Home

Paintings gallery

Video clips

Images

DVD

Contact

Site map

Links

Content

Introduction

San Jacincto

Riverside

Morongo

Palm Springs

Species list

Text only

 

Villa

Roadrunner

One of the Villas in the Plaza Villa complex

Greater Roadrunner

Mockingbird

Mourning Dove

Immature Northern Mockingbird

Mourning Dove

Black-chinned Hummingbird

Brewer's Blackbird

Black-chinned Hummingbird

Brewer's Blackbird

Costa's Hummingbird

Costa's Hummingbird

Subadult male Costa's Hummingbirds

The 3 Indian Canyons on the outskirts of Palm Springs (excluding Tahquitz, which is separated from these) are only a 5 minute drive from the town centre. After paying a $6 entrance fee, Indian Canyon is only a 3 mile drive from the toll booth. It reputedly contains the largest amount of palm trees in the world. After passing a mile or two of barren and open land, surrounded by sparse, mainly bare mountains, the visitor centre overlooking the canyon was reached. This was only a short visit of 1˝ hours, with the main aim of sightseeing, but optics were very useful. Single California Towhee was flitting around the picnic area at the start of the canyon, with Mourning Doves and House Finches as numerous as elsewhere. 2 Purple Finches were among the House Finches. After a short hike along the trail, one of the palm trees was found to contain a preening male Scott’s Oriole, and 2 females, also presumably of this species. It was sat in the same spot for at least 10 minutes. After crossing a small stream, some passerines could be seen and heard flitting around on the slopes above. All that could be seen clearly from the trail were black under tails, but a much closer bird revealed that they were Sage Sparrows. Overhead at this time were a pair of American Kestrels. On the return, and back at the picnic tables, a single Bewick’s Wren was hanging around a large rock, and a small family of quail were among the sage brush – they showed too briefly to reveal specific identification. The canyon is also good for reptiles – plenty of lizards, including a large Chuckwalla.

Palm Canyon

Scott's Oriole

Palm Canyon

Scott's Oriole

When in Palm Springs, this is one of THE places which has to be visited, not so much from the birding aspect, but to see the Mohave and Colorado deserts, with their copious Joshua Trees, at their natural best. Despite the first entrance to the park from Palm Springs, at the town of Joshua Tree, being closer to us, we drove a full hour to the 29 Palms entrance, and the main visitor centre. This forms the beginning of a 26 mile loop drive, which comes back to Joshua Tree, and then to the return highway. As a spectacle, it is recommended, since the driving trail passes through a small portion of the national park, and holds high concentrations of Joshua Trees, which are actually an overgrown lily, not a tree. Some of these can be seen from the main highway, but it is only when the park proper is entered, after paying a $10 car entrance fee, that they really start to increase in density and height. Animals and birds are present within the park, and presumably many more can be seen on a proper birding visit, but as a family outing, we drove around with occasional stops only. The birds that we saw were Western Kingbird, Hooded Oriole, a trio of Black-throated Sparrows, Northern Mockingbird, and one or two Ravens. The only raptor was a lone Turkey Vulture. Animals were seen, with a few lizards, and mammals in the shape of ground squirrels, and singles of Kangaroo Rat and Jack Rabbit.

Joshua Tree

Jack Rabbit

Joshua Tree

Jack Rabbit

Home

Paintings gallery

Video clips

Images

DVD

Contact

Site map

Links

Content

Introduction

San Jacincto

Riverside

Morongo

Palm Springs

Species list

Text only