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Yellow-footed Gulls, Salton Sea and Earthquakes

Osprey
Osprey

Whilst photographing this Osprey, a 3.8 earthquake in Brawley hit. I first thought someone had rear-ended my car. Checked my mirror, nope wasn’t that. Maybe a gust of wind? Looked at nearby trees, just a slight breeze. Finally concluded it must have been an earthquake. I shrugged it off and went back to photographing the Osprey…nevermind, he took off flying. Guess they aren’t ones for earthquakes either!

On the way home my wife called to tell me that everyone was talking about all the earthquakes in Brawley! I checked on my earthquake app and realized there was an earthquake swarm happening the entire day I was there. I only felt the 3.8 earthquake and must have been driving when the others struck. There were over 300+ earthquakes that day ranging from 5.5, 5.3, 5.0, 4.8 and below.

Burrowing Owl
Burrowing Owl

One of the many joys of visiting the Salton Sea, are the over abundance of Burrowing Owls…everywhere! Lots of juvenile birds this time of year as well.

I finally achieved my gull of photographing different cycle/year Yellow-footed Gulls. Each summer I visit the sea in hopes of getting better 1st, 2nd and 3rd cycle birds but usually only find close adult birds. Today I managed to get very close to a 1st cycle and 3rd cycle Yellow-footed Gull, along with the ubiquitous adult birds all around the southern end of the Salton Sea.

Yellow-footed Gull
Yellow-footed Gull

Yellow-footed Gull (3rd cycle)
Yellow-footed Gull (2nd cycle)

Yellow-footed Gull (1st cycle)
Yellow-footed Gull (1st cycle)

 

Posted by on August 26, 2012 in Photography Adventures

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Salton Sea

It’s hard to put into words the essence of the Salton Sea during the middle of summer. Aside from the sweltering 115F heat and high humidity near the shoreline, the smell is pretty much next to unbearable. Dead fish line the landscape as Turkey Vultures circle overhead just waiting for something (or someone) to die. I’ve been to the Salton Sea many times in the summer but one thing I completely forgot about were the billions of tiny gnats. The second I rolled down the window to photograph something I was completely swarmed by them — covering everything from my lens to the interior of the car, refusing to fly even when I tried brushing them away. Good thing it was a rental car – I turned it in my SUV this morning with a couple hundred gnats still lining the interior!


Salton Sea Sunrise
Salton Sea Sunrise

Dried Sea Bed
Dried Sea Bed

Blood Red Pond
Blood Red Pond

Abandoned Town
Abandoned Town

So enough of the prefacing and on with the photos! I tallied two new photo birds – Yellow-footed Gull and Black Tern. I also got much better photos of Burrowing Owl, Wilson’s Phalarope, White-faced Ibis and a fairly cooperative Osprey that allowed me to get within 25′ of him as he perched on a branch looking for fish.


Yellow-footed Gull
Yellow-footed Gull

Black Tern
Black Tern

Burrowing Owl
Burrowing Owl

Wilson's Phalarope
Wilson’s Phalarope

Black-necked Stilt (juvenal)
Black-necked Stilt (juvenal)

Osprey
Osprey

White-faced Ibis
White-faced Ibis

 

Posted by on August 18, 2008 in Photography Adventures

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