Thursday, April 16, 2015

Thrasher search, Part 1: Borrego Springs WTP

Hooded Oriole
Hooded Oriole, first-year male. Borrego Springs, California. March 22, 2015. Greg Gillson.
Last month I headed over to the Anza-Borrego Desert specifically to attempt to find Crissal and LeConte's Thrashers, Lucy's Warblers, and Ladder-backed Woodpeckers. These are missing from my San Diego County bird list, along with some other less-likely desert birds.

First stop, the waste treatment ponds outside of Borrego Springs. [Map and site guide] Besides one pond there is some mesquite here and it is always quite birdy. Crissal Thrasher had been reported here a week or so earlier, singing away. I arrived at dawn. The only thrasher-like songs were those of half-a-dozen Northern Mockingbirds.

Borrego Springs waste treatment ponds
Borrego Springs waste treatment ponds.
I photographed several of the common desert birds here and moved on.

Costa's Hummingbird
Female Costa's Hummingbird.
White-winged Dove
White-winged Dove.
Phainopepla
Phainopepla.

Next, Part 2...