Yesterday we visited one of the lowest places in the world. An oasis in the midst of desert. A land of salt-encrusted rocks, obsidian promontories, gurgling mini-volcanoes of mud, and geothermal power plants. You almost feel like you've traveled to Mars. Except for the thousands upon thousands of birds.
Welcome to the Salton Sea.
Saltier than the Pacific, the Salton Sea is Palm Springs for western birds. Pelicans -- both white and brown -- savor the free tilapia buffet. Avocets, stilts, and sandpipers promenade along the shore. And legions of snow geese and cranes find refuge from the harsh winter to the north.
The Salton Sea has long been hailed as a birder's paradise ... and it lives up to that billing.
Highlights: A field full of Long-Billed Curlews. Hundreds of White Pelicans. Thousands of Snow Geese. A field of squawking Sandhill Cranes. Black-Necked Stilts and American Avocets. Gambels Quail and Desert Cottontails. Greater Roadrunners.
Missed Connections: Mountain Plovers (MoPlos) and Burrowing Owls.