, Burrowing Owls nest near the Sonny Bono NWR visitor center, and migrant landbirds at this time of year could include Gray Flycatcher, Bell’s Sparrow, Green-tailed Towhee, and Lazuli Bunting. The mid-October dates for this trip are also well-timed for vagrants, including any possibility of warblers, taken off course during their migration. We’ll likely make a stop in Dateland to check out this odd migrant trap on the return to Tucson.

Trip includes transportation, lodging, and all meals except dinners, as well as the services of your skilled leaders. Trip limited to 8 participants.

Leaders: Luke Safford and Eric Scheuering
Fee: $595 members // $795 non-members
Deposit: $300

See more Birding Excursions at tucsonaudubon.org/excursions

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Tucson Audubon Society
300 E University Blvd. #120 Tucson, AZ 85705

Mason Center
3835 W Hardy Rd.
Tucson, AZ 85742

Paton Center for Hummingbirds
477 Pennsylvania Ave.
Patagonia, AZ 85624
520 415-6447

color_square_face_right

Tucson Audubon Society
300 E University Blvd. #120
Tucson, AZ 85705

Mason Center
3835 W Hardy Rd.
Tucson, AZ 85742

Paton Center for Hummingbirds
477 Pennsylvania Ave.
Patagonia, AZ 85624
520 415-6447

color_square_face_right

Tucson Audubon Society
300 E University Blvd. #120
Tucson, AZ 85705

Mason Center
3835 W Hardy Rd.
Tucson, AZ 85742

Paton Center for Hummingbirds
477 Pennsylvania Ave.
Patagonia, AZ 85624
520 415-6447