BIRD SURVEYS of  Riverside and San Bernardino County, CA 


January 22, 2015 Lake Cahuilla/PGA West, La Quinta   

January  21, 2015  Indio

December 28, 2010 Lake Cahuilla, La Quinta

December, 2010  Indio

December, 2010  PGA West

November, 2009 La Quinta, Riverside County, CA

November 28, 2010 Indio

November 25, 2010  Lake Cahuilla, La Quinta

November 24, 2010  PGA West, La Quinta

October 14, 16, 2010  La Quinta

March 28, 2010 San Jacinto Mountains

March 26, 2010  La Quinta

December 20-23, 2009 La Quinta

November 26-29, 2009  La Quinta

April, 2009   La Quinta, Big Morongo and Joshua Tree National Park

January 22 2015   Lake Cahuilla/PGA West, La Quinta, Riverside County CA (40 Species)

Weather: Fair; 56F to 72F; no wind.

Time: 0822-1115 hrs.

Area Covered: I walked a counter-clockwise route around the entire perimeter of Lake Cahuilla Park (LC). Habitats surveyed included open water, shoreline (LC water level about 10 terraced steps below the full mark), lawns and trimmed trees, an RV park with mature trees, ruderal roadways and saltbush-mesquite-tamarisk scrub along the eastern fenceline bordering the PGA West country club. Parts of the PGA West golf course, ponds, and a dense formation of saltbush-mesquite-tamarisk scrub, were visible from the fence line. A few fishermen and others were present around the RV park in the southeast corner. Gunfire echoes from an adjacent police firing range appeared to frighten birds away from the northern section of the lake. A few autos were moving around the lake stirring up clouds of dust; people were walking dogs (leashed) on the southern shore. A golf tournament was in progress at PGA West during my survey.

Birds of seasonal and/or distributional interest found today included  Tundra Swan (2), Crissal Thrasher (1) and Blue-gray Gnatcatcher (1).


Tundra Swan 2 (ad.)   ID: All white plumage; medium-large size; straight, black bill and lores; white feathering on forehead forming a U-shape with the mandible, rather than an acute angle (c.f. Trumpeter Swan); a relatively short, angled back neck at base of one individual (c.f. TRSW); curved neck posture of the other (pair bonding signal?). The pair was swimming together near the edge of a PGA West fairway, moving away as a group of golfers approached. No head-bobbing ,vocalizations or other diagnostic behavior was observed (photos A, B, C). First record for PGA West (see my previous survey notes 2009-10).

Tundra Swan (Cygnus columbianus) Note contrasting neck posture (A); U-shaped white feathering on forehead (C); indistinct eye inset with black lores (no yellow, B & C). PGA West, La Quinta, RICO CA 22 Jan 2015




      (B)                                                                                                          (C)

                                                                                          © 2015 Callyn Yorke



American Wigeon   4 (m)  open water, LC.

Ring-necked Duck  1 (f) swimming with LESC, open water, LC.

Lesser Scaup  2 (m) swimming with RNDU, open water, LC.

Ruddy Duck  1 (f) resting, open water, LC.

Pied-billed Grebe  2  open water, LC; pond, PGA.

Western Grebe  1  open water, LC.

Double-crested Cormorant   60  in trees; swimming, open water, LC.

Great Blue Heron  9  in crown of large mesquite tree; possible rookery, PGA West; 4 on shore, LC.

Black-crowned Night Heron  8 (ad, imm)    in same large mesquite tree below GBHE, PGA.

Osprey  1  flying low over the lake, LC.

American Kestrel   2   pair interacting atop a large mesquite tree, PGA.

American Coot   15  swimming in pond, PGA;  5  open water, LC.

Killdeer   2   shoreline, LC.

Spotted Sandpiper  1 on w shore, LC

Least Sandpiper  10  a cohesive flock on w shore, LC.

Ring-billed Gull  12 (ad, imm)    flying around the lake; swimming in a loose flock near DCCO, LC.

California Gull   8 (ad, imm)   flying around the lake; on shore; swimming, LC.

Herring Gull  1 (ad) flying low around the lake; landing on sw shore with other gulls, LC.

Mourning Dove  8   flushed from saltbush scrub, e, LC/PGA.

Costa's Hummingbird  1  (m) in mesquite tree, fence line, LC/PGA.

Ladder-backed Woodpecker  calls (unseen) saltbush-mesquite scrub, LC/PGA.

Northern (RS) Flicker  1 (m)   vocal; flying, parkland trees, s  LC.

Black Phoebe  1  vocal; low sallies at edge of park and roadway, s LC.

Say's Phoebe  3  vocal; on fence and in trees at edge of scrub and open areas, LC/PGA.

Common Raven  2  vocal; flying around lake and parkland, LC.

Verdin   18  vocal, gregarious; in mesquite-saltbush scrub, LC/PGA; isolated palo verde trees, w.

Cactus Wren  1  on ground and in mesquite, LC/PGA.

Bewick's Wren  1 vocal (unseen) dense mesquite-saltbush scrub, LC/PGA.

Rock Wren  1  on rocky levee, s  LC.

Northern Mockingbird  1  on fence, LC/PGA.

Crissal Thrasher  1  seen briefly twice; moving quickly, secretively; running on ground and in low shrubs in medium dense saltbush-mesquite scrub, LC/PGA.

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher  1 (ad)  ID: Distinctively wide, white outer tail feathers; gray face; foraging busily in tamarisk and other tall shrubs LC/PGA (photo).

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher (Polioptila caerulea) Lake Cahuilla, La Quinta RICO CA  22 Jan 2015

                                                                                  © 2015 Callyn Yorke

Yellow-rumped (Audubon's) Warbler  2  in mesquite and other vegetation, PGA/LC.

Abert's Towhee  8  vocal; pairs on ground and low in dense vegetation, PGA/LC.

White-crowned Sparrow  1   dense saltbush, PGA/LC.

Western Meadowlark     6  foraging in a cohesive flock on lawn, s LC.

Brewer's Blackbird 14 (m,f)  vocal, gregarious; foraging on ground in RV park, s, LC.

Great-tailed Grackle  15 (m,f)   vocal, gregarious, ubiquitous, esp. parkland and shoreline; females staying together.

House Finch  10  (m,f) vocal, gregarious, PGA/LC.



January 21 2015  Coachella Wild Bird Center, Indio, Riverside County CA (35 Species)

Weather: Fair; 68F; wind ENE  5 -10 mph.

Time: 0838-0945 hrs.

Observers: Merissa Mendez and I.

Area Covered:  After registering at the Coachella Wild Bird Center (CWBC), we surveyed the south half of the sewage ponds adjacent to the CWBC; walking south on levees between the adjacent sewage marsh ponds, we surveyed open water, freshwater marsh, saltbush scrub, a ploughed field and dry, fenced pastures.  We scanned the entire sewage treatment facility from two elevated observation towers within the marsh pond complex. A maintenance worker was working quietly in the area during our survey. Several injured birds (raptors and others) were being rehabilitated in cages by the CWBC staff.  Except for increasing winds, conditions were fair to good for finding and identifying birds and their vocalizations.


Gadwall   4 (m,f) sewage pond and marsh.

Mallard    6 (m,f)   marsh ponds.

American Wigeon  1  sewage ponds.

Northern Shoveler   1,500  (m,f) ubiquitous in sewage ponds and marsh.

Green-winged Teal    2  (m,f) marsh ponds.

Ruddy Duck  8   marsh ponds.

Pied-billed Grebe  calls, marsh ponds.

