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Sonny Bono Salton Sea NWR - 1 member in 1 triplog has rated this an average 3 ( 1 to 5 best )
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Dec 08 2014

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 Joined Oct 23 2010
Sonny Bono Salton Sea NWRInland, CA
Inland, CA
Birding avatar Dec 08 2014
Birding1.00 Miles 10 AEG
Birding1.00 Miles
10 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Name: gummo (the 2nd "m" in my name is silent)

Mood: jolly

Mission: Test out the new camera, try to find some new species, and check out Sonny Bono's Birding Spot.

Route: Cibola - :next: Sonny Bono Salton Sea NWR - :next: Anza Borrego Desert State Park

Weather: 78-82F (no jacket required)

Song: The Beat Goes On by The Screamers (

Confession: If another hiker on the trial asks me if I've seen any snakes, my answer is always, "no."

Highlights this trip: 1) Watching the sandhill cranes do their thing at Cibola. 2) Watching California tree frogs do another thing at Anza Borrego. 3) Hearing the story of the elusive panther at Cibola's visiting center (more on that later).

Highlights from 2014: 1) Seeing 2 bobocats at Cibola. 2) hiking Bryce Canyon NP 3) hitting San Simon (Snake) Valley 4) Photographing a mink in PA. 5) Standing amongst a herd of bighorns at Anza Borrego Desert State Park in October.

21 new species seen in 2014: Western Tanager, California tree frog, Montezuma quail, Walking stick (in AZ), Mink, Verdin, Sharp-shinned hawk, Utah prarie dog, Black phoebe, Cowbird, Pied billed grebes, Canyon tree frog, Mediterranean gecko, Black-headed snake, Wood frog, Saddled leaf-nosed snake, Antlion, Say's phoebe, Brown crested flycatcher, Mearns rock lizard, & Goldeneye.

Regrets of 2014: 1) Not re-visiting San Simon Valley in October. 2) Not bringing an extra memory card to the Pinaleno Mtns. 3) Not going to the Santa Ritas.

Random Thought Of The Day: How come people get multiple sclerosis but never get just one sclerosis? And shouldn't it be called multiple scleroses? :-k


I've been looking to go to the southern area of the Salton Sea for a while, but either time, lack of energy, or the heat stopped me from going there. Lots of birds reside there and not a lot of visitors go there, at least in the area I was at (north on Vendel Rd). The visitor's center is in a different area. Lots of marshland, mud pools, dirty, farmland, and high grass.

I did a long loop from Cibola to the Salton Sea to Desert Anza Borrego and back home. I hit Cibola NWR at 7am with a lot of cloud cover, which made photographing a bit more challenging. The sandhill cranes and mallard ducks were out of in full force. I didn't see as many geese as I did in my previous visits.

The ranger at the visitor's center told me a story that there was a female panther (jaguar) that was spotted in the area with her cub. She told me a couple was walking in the area and heard growling in the grass. The wife moved the grass to discover a small panther cub. The mom was spotted too on a separate occasion.

I would like to believe this, but females usually don't cross the border into the US and don't have extensive ranges like the males. Also, if she saw the jaguar cub, in the age where everyone has a camera phone, she would have taken a picture. No one goes to Cibola without a camera. That's like going to the grocery store without any money.

My next visit, on the same day, was Sonny Bono Salton Sea NWR. It's a lot like Cibola but not as big and lush. There are definitely more snow geese there; there were thousands of them in the distance. The birds here were more shy and would take off when you get within 200ft of them, so I assume people hunt here. In Cibola, you can get within a 100ft of the bird at times. I plan to return in the spring when I have a chance to see some reptiles.

I camped out at Anza Borrego Desert State Park. I was tired but the frogs were croaking and keeping me up, so I had to investigate. I saw dozens of them croaking, mating and swimming, along with the pupfish. In the morning, I asked the rangers what these frogs were. No one knew what they were or never saw them before, which was odd to me because they were noisy and abundant and some of the rangers have worked there for years. I looked in up when I got home and saw they were California tree frog, which are supposed to be inactivity this time of year, and I assume that this was not mating season.

I hiked Anza Borrego DSP to look for some bighorns, but did not see any and ran out of time. The trip was short and I need to plan another one when I have more time. The photos are posted but not linked to this triplog or description, because I can't figure out how to link them, but I'm sure HAZbot will come to the rescue and fix and make everything right.
1 archive

WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

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