Because of the drought, we are short on water at various places this season. We know that the salt lakes can dry up at times and they have...even the fresh water areas are scant on water for the wildlife. However, when we went out to La Sal del Ray before sunrise, we got a thousand Snow Geese with a few Sandhill Cranes that came in to roost for the night. We went the evening before to see what was coming in to roost. We counted 6000 sandhills as they flew right over us...where are they roosting now??? As we were busy watching the sandhills, the geese landed on the opposite side of the lake without being detected until I decided to scan before we left. Not knowing for sure what they were as it was dark by this time, we decided to come back early before they left for the day to count them and make sure they were geese. Upon our arrival, we saw these nilgai at the watering hole.
There were 5 of them but I cropped the picture. Notice the beautiful colored ears and ankles. I got off several shots before they took off. Because of lack of water, no Eared Grebes. There are just a few Snowy Plovers, and our Peregrine Falcon is back!!
Santa Ana (Willow) has been exceptional this season. Last year we were flooded. Pintail and Cattail Lakes are drawn down to get rid of the Alligator Gar that are present. With the river pump being worked on, and getting rid of the gar, those two areas I survey have very little water. I did discover two Mountain Bluebirds out at Cattail Lake.
We have Redheads, Canvasbacks, Bufflehead, and an Eared Grebe at Willow. Very unusual.
Here are the Mountain Bluebirds, I hope they hang around for the CBC.
I'm standing in the middle of La Sal del Ray. A first for me.