Eared Grebe    3  marsh ponds.

Red-tailed Hawk  1  flying  over sewage ponds; avoiding dive attacks from a PEFA by flipping upside down in flight.

American Kestrel  1 (m)  on utility line, w edge of marsh ponds.

Peregrine Falcon  1 (ad)   diving repeatedly on a RTHA over the sewage ponds; perched on adjacent utility pole (photo).


Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus) Coachella Wild Bird Center, Indio, Riverside Co CA  21 Jan 2015

                                                                                                                       © 2015 Callyn Yorke


Common Moorhen  2  swimming at edge of marsh.

American Coot    60   a few in the sewage ponds; most in marsh ponds.

Killdeer  8   a loose flock in sandy, ploughed pasture on east side of marsh ponds.

Ring-billed Gull  85  sewage ponds.

California Gull   30  sewage ponds.

Feral Rock Pigeon  2  flying over sewage ponds.

Eurasian Collared Dove   2    beneath yard feeder at center.

Mourning Dove    12   beneath yard feeder at center.

Anna's Hummingbird    (m) calls, center yard in trees.

Black Phoebe  1  edge of marsh

Say's Phoebe  2  fence in adjacent pasture.

Common Raven   3  flying over marsh.

Verdin   2  repeated calls from saltbush on east fence line (photo).

Marsh Wren   12  repeated song and calls throughout marsh.

Black-tailed Gnatcatcher  1 (imm. ?)  ID by predominantly black tail (cf. BGGN) with narrow white outer tail feathers; black patches on face and forecrown; foraging in palo verde tree adjacent to the pasture, e (photo).

Black-tailed Gnatcatcher (Polioptila melanura) CWBC Indio, RICO CA 21 Jan 2015

                                                                                         © 2015 Callyn Yorke


Yellow-rumped (Audubon's) Warbler  1  shrubs at edge of pasture.

Common Yellowthroat  1  vocal at edge of marsh, central.

Abert's Towhee  1  flushed from beneath saltbush, e.

Savannah Sparrow  2  calls; saltbush, e.

Song Sparrow  3   central marsh.

White-crowned Sparrow   4  calls; saltbush, e.

Red-winged Blackbird   12  (m,f) flying around marsh; at center feeder.

House Finch    6  (m,f)   at center feeder.

Lesser Goldfinch  2  at center feeder.







La Quinta and Indio, Riverside County, CA

PGA West, La Quinta, Riverside County, CA       November 26, 2009   Viewing W across a Colorado River canal into Lake Cahuilla.
PGA West, La Quinta, Riverside County, CA
                                                                                                                                                                                © 2009 Callyn D. Yorke

Lake Cahuilla (western terminus of the Colorado River canal), La Quinta, Riverside County, CA   November 28, 2009.  Viewing NW          
Lake Cahuilla, La Quinta, Riverside County, CA
© 2009 Callyn D. Yorke


DECEMBER 28, 2010  Lake Cahuilla County Park, Riverside County, La Quinta, CA (36 Species)

Weather  Fair, 50F to 64F; no wind.

Time: 0803 - 1034 hrs.

Observers Merissa Mendez, Ethan Yorke and I.

Area Covered:  Entry fee $5: We initially walked the southwestern shore of Lake Cahuilla (LC), then returned along the south shore and through the adjacent park (Mulberry and Palm trees), eastward through a RV park (mostly bare ground; small lawns and Red Gum Eucalyptus trees), then north along the eastern shore and saltbush-ironwood-salt cedar scrub viewed from the west side (LC) of a chain link fence separating LC from the southwest corner of the PGA West (PGAW) country club (fairways surrounding a large pond with mature salt cedar borders). Our survey included shorelines and open water, ruderal roadways, creosote scrub, upland rocky slopes, saltbush scrub and parkland habitat. Shorelines were largely barren except for the southern sandy beach, which had gulls. The lake, divided by a levee, was also relatively birdless; several fishermen were around the lake during our survey. The RV park in the southeast corner of LC was fairly busy with campers, yet had bird species not found elsewhere, e.g.  Costa's Hummingbird, Red-naped Sapsucker and Brown-headed Cowbird. Conditions were good for identifying bird vocalizations; only a few shots were heard from the adjacent firing range in the northwestern section of the park. We surveyed using a 10x42 binocular and two Nikon DSLR cameras.


American Wigeon  3 (m,f) open water, LC; 3 (m,f) PGAW.

Ring-necked Duck    7 (m,f)  flew into open water, se LC.

Pied-billed Grebe  1  open water, s-central LC.

Western Grebe  1  resting in open water, s-central LC.

Double-crested Cormorant   20 (ad, imm)   swimming together in open water, s-central LC.

Snowy Egret  1  flushed from sw shoreline, LC.

Green Heron  1  perched on dead branch of salt cedar near water surface, PGAW.

Black-crowned Night Heron   20  (ad, imm) spaced about 20-50 ft. apart in salt cedars bordering large pond, PGAW.

American Kestrel  1  flying over, ne, LC.

American Coot  20  tight flock swimming in open water, n-central LC;  80   in pond and lawns, PGAW.

Spotted Sandpiper  2  shoreline, w and s, LC.

California Gull   3 (C2) shoreline, LC.

Ring-billed Gull  50 (ad, imm) shoreline, s LC.

Caspian Tern  1  flying over lake, on shore, s LC.

Mourning Dove  2  saltbush scrub ,e  LC.

Greater Roadrunner  1  on roadway, se LC.

Costa's Hummingbird  3 (m,f) at feeder in RV park, LC (photo).

                                                                                                                     © 2010 Callyn Yorke


Red-naped Sapsucker  2 (m,f) in Red Gum Eucalyptus trees in RV park, se LC (photo).


© 2010 Ethan Yorke                                                                                                                                                                 © 2010 Callyn Yorke


Northern Flicker  2  near crown of mature palm, sw LC.

Ladder-backed Woodpecker  2  calls from dense saltbush-iron wood, PGAW.

Black Phoebe   3  edge of park, sw, w, LC.

Say's Phoebe  2  edge of park, s, se, LC.

Common Raven  1  flying ne, LC.

Rough-winged Swallow   6 on utility line, w LC (photo).

                                                                              © 2010 Callyn Yorke


Northern Mockingbird  1  palms and Mulberry trees, sw LC.

European Starling   16  on lawns and in palms, sw LC.

Verdin   10  calls in creosote bush scrub, parkland, saltbush scrub, ubiquitous, LC.

Yellow-rumped Warbler   10  mostly in Mulberry trees and on lawns; calls, s LC.

Abert's Towhee  1  calls in dense saltbush scrub, LC/PGAW.

Lark Sparrow  8  foraging on lawn, sw LC (photo).

                                                                                                                                                                                          © 2010 Callyn Yorke


White-crowned Sparrow   15  dense saltbush scrub, fenceline, LC/PGAW.

Brewer's Blackbird  30 (m,f)  most feeding on ground in RV park, se, LC.

Great-tailed Grackle  25 (m,f)   scattered around the park; calls, LC (photo).


                                                                                                                                                                                             © 2010 Ethan Yorke


Brown-headed Cowbird  7 (m,f)   foraging on ground with BRBL in RV park, LC (photo)

                                                                                                                                                                                                  © 2010 Callyn Yorke

House Finch   30  ubiquitous in parkland and brushy borders, LC, PGAW.

Lesser Goldfinch  5  (m,f) in salt cedar scrub, LC/PGAW (photo).

