Imperial Wildlife Area
Yesterday when we arrived at the Salton Sea SRA, the sea was completely flat and calm. Over night a stiff westerly wind started up creating a surf on the lake. Quite a change.
After breakfast we headed south to the Imperial Wildlife Area. Janet had read about all the birds that stop here along the western flyway. Much of the area has been graded and flooded to provide a freshwater habitat now that the sea has become so salty. We did find the area interesting, but not as described in the article Janet had read. That article was from the July 2001 issue of Outdoor California. Much has changed. The area is in the midst of a rehabilitation project to remove the invasive tamarisk that is overgrowing the marsh grasses and weeds. Hence, while there were areas flooded with fresh water that supported snow geese, pelicans, coot, heron, and egrets, there was also lots of open mud flats, waiting for water and vegetation.
South of the wildlife area, we managed to find an area of hot mud potholes and mud volcanoes. They are right next to a 50-megawatt geothermal power plant. An interesting sight sitting in the midst of a mud flat. Lots of bubbling and burping and lots of sulphur smell.