Wednesday, August 10, 2016

August's storm

White-faced ibises brave the storm in Wonder Valley.
Wonder Valley residents living within earshot of Highway 62 took the brunt of last Thursday's monsoonal storm. It came from the west led by a huge sandstorm and followed with wind, lightning, thunder, and rain - torrential, sometimes horizontal, rain.

Highway 62 was closed for awhile and crews were still clearing the roadway on Friday.

Residents living north of Amboy reported high winds, ripping off parts of roofs and scattering yard art, but little rain.

As I sat out the storm down by the highway I noticed a flock of about 45-50 large black birds sheltering among the creosote. At first I thought they were vultures because they were big and I'd seen one in the area that morning. But as I crept closer they took off and I realized they were some sort of water bird. I shared my photos with local birders and the general consensus is that they were white-faced ibises. Note the long, narrow, curved beak.

It's these kinds of surprises that make living in the desert such a delight.