                                                                                         ©  2010 Callyn Yorke                                                                               









Wild Bird Center Marsh (Indio Waste Water Treatment Facility),  46-500 Van Buren St., Indio, CA    Nov. 28, 2010  Viewing NW

                                                                                                                                                                                                   © 2010 Callyn Yorke


DECEMBER 27, 2010  Wild Bird Center Marsh and Indio Wastewater Treatment Facility, 46500 Van Buren St., Indio, CA  (42 Species)

Indio Wild Bird Center Marsh, viewing  northwest to Mt. San Jacinto   December 27, 2010


                                                                                                                         © 2010 Callyn Yorke


Indio Wastewater Treatment Facility, viewing northwest to Mt. San Jacinto.  December 27, 2010

                                                                                                                                                                                             © 2010 Callyn Yorke


Weather:  Fair, 65-70F; winds WNW 2-5 mph.

Time: 0940 - 1158 hrs.

Observers: Merissa Mendez, Ethan Yorke and I.

Area Covered: We walked around the entire wildbird center marsh (I made two trips around), surveying fresh water marsh and adjacent fields of saltbush, salt cedar and ruderal pastureland (WBC). Our survey also included lawns and hanging feeders in trees at the front of the WBC buildings. Three other visitors (without binoculars) began walking around the marsh as I was leaving from my second, clockwise trip. Conditions were good for identifying bird vocalizations; most of the waterfowl (i.e. Northern Shoveler) were wary and quick to take flight as we approached.

Ethan and I subsequently walked the perimeter of the Indio Waste Water Treatment Facility (WWTF), using binoculars and DSLR cameras. Most of the birds (i.e. Ring-billed Gull) were in the northwest ponds. Several new species were found here and added to our day-list: Ross' Goose, Black-necked Stilt, Spotted Sandpiper, California Gull, Rock Pigeon and American Pipit.


Snow Goose  1 (continuing?)   first seen in same location as in previous survey of November 27 (see below), then the bird entered the pond where several photos were made. Identification was based on the relatively small size and short, stubby bill (photo).

                                                                                                                       © 2010 Callyn Yorke


Canada Goose  16 flying north over WBC; one in the marsh.

Gadwall   8 (m,f)  edge of marsh, WBC.

Mallard   6 (m,f)  edge of marsh, WBC.

Blue-winged Teal  10 (m,f) west and north marsh, WBC.

Cinnamon Teal  2 (m,f)  sw marsh, WBC.

Northern Shoveler   1000 (m,f)   most in WBC; 50-60 in WWTF; very flighty.

Northern Pintail  2 (m) north and west marsh, WBC.

Bufflehead   6  (m,f)  north and west marsh, WBC.

Ruddy Duck   120  (m,f)  throughout the marsh, WBC; 10, WWTF.

Gambel's Quail   2  (m,f)  on fence, ne corner, WBC.

Pied-billed Grebe  3  calls from marsh, WBC.

Eared Grebe  8  central and west marsh, WBC (photo).

                                                                                                                                         © 2010 Callyn Yorke


Great Egret  1  on lawn and on post in marsh, WBC.

Cooper's Hawk  1  flushed from central-east marsh onto observation platform, WBC.

Sora  1  calls from ne marsh, WBC.

Common Moorhen   10  edge of marsh, WBC (photo).

                                                                                                                                                                                                 © 2010 Callyn Yorke

American Coot   100  WBC;  30 WWTF.

Black-necked Stilt  1  with ROPI on levee, WWTF.

Yellowlegs sp. ? (probably GRYL) 1  called from sw marsh, WBC.

Spotted Sandpiper  2  edge of water, WWTF.

Wilson's Snipe  1  flushed from edge of marsh, northeast, WBC

Ring-billed Gull   200  flying over, WBC; most resting on levee; some drinking, WWTF.

California Gull  2 (C2)  resting on levee with RBGU, WWTF.

Rock Pigeon   80   on levee and drinking, WWTF.

Mourning Dove  14  around lawns and feeders, WBC.

Eurasian Collared Dove  2  around cages and lawns, WBC.

Greater Roadrunner  2   a pair flew up to the chain-link fence; separated in yard, ne, WBC.

Black Phoebe   3  edge of marsh and settling ponds: sally-flycatching low to ground; calls, WBC; WWTF.

Say's Phoebe  2  one on fence, ne WBC; one in middle of  muddy south pond, WWTF.

Verdin 3  calls from saltbush scrub, e.

Common Raven  2  flying by, WBC.

Marsh Wren   6  calls from edge of marsh, WBC.

American Pipit   2  muddy south pond and edge of nw pond; calls, WWTF.

Yellow-rumped Warbler  1  calls from adjacent ruderal scrub, sw.

Savannah Sparrow   2  edge of marsh along trail; calls, WBC

White-crowned Sparrow  2  calls from saltbush scrub, ne and w, WBC.

Red-winged Blackbird   10 (f0 at feeder, WBC.

Brewer's Blackbird   6  on lawn, WBC.

Great-tailed Grackle   10  in marsh, sw, WBC.

House Finch  12  at and around feeder, WBC.

Lesser Goldfinch  3  at feeder, WBC.






NOVEMBER 28, 2010  Wild Bird Center Marsh and Indio Wastewater Treatment Facility, 46-500 Van Buren St., Indio, CA  (48 Species)

Weather: Fair; 57F winds WNW 12 -20 mph.

Time: 0848 - 1059 hrs.

Observers: Merissa Mendez and I.

Area Covered: 1) Initially, we met one of the volunteers at the Coachella Valley Wild Bird Center (CVWBC) and observed several captive birds being rehabilitated, including an American Kestrel, Red-tailed Hawk, Barn Owl and several Great Horned Owls. CVWBC, opened to the public in 1995, is a licensed non-profit organization dedicated to care of sick and/or injured birds. They also maintain an adjacent, 21-acre wetland (WBCW) which is part of the adjacent Indio Sanitary District's wastewater treament facility. We walked on the trails through the wetland, surveying open water, shoreline (minimal in the northern portion), freshwater marsh (dominated by Schoenoplectus acutus.) and adjacent ruderal roadways,  yard bird-feeders and pastureland. Two raised observation towers provided excellent views of the wetland (photos). This area had a much higher diversity of birds than the adjacent wastewater treatment facility.  2) Indio Wastewater Treatment Facility (WWT): We walked along the levees separating a large, empty treatment pond from an active (full) pond with aerators in operation. Many Ring-billed gulls and ducks (mostly Northern Shoveler) occupied the banks and water, respectively. Two relatively rare species for the area (according to the CVWBC Bird Checklist), Ross' Goose and Least Sandpiper, were found on the edge of the north pond. We used binoculars and a DSLR camera for the bird survey.


Canada Goose  1   possibly a released bird from CVWBC, seen on the lawn and later with Black-necked Stilts in the marsh, WBCW.

Ross' Goose   1 (ad) standing on the embankment of the northwestern pond, WWT.

Mallard    8 (m,f)   edge of the marsh, WBCW; flighty;  2  in the pond, WWT.

Gadwall   4 (m,f) edge of ponds, WBCW.

Green-winged Teal  2 (f) flushed from northwestern pond, WBCW.

Blue-winged Teal   5 (m,f)  swimming quickly when first sighted along the northwestern edge of the pond, WBCW (photo).

                                                                                                                                                                                                  © 2010 Callyn Yorke

Cinnamon Teal    5  (m,f)  edge of southwestern pond.

American Wigeon  2 (m,f) in north pond with NOSH, WWT.

