2017-04-19 Salton Sea at Bowles Road Overlook

Sunset at the Salton Sea, Bowles Road

The Bowles Road overlook is on the southeastern shore of the Salton Sea. I found this location many years ago when exploring the edges of the sea from another favorite location at Lack and Lindsay Roads. The level of the sea was higher at the time I found this place, but even now the road rests against the shores. At most locations around the sea, the shoreline has receded far from the roads. The terrain is so shallow along the sea that even a foot of water dropping can mean many yards of setback to the shore. There is a steep berm that supports the perimeter roads along this side of the sea and the sea’s waters still lap the rip-rap at the base of the road. This means the birds that depend on the water can still be close to the road.

I’ve had some nice photographic experiences here with gulls sailing by at eye level. On this day there were no gulls to speak of. Even if there were no birds at all, this is a spectacular place to enjoy a sunset.

With the gulls being absent, I opted to pull out my camp chairs and relax in the shade of the van, and observe my surroundings. Northern Mockingbirds were singing nearby, and I chanced to watch their antics. Also nearby was a pair of Western Kingbirds carrying nesting material to a set of transformers high on a power pole. Mockingbirds are very aggressive territorially. They started an attack on the female kingbird. Shortly after hearing the commotion, the kingbird’s mate returned and taught both the mockingbirds a lesson. After their retreat, the mockingbirds thought better about approaching the kingbirds.

With the kingbirds being so active, I pulled out my camera gear and attempt to capture some of the late afternoon action. Later I found Lesser Nighthawks chasing insects (and each other) over the nearby agricultural fields and tried my luck catching them in flight. These birds love feeding in the evening when the light has faded. Given the low light and rapid movement of the birds, I did not expect superb images, but nothing ventured, nothing gained! The presence of the nighthawks reminded me I should drift over to the Red Hill area where I’d found them in the past, roosting in the middle of the day. (I did! and those images will be the next presentation here)

Images Below:

Click map markers to reveal further information