2014 Late July At The Salton Sea

Forster's Tern - Sterna forsteriWhoever said “you must suffer for your art” must have been thinking about photographing birds at the Salton Sea in mid-summer. Temperatures here often elevate to over 115°F in the shade. Standing in the midday sun, trying to catch an image, is a test of one’s endurance, fortitude, patience and sanity. Not that the birds seem to mind, but what choice do they have?

Each season at the Salton Sea offers its own experience. Summers show us the breeders. Spring and fall provide migrants, many of whom stay only a short while. Winter is when geese and cranes arrive to fatten up on the crops grown just for them. Some birds stay year round. I’ve visited this place many times and despite these mentioned consistencies, every time I go there it provides a unique experience. I never tire of coming to this place.

Birds I met on this expedition were Eared Grebe, Burrowing Owl, White-Winged Dove, Gambel’s Quail, Common Ground Dove, Abert’s Towhee, Black-Crowned Night-Heron, Yellow-Footed Gull, Western Sandpiper, Great Egret, Great Blue Heron, Black Tern, Forster’s Tern, Double-Crested Cormorant. Other creatures I encountered were Bobcat and Desert Spiny Lizard.

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