Northern Pintail     2 (m) central-west pond, WBCW; north pond, WWT.

Northern Shoveler    30 (m,f) dabbling around edges of pond, WBCW;  150  north pond, WWT.

Ring-necked Duck   5 (m,f)   north and southwest ponds; wary. WBCW (photo).

                                                                                                        © 2010 Callyn Yorke

Ruddy Duck   60 (m,f)   all ponds, WBCW.

Pied-billed Grebe    3   edges of central and s pond, calls. WBCW.

Eared Grebe   4  staying together, central pond, WBCW.

Great Egret  1  east pond, quite shy and retiring, WBCW.

Virginia Rail  2  1 DOR near edge of marsh, ne; one calling, ne marsh, WBCW (unseen).

Sora  1  calls from central-east marsh WBCW (unseen).

American Coot    30  scattered around edges of the marsh, WBCW;  5  north banks, WWT.

Common Moorhen  10  staying close to the edge of the ponds, throughout, WBCW.

Killdeer  1  calls from adjacent vacant lot, sw, WBCW.

Black-necked Stilt   7  edge of e pond, call, fly, WBCW.

Spotted Sandpiper   1   foraging on foamy edge of n pond, WWT.

Least Sandpiper   2  foraging on foamy, ne edge of n pond, WWT.

Wilson's Snipe   2  flushed from edge of e and ne ponds, WBCW.

Ring-billed Gull  200 (ad, imm)   flying over marsh, WBCW; most on banks of n pond, WWT.

California Gull  4  (C1, C2) resting on banks of n pond with many RIGU, WWT.

Rock Pigeon  10  flying around in adjacent industrialized areas,

Mourning Dove  16 beneath feeders at WBCW.

Eurasian Collared Dove  6  beneath feeders at WBCW.

Black Phoebe  1  low perch, edge of n pond; calls, WBCW.

Say's Phoebe  1  sally-glean to bottom of  dry, sediment-caked south pond, WWT.

Vermilion Flycatcher  1 (f)  sally-flycatching from chain-link fence bordering a horse pasture, e WBCW.

Common Raven   6  flying over WBCW.

Verdin  1  calls from adjacent tall shrubs, WBCW.

Marsh Wren   10  active in marsh throughout, WBCW; calls.

European Starling  4  around feeders and yard, WBCW.

American Pipit  1 flying, calls, WBCW;  10  in and around dry s pond; foraging along foamy edge of n pond, WWT.

Yellow-rumped Warbler   3  flying, calls, inside and edge of marsh, WBCW.

Common Yellowthroat  1 flew into sw section of marsh; calls, WBCW.

Savannah Sparrow   3  edge of marsh and ruderal roadways, calls, WBCW.

Lincoln's Sparrow  1  edge of  centra-north marsh-walkway, calls, WBCW.

Song Sparrow   8  in cattails and feeding on gravelly pathways, WBCW.

White-crowned Sparrow  2  in adjacent trees and shrubs bordering pasture, e, calls, WBCW.

Western Meadowlark   2  flying over adjacent field and pasture, e, WBCW.

Great-tailed Grackle   20 (m,f) noisy flock in se marsh; also around buildings, WBCW.

Red-winged Blackbird   20 (ad, imm)   in yard and at feeders, WBCW.

Brewer's Blackbird   5  around buildings and feeders, WBCW.

House Finch   4  at feeders, WBCW.






NOVEMBER 25, 2010  Lake Cahuilla, Riverside County Park, La Quinta, CA (36 Species)

Weather: Fair; 55F to 65F; winds WNW 5- 15 mph.

Time: 0920 - 1150 hrs.

Observers: Merissa Mendez and I.

Area Covered: We walked the entire perimiter of Lake Cahuilla including the central breakwater. About 100 visitors were in the park during our survey, including about 20-30 fishermen. We surveyed open water, shoreline, adjacent rocky cliffs and saltbush scrub; parkland with fruitless Mulberry and palms (photo).

                                                                                                                                                   © 2010 Callyn Yorke


Gadwall  4  (m,f)  open water, n.

American Wigeon  450 (m,f)   open water, n.

Mallard  4  (m,f)  open water with AMWI.

Northern Shoveler  3  (m,f)  open water with AMWI.

Bufflehead  3 (m,f)  open water with AMWI.

Common Merganser  2  (m,f)  open water, central, s.

Ruddy Duck   1  (m,f) open water, s.

Pied-billed Grebe   1  chasing a HOGR, open water, s.

Horned Grebe  1  open water, s.

Western Grebe   1 open water, s.

Double-crested Cormorant   50  (ad, imm) open water.

Great Blue Heron  4  (ad, imm)  in rocks, at nec.

Green Heron  1  (ad) on breakwater; flying.

Osprey 1  flying over lake; landed on utility pole at swc of PGA West.

American Coot  200  tight flock on the s lake.

Killdeer  4  shoreline, nw.

Spotted Sandpiper  2  nw shoreline.

Ring-billed Gull  200  (ad, imm) shoreline and open water.

California Gull   50  (ad, imm)  on shore, on the lake.

Caspian Tern  5  (ad, imm)  1 imm banded yellow under metal (r); orange on green (l) (photo). This bird was reportedly banded as a chick in the Port of Bellingham on the north Washington coast, July 7, 2010 (about 1096 miles north of Lake Cahuilla, Riverside County, CA). Source: Yasuko Suzuki,  Bird Research NW.  


Caspian Tern (Sterna caspia)  Lake Cahuilla, Riverside County, CA  November 25, 2010.

                                                                                                                                                   © 2010 Callyn Yorke

Forster's Tern  2  on breakwater; flying over lake.

Mourning Dove  8  on lawn in park.

Ladder-backed Woodpecker  2  (m, ?)  on utility pole and in Palo Verde tree, n, ne; calls.

Vermilion Flycatcher  1  (m)  tall tree in park, sw.

Black Phoebe   2  lakeside, park, sw.

Loggerhead Shrike   1  on dead tree, e fence line.

Verdin  4  calls, e border of lake and inside park.

Rock Wren  1  on breakwater.

Black-tailed Gnatcatcher   1  in saltbush scrub, n cliffs.

Northern Mockingbird  4  park area.

European Starling  10  atop palms in park.

Yellow-rumped Warbler   20  (ad, imm) mostly in the park; foraging on lawns.

Savannah Sparrow  1  breakwater rocks and weeds.

Brewer's Blackbird  30  (m,f)  in rv parking area.

Great-tailed Grackle  20  (m,f) in the rv park and main park.

House Finch  10  in the main park.


December 26, 2010   PGA West, La Quinta, CA  (30 Species)

Weather  Partly cloudy to overcast; 55 to 65F; no wind.

Time: O825- 1015 hrs.

Area Covered: I cycled through the western portion of PGA West, beginning and ending on Merion Drive. Included in the survey was the Nicklaus and Palmer residential areas, mostly along the perimeter but also including interior ponds and lakes where waterfowl were abundant. Foot and auto traffic was moderate during the survey conditions were good for identifying bird vocalizations. Three Bighorn sheep were found at the base of the east-facing mountains adjacent to Hole # 16 of the Palmer golf course (photo). These appeared to be grazing on grasses and low vegetation (photo). A local gardener initially informed me of the sheep and mentioned that he saw six animals at that location (I found only three). I used a 10x42 binocular and a hand-held Nikon D3100 with a 18-200mm AF VR lens.


Hole # 15, Palmer Course,   26 December, 2010

                                                                                                                                                 © 2010 Callyn Yorke                                     



                                                                 © 2010 Callyn Yorke



Mallard  8 (m,f) edge of ponds and lakes.

American Wigeon  150 (m,f) a large flock (120) on the main lake; others on the pond/waterfall adjacent to Arnold Palmer Drive.

                                                                                     © 2010 Callyn Yorke    


Ring-necked Duck  7  (m,f) diving in pond noted above.

Gambel's Quail   12  feeding at edge of green, hole # 15, Palmer course (photo).

                                                                                                                     © 2010 Callyn Yorke


Double-crested Cormorant  7  flying over sw from Lake Cahuilla.

Black-crowned Night Heron  1  flying over sw from Lake Cahuilla (1700 hrs.).

Cooper's Hawk  2  perched in tall tree, sw (wary);  1 ad on utility pole, nw (photos).


                                   © 2010 Callyn Yorke


American Kestrel  2  fly, call  w and nw.

American Coot   30   edge of main lake and ponds.

Killdeer   5  on edge of main lake.

Ring-billed Gull    5 (ad)    lawn on east edge of main lake.

California Gull   1 (C2)  lawn on east edge of main lake.

Caspian Tern  2  circling over main lake; calls.

White-winged Dove  1  on utility wire, sw.

Mourning Dove   30  flocks on western perimeter and interior; foraging on lawns.

Anna's Hummingbird  1 (f) foraging on Bougainvilla flowers, nw.

Costa's Hummingbird  10 (m,f) fly, calls, active in flowering shrubs throughout.

Ladder-backed Woodpecker  1  in ironwood trees, sw; calls.

Black Phoebe   5  edge of fairways and gardens throughout.

Say's Phoebe  10  gardens and roof-tops; calls, chasing, sw, w (photo).

                                                                                  © 2010 Callyn Yorke

Bewick's Wren  5  in shrubs and trees around homes, w, sw calls.

Northern Mockingbird   4  gardens, w, sw calls.

Verdin   14  gardens throughout; calls and song.

Orange-crowned Warbler   1  garden, song, sw.

Yellow-rumped Warbler   3   gardens and trees at edge of fairways, w.

White-crowned Sparrow  6  gardens, w calls.

Brewer's Blackbird   6 (m,f)   on roof, nw.

Great-tailed Grackle  1 (m) calls, sw.

House Finch   30  ubiquitous.

House Sparrow  5  garden, w.







November 24, 2010  PGA West, La Quinta CA (29 Species)

Weather: Fair with increasing cloudiness; 49F to 55F. Winds WNW  2-5 mph.

Time: 0750 -0920 hrs.

Area Covered: From Merion Dr., I began the survey in the southwestern Nicklaus residential area (NR), by bicycling south on Merion to Colonial, then east on Hermitage, entering the Stadium residential area (SR), including Southern Hills, Pebble Beach and exiting Pete Dye. I then crossed PGA West Blvd. into the Palmer residential area (PR), continuing to the north end of Riviera then southward, back to the starting point on Merion Dr. I surveyed gardens, exotic shrubs trees and flowerbeds, fairways, mature mesquite and ironwood trees, artificial ponds, sterile lakes and waterfalls visible from the surface streets. I used a 10x42 binocular and DSLR camera for the survey. The best areas for birds appeared to be along the southwestern border of the  PGA West, Nicklaus residential area (i.e. Merion, Colonial and Hermitage). Only one pond in the Stadium residential area had waterfowl (mallards); A solitary Western Grebe in an otherwise lifeless pond next to hole # 8 in the Nicklaus residential area. Most of the residential streets had moderate to heavy automobile traffic along with remodeling, maintenance and gardening activities. Re-seeding of the golf courses has been completed (see October 14, 2010 survey notes) and the associated strong odors from ammonia-laden fertilizers has subsided. Three species were added to the PGA West bird list today: Western Grebe, Osprey and Song Sparrow.


Mallard   12  resting around edges of pond near Pebble Beach Dr., SR.

Bufflehead  2 ?  too distant for positive identification; large lake along Pete Dye, SR.

Gambel's Quail  1-?   calls, outside of northwestern wall on Riviera (unseen).

Western Grebe  1  in pond next to hole # 8, NR.

Osprey  1 (ad) on utility pole on southwest border (Hermitage) of  NR (photo).

                                                                                                                                         © 2010 Callyn Yorke


American Kestrel  1 (imm f)   on top of ornamental tree, southwest NR (photo).

                                                                      © 2010 Callyn Yorke

Caspian Tern   5  (ad, imm) fly, call, sw NR.

Mourning Dove  14  flying, west and south NR.

Greater Roadrunner  1  on driveway, investigating newly trimmed shrubs in a yard; relatively tame, southwest NR (photos).

                                                                                                                                                                                                 © 2010 Callyn Yorke


Costa's Hummingbird  10 (f, imm m) in shrubs along edges of gardens and walls, NR, PR (photo); SR; calls.

                                                                                                                           © 2010 Callyn Yorke


Black Phoebe   4  edge of ponds, gardens, NR, PR, SR; calls.

Say's Phoebe   6  edge of fairways, NR, PR, SR.

Vermilion Flycatcher  2 (f) in tall trees, sally-gleaning to ground, Colonial, NR; and Southern Hills, SR (photo).

                                                © 2010 Callyn Yorke

Common Raven  3  on roof-tops; fly, call, SR.

Verdin   12  ubiquitous in gardens with large trees, especially commong in NR and PR on west side; calls.

Bewick's Wren   8  calls and song from gardens, NR, PR.

Cactus Wren   2  garden, sw NR; calls.

Ruby-crowned Kinglet  2  calls from tall trees, sw NR.

Northern Mockingbird   6  walls and gardens, sw NR (photo), se SR; calls.

                                                                                                                              © 2010 Callyn Yorke

European Starling  6  flying around and landing in palms, SR; calls.

Yellow-rumped Warbler   8  gardens throughout; calls.

Abert's Towhee  2  on outer wall, sw NR (photo); calls.

                                                                                                                                © 2010 Callyn Yorke


Song Sparrow   1  flew into small tree at edge of wall, north end of Riviera, PR.

White-crowned Sparrow   6  garden and wall, sw NR; calls and song.

Great-tailed Grackle  1  calls, sw corner of NR.

Brewer's Blackbird   5 (m,f) on utility pole and lines, end of Riviera, PR (photo).

                                              © 2010 Callyn Yorke     


House Finch   10  fly, call  se NR; SR.

Lesser Goldfinch   5  fly, call,  Hermitage, s NR.

House Sparrow 20  sw NR; se SR.



PGA West, Lake Cahuilla, LA QUINTA, CA

October 14 & 16, 2010 (31 Species)

Weather: Fair, 77F to 90F; no wind.

Time: (10/14): 0815-1030 hrs.; (10/16): 0850-0950 hrs.

Observers: C. Yorke (10/14); M. Mendez and C. Yorke (10/16).

Areas Covered:  1) PGA West. Beginning on Merion Dr., I bicycled around the entire PGA West suburbs and golf courses (Nicklaus, Palmer and Norman), surveying fairways, adjacent Mesquite-Iron Wood and other planted shrubs, palms and trees; ponds, fountains, gardens and pools (PGAW). The Nicklaus and Palmer courses were being re-seeded and were without golfers; maintainence crews worked on landscaping throughout the area, sometimes with noisy mowers and other machinery. The strong scent of ammonia and manure (used on fairways and in gardens) dominated the area. Relatively low bird species diversity was found during the survey. One odd-looking grackle was found and photographed adjacent to Ave. 54, west of Jefferson inside the PGA West residential area (10/14/10).

2) We parked in the nearly empty lot next to the Mulberry grove picnic area and walked around the park and shoreline of Lake Cahuilla County Park (LC), located near the southwest corner of PGA West. Gunfire from the adjacent firing range was quite loud, reverberating off the canyon walls. Only a few fishermen and picnickers were present during the survey. Most of the birds (i.e. landbirds) were found around the Fruitless Mulberry grove on the south side of the park (10/16/10)


Western Grebe  1  open water, LC.

Great Egret  1  rocky bank on N side of LC.

Prairie Falcon  1  flushed from Mulberry trees, LC.

American Kestrel   1  flying over, S PGAW.

Double-crested Cormorant  6  flying toward LC, western PGAW.

Killdeer  1  calls, LC.

American Coot  20  (ad, imm) open water, LC.

Mourning Dove  6  N PGAW; 2  Mulberry grove, LC.

White-winged Dove  2   N garden of PGAW; flying.

Anna's Hummingbird  2  calls in garden, PGAW.

Costa's Hummingbird  10 (m,f)  whistling display flights, call; gardens, PGAW.

Northern Flicker (red-shafted)  1 flushed from Mulberry grove, LC; calls.

Ladder-backed Woodpecker  1  calls, west PGAW.

Say's Phoebe  4  edge of lawns, E PGAW; 1  edge of lake, LC.

Black Phoebe   3  gardens and edge of lakes, PGAW; 1  Mulberry grove, LC.

Common Raven  1  flying, calls, PGAW.

American Crow  2  palms, east PGAW; calls.

Northern Mockingbird  20  gardens, PGAW; calls and chasing; 2  Mulberry grove, LC.

European Starling  6  in date palms, calls, LC.

Verdin   20 gardens  PGAW; 2  Mulberry and edge of desert; calls, LC.

Bewick's Wren  12  gardens, PGAW; calls and song.

Rock Wren  1  calls from adjacent rocky slopes, west LC.

Yellow-rumped Warbler   10  calls, foraging in Mulberry trees and on lawns, LC.

White-crowned Sparrow   8  gardens, N PGAW.

Chipping Sparrow  2  on lawn, LC.

Lark Sparrow  2  calls from Mulberry trees, LC.

House Finch  15  gardens and palms, PGAW;   15  palms and Mulberry trees, LC.

Great-tailed Grackle   2 (m,f)  N edge of PGAW.

Brewer's Blackbird   5 (m,f) N edge of PGAW.

Grackle sp. (possible BRBL x GTGR) on utility pole, north PGAW (edge of Ave. 54, west of Jefferson: Palmer residential). Compared with nearby BRBL, decidely larger, long legs and tail; heavy bill (photo).


                                                                                                        © 2010 Callyn Yorke

House Sparrow   10  gardens, PGAW.








March 26, 2010    PGA West   (39 Species)

Weather: Fair, 55F to 84F; winds 0-5 mph.

Time: 0745 -1000 hrs.

Area Covered: Nicklaus, Palmer and Stadium residential areas. I bicycled slowly along the streets, surveying gardens, golf courses, ponds, lakes and adjacent hillside desert scrub, using a 10x42 binocular and DSLR camera. Conditions were good for identifying birds by their vocalizations.


1) Canada Goose  1  edge of pond, Palmer.

2) American Wigeon 70 (m,f)  edge of main lake, next to PGA West clubhouse.

3) Mallard  4 (m,f)  main lake.

4) Cinnamon Teal  2 (m,f) main lake.

5) Ring-necked Duck  4 (m,f)  main lake.

6) Common Merganser  1 (f) resting on edge of main lake.

7) Pied-billed Grebe  2   main lake.

8) Ring-billed Gull  2 (imm) flying between PGA West and Lake Cahuilla.

9) White-winged Dove  2  roof-top, S Nicklaus.

                                                                        White-winged Dove (Zenaida asiatica) PGA West, March 26, 2010


                                                                                                                                    © 2010 Callyn Yorke

10) Mourning Dove  10  on power lines; flying throughout, esp. S.

11) American Kestrel  1  in ironwood trees, Nicklaus.

12) Costa's Hummingbird  8 (m)  shrubs and low trees throughout; calls.

13) Anna's Hummingbird  1  (m) calls, Merion, Nicklaus.

14) Ladder-backed Woodpecker  1  calls, Merion, Nicklaus.

15) Black Phoebe  10  active throughout.

16) Say's Phoebe  3  calls from trees and low shrubs, E and S.

17) Cassin's Kingbird  1  calls, Merion, Nicklaus.

18) Vermilion Flycatcher  1 (m) in ironwood trees near entrance to Stadium.

19) American Crow  2  flying, calls; near Palmer entrance.

20) Common Raven  2  flying, calls, S.

21) Tree Swallow  6  flying around W edge and canal.

22) Northern Rough-winged Swallow   15  flying low and >100 ft around lakes.

23) Barn Swallow  1  flying low over lake, Stadiium.

24) Verdin  10  calls from gardens throughout; esp. WNicklaus.

25) Cactus Wren  2  singing, Merion, Nicklaus.

26) Bewick's Wren  10 singing throughout.

27) Northern Mockingbird  8  singing throughout.

                                             Northern Mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos) PGA West, March 26, 2010


                                                                                                                © 2010 Callyn Yorke

28) European Starling  2    calls, flying, NW.

29) Phainopepla  2  (m,f) a pair in an ironwood tree.

30) Yellow-rumped Warbler 1  N deciduous trees; calls.

31) Abert's Towhee  1 calls from hedges, E.

32) Lark Sparrow  1  on wall, S Nicklaus.

33) White-crowned Sparrow  10  gardens and hedgerows, Nicklaus.

34) Brewer's Blackbird  20  on fairways and large lawn areas.

35) Great-tailed Grackle  15  mostly around main lake and clubhouse.

36) Brown-headed Cowbird  2 (m) singing  NW.

37) House Finch  30 singing throughout.

38) Lesser Goldfinch  10  singing in trees, E Nicklaus.

39) House Sparrow  4  N edge; calls.


December 20-23, 2009 (63 Species)                       

Weather:  Overcast to partly cloudy; 45-57F; winds 0-15 mph; occasionally gusting to 40 mph.

Time:  0730-1200 hrs.

Observers:  Ethan Yorke and I.

Area Covered:  1) PGA West (PGAW): Nicklaus, Palmer and Stadium residential and golf courses. Surveys on foot and by bicycle (me) and scooter (Ethan) on residential streets, covering several artificial ponds and lakes, residential gardens, and manicured golf courses (see above photo). Vegetation includes native mesquite, iron wood, salt bush, along with exotic trees (palms) and abundant flowering herbs and shrubs (e.g. Bougainvilla). Also surveyed adjacent saltbush scrub along the northwestern boundary of PGA West on a dirt road leading to an irrigation canal.  2) Lake Cahuilla Regional Park (LC):  Walked from the S parking lot across the picinic area and along the shoreline, surveying open water, palms, adjacent desert scrub, rocky slopes and ruderal roadsides, using a scope and binoculars. Shots rang out each day, beginning at about 0830 hrs, at the firing range, located in the NWC of the park. The noise often sent flocks of waterbirds circling above and/or to the opposite side of the lake. Several fisherman were using the shorelines, especially on the SE and NE sides. The picinic area was unused during our survey (21 Dec. 0730- 0910 hrs. see above photo). 3) Calle Conchita and Madison Street (CCM): I walked down a dirt road adjacent to old homesteads with overgrown fruit orchards, palms and saltbush scrub. A few people were walking their dogs during the survey (21 Dec. 0945-1030 hrs.).

Abert's Towhee (Pipilo aberti) PGA West, LaQuinta,  December 21, 2009.                                      © 2009 Callyn D. Yorke

BIRDS NOTED  (numbers indicate the highest count for any given survey)

1) Canada Goose  8  PGAW  in flight, NE

2) American Wigeon  80-100 (m,f) PGAW   main clubhouse lake and lawns; calls.

3) Mallard   20  (m,f)  PGAW   pairs in most of the ponds and lakes throughout.

4) Domestic (white) Duck  PGAW  pond near Tanglewood.

5) Northern Shoveler  2 (m,f)  LC, open water.

6) Ring-necked Duck  12 (m,f) PGAW  small lake near Tanglewood (photo).

7) Lesser Scaup  12 (m,f) PGAW  main clubhouse lake.

8) Bufflehead  3 (m,f)  PGAW  main clubhouse lake; diving.

9) Ruddy Duck  3  (m,f) PGAW Stadium main lake.

10) Gambel's Quail  10 (est.) CCM; calling from beneath a dense growth of salt bush.

11) Pied-billed Grebe  1  PGAW  Stadium main lake.

12) Eared Grebe 1   PGAW main clubhouse lake.

13) Double-crested Cormorant  5 PGAW  flying over;  50 LC  fish-feeding frenzy in central-northern part of lake.

14) Great Blue Heron 2  LC  N side of lakeshore; 1 CCM  in tree.

15) Great Egret  1  LC  north shore.

16) Black-crowned Night Heron  1 (juv) LC northshore.

17) Cooper's Hawk  1 (ad) PGAW; in tall tree; 1 (juv) LC in trees, picinic area.

18) Red-shouldered Hawk  1  CCM  perched in tall tree next to homestead.

19) American Kestrel   3   PGAW  utility poles and lines along NW boundary (photo).

20) American Coot  10 PGAW in small lakes and ponds;  15 LC, open water.

21) Killdeer 3  PGAW  main lake; 1 CL, calls.

22) Spotted Sandpiper   1   PGAW   rocky edges of main clubhouse lake.

23) Ring-billed Gull  5   PGAW  flying over; 100 (mostly ads.) CL, open water and shore.

24) Forster's Tern  4  PGAW  circling low over main clubhouse lake; diving.

25) Caspian Tern  2  PGAW; 4 CL  circling lake above DCC feeding frenzy.

26) Mourning Dove  12  PGAW   on utility lines, roof tops and foraging in maintenance yard with piles of fertilizer.

27) White-winged Dove  1  CCM  perched in a bare-branched tree over a homestead (photo).

28) Rock Pigeon   10  downtown LaQuinta near Jefferson and HWY 111.

29) Greater Roadrunner   1  PGAW  running through residential area (Merion and Riveria); on chain link fence by Nicklaus main entrance.

30) Anna's Hummingbird  10  PGAW  in gardens throughout; calls.

31) Costa's Hummingbird   12   PGAW  conspicuously vocal in gardens along Riveria and N boundary;  occasional display flights

32) Belted Kingfisher   2  PGAW  rocky edge of main lake; calls.

33) Red-naped Sapsucker 1 (m) PGAW foraging quietly in large ironwood tree with a Northern Flicker.

34) Sapsucker sp. 1 PGAW  flying between palms and mesquite; very vocal; c.f. Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, distinctly paler than typical

35) RNSS (see photo below).Seen clearly with a 10x42 binocular at distances ranging from about 60 to 120 feet.

Sapsucker sp. (possibly Yellow-bellied) PGA West, LaQuinta,   December 20, 2009.      © 2009 Callyn D. Yorke


BIRDS NOTED - Continued

36) Northern Red-shafted Flicker  1  PGAW  working up the trunk of a large ironwood tree; calls.

37) Ladder-backed Woodpecker 2 PGAW in tall trees, including palms, Riveria.

38) Vermilion Flycatcher  1  CL sally-flycatching from low perch in Mulberry tree (photo).

39) Black Phoebe   10  PGAW  in and around gardens and fairways. 1 LC  lakeside picnic area.

40) Say's Phoebe  5 PGAW  as above; sometimes trading perches with BP at edge of golf course; 1 CL (photo).

41) Loggerhead Shrike  1  PGAW  roof-top, Hermitage (photo).

42) American Crow 2 PGAW  calling/flying over roof-tops.

43) Common Raven  1  CL  on utility pole.

44) Barn Swallow  1  PGAW  on utility line, N boundary (photo).


                                                     Barn Swallow (Hirundo rustica) at PGA West, LaQuinta, December 20, 2009



45) Verdin 10  PGAW  vocal and active in small gardens along Riviera.

46) White-breasted Nuthatch   1 PGAW   in ironwood trees near main Stadium lake; calls.

47) Cactus Wren  2  PGAW   gardens and roof-tops on Merion.

48) Bewick's Wren 10  PGAW  gardens along Riviera.

49) Ruby-crowned Kinglet 1 PGAW in trees, Medina; calls.

50) Northern Mockingbird  5  PGAW  gardens along Riviera.

51) European Starling  6 PGAW; 10 LC. in fruiting palms.

52) American Pipit  1  PGAW  edge of main lake.

53) Orange-crowned Warbler 1 PGAW trees on Oak Hill; calls.

54) Yellow-rumped Warbler  10 (m,f)   PGAW  trees and gardens throughout; 5 LC  Mulberry trees and lawns.

55) Common Yellowthroat  1  PGAW  garden near pond on Oak Hill; calls.

56) White-crowned Sparrow  35  PGAW  small flocks of 5-12 birds in gardens throughout

57) Lark Sparrow  15   LC  on lawn and in trees, picinic area.

58) Abert's Towhee  1  PGAW   garden in Stadium residential area; vocal and momentarily conspicuous (photo); dove into dense shrubs.

59) Brewer's Blackbird  10 (m,f)   PGAW  flying over NW section.

60) Great-tailed Grackle   4 (m,f) PGAW  around E edge of main lake; 15 LC picnic area; calls.

61) House Finch  50 (est) PGAW and LC; ubiquitous; calls and song.

62) Lesser Goldfinch  3  PGAW  in trees, Riviera; calls.

63) House Sparrow 3  PGAW  garden on Riviera; calls.

American Kestrel (Falco sparverius) PGA West, LaQuinta, December 20, 2009.                  © 2009 Callyn D. Yorke


Ring-necked Duck (Aythya collaris) PGA West, LaQuinta, December 20, 2009.   © 2009 Callyn D. Yorke


White-winged Dove (Zenaida asiatica) CCM, LaQuinta                                           Loggerhead Shrike (Lanius ludovicianus) PGA West, LaQuinta


December 21, 2009                © 2009 Callyn D. Yorke                                                              December 21, 2009.                                 © 2009 Callyn D. Yorke


                                                   Vermilion Flycatcher ( Pyrocephalus rubinus) Lake Cahuilla, LaQuinta, December 21, 2009


                                                           © 2009  Callyn D. Yorke






November 26-29, 2009 (56 Species)

Weather: Fair (Nov. 26-27) to increasing cloudiness and light rain (Nov. 28-29); 47-77F; NNE winds 5-25 mph.

Time: 0630 - 1700 hrs.

Observers: Ethan Yorke and I.

Area Covered:(1) PGA West (PGAW): Cycled and walked from Merion Way to Riviera Way (N), through neighborhoods, surveying gardens,

fairways, lakes, ponds, mature Mesquite, ironwood, ornamental trees and shrubs, adjacent weedy fields (N) and rocky slopes (photo). Used 10x 40 binocular and DSLR camera. Completed morning, mid-day and evening surveys over a full range of weather conditions (see above). (2) Drove to Lake Cahuilla (LC), paying $3 entry fee and walking around the southern perimeter of the lake. Surveyed shoreline, open water, parkland and adjacent rocky slopes. Only a few fishermen present during our morning survey (0700-0800 hrs.); many more park users in the evening (1530-1600 hrs.-- photo). (3) Visited La Quinta (LQ)shopping mall near the intersection of HWY 111 and Jefferson Blvd. While driving, noted birds using small pond on the SE side of Jefferson Blvd. See notes covering the La Quinta area in April, 2009.

Verdin (Auriparus flaviceps PGA West, La Quinta, CA

© 2009 Callyn D. Yorke


1) Canada Goose  10  in small detention basin on SE side of Jefferson Blvd.

2) American Wigeon  30 (m,f)   PGAW - Main Lake by clubhouse, early AM; large flock on lawn PM; 10 (m,f) LC open water with other ducks.

3) Mallard  8 (m,f) PGAW  Main lake and Palmer Lake, open water and edge.

4) Northern Shoveler  3 LC, open water, N side, in tight MSF of other ducks.

5) Northern Pintail  2 (m,f) LC, open water, with above species.

6) Ring-necked Duck   3 (m,f) PGAW Main Lake, open water, followed by Ruddy Duck.

7) Lesser Scaup  3  LC open water in MSF with other ducks.

8) Ruddy Duck  1 PGAW, open water; 4 (m,f) LC, following Lesser Scaup, open water.

9) Gambel's Quail  1 PGAW, flushed from roadside bush and into saltbush scrub(Atriplex canescens) on Ave. 52, W of Jefferson at PGAW entrance.

10) Pied-billed Grebe  1  LC, open water, N side, with MSF of ducks.

11) Western Grebe  1  PGAW, E end of Main Lake; 6 LC, open water.

12) Double-crested Cormorant  5  PGAW, flying over; 15 LC, open water, N side, preening, diving in tight flock.

13) Great Blue Heron  1 LC, S shore.

14) Great Egret   2  PGAW, pair flying low, S; 1 LC, N shore.

15) Black-crowned Night Heron   2 (ad, imm), LC S shore of jetty.

16) Sharp-shinned Hawk  1 (ad?)  PGAW, manuevering quickly, low in street and gardens along Riviera Way, near Canterbury (0720  hrs. 11/29).

17) Cooper's Hawk  2   PGAW, one (ad) on utility pole along Ave. 52; other (imm?) flying low across fairway.

18)  Red-shouldered Hawk  1  PGAW , calls from Main Lake area (unseen).                                                                                   

19) Red-tailed Hawk  1(ad) PGAW, soaring high (200 ft. +), N.                                                         

20) American Kestrel   2 PGAW,  in tall trees; 1 LC, flying N, low; perched on broken palm trunk.                                                                                   

21) American Coot  5 PGAW, Main Lake; 10 LC, open water; 4 pond on Jefferson Blvd.

22) Killdeer   2 PGAW, edge of fairway and lake, calls;  5   Ave. 52, N of Jefferson, on lawn.

23) Spotted Sandpiper   1  PGAW, edge of Palmer Lake, moving quickly on grassy embankment near the water line.

24) Ring-billed Gull   5 (ad, imm)  PGAW, flying S (PM); N AM;  12 (ad, imm: 1-2 yr.)   LC, S shoreline and open water.

25) Caspian Tern  1 PGAW, flying over Main Lake;  1 LC, flying over lake.

26) Rock Pigeon   20  LQ, flying around shopping mall.

27) Eurasian Collared Dove   1  LC, flew into tall tree, S.

28) Mourning Dove   15  PGAW,  N side, foraging on ground in yard with piles of fertilizer; singles or pairs elsewhere.

29) Anna's Hummingbird   3 (m,f)   PGAW,  in gardens; calls.

30) Costa's Hummingbird   20 (m,f)  PGAW, in gardens, consistently at particular addresses along Riviera Wy.; display flights with buzzing; calls.

31) Calliope Hummingbird?  1 (f) PGAW, around Bougainvillas and palms on Riviera Wy; not seen clearly; very small size; quiet and fast-moving.

32) Belted Kingfisher   1  PGAW, calls near Merion Way (PM) (unseen).

33) Ladder-backed Woodpecker  3  PGAW,  tall palms near Oak Hill Ln. calls, fly.

34) Northern Flicker  2  LC, among palms in park, S; calls.

35) Black Phoebe    10  PGAW, edge of fairways, lakes and ponds (see photo below); hawking insects in and low over grass.

36) Say's Phoebe   6  PGAW, as above, once trading a boulder perch; individuals perched on flags, chairs, fences and other artificial items; 2 LC, parkland.

37) Vermilion Flycatcher  2 (m,f) LC, pair within 100 feet of each other; low and high perches; sally-flycatching in parkland.

38) American Crow  2  PGAW, fly, call, E side.

39) Common Raven  2  PGAW, pair soaring 300 ft. + about 1 mile NE.

40) Tree Swallow   2 (ad, imm) PGAW, on power line adjacent to weedy field along Ave. 52, W of Jefferson.

41) Verdin  20  PGAW, in ornamental shrubs and trees; gardens near pools (see photo above); noisy and conspicuous.

42) Cactus Wren  2  PGAW, in gardens with palms and on roof tops (see photo below); calls.

43) Bewick's Wren   20  PGAW, in gardens eveywhere; calls.

44) House Wren   1  PGAW, calls from garden on Merion Way.

45) Ruby-crowned Kinglet   2  PGAW, in ornamental trees; calls.

46) Northern Mockingbird   8 (ad, imm)   PGAW, in and around gardens; calls.

47) Yellow-rumped Warbler ( m,f 1 Myrtle by calls) 10 PGAW , in and around ornamental trees; calls.

48) Abert's Towhee  2  PGAW, on lawns and in shady gardens on Riviera Way near intersection of Canterbury; calls; shy and retiring.

49) Lark Sparrow  8  LC, foraging on lawn, S.

50) White-crowned Sparrow 60(ad,imm) PGAW, ubiquitous; calls, song;10 LC, brushy areas bordering park. One imm. (PGAW) had buffy head without crown marks.

51) Western Meadowlark  7  LC, foraging on lawn.

52) Brewer's Blackbird  10 (m,f) PGAW, flying over open areas and lakes; 10 LQ.

53) Great-tailed Grackle   30 (m,f)   LC, shoreline and in park; males displaying; noisy flocks.

54) House Finch  10 PGAW, shrubby edge and gardens; calls. 5 LC.

55) Lesser Goldfinch   3   PGAW, in garden, drinking from puddle, N end of Riviera Way; calls.

56) House Sparrow   2  PGAW, calls from garden shrubs; more abundant in LQ than PGAW.

Cactus Wren (Campylorhynchus brunneicapillus) PGA West, La Quinta, CA

© 2009  Callyn D,. Yorke

Black Phoebe (Sayornis nigricans)  PGA West, La Quinta, CA
Black Phoebe
© 2009  Callyn D. Yorke

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