May 28 – I met up with my client this morning at 8 AM and we explored an area of riparian habitat, hoping to find a Western Screech-Owl. Our efforts were rewarded with excellent views of a roosting bird, the first owl of our tour. Next, we headed up Hwy 33, east of Kelowna to search for a few tough to find forest birds. We searched a burned area, hoping to see a Black-backed Woodpecker. We did not see one, though we did hear one call several times. Another of our targets, Northern Pygmy-Owl did show itself, rather briefly, however. Other forest birds noted here included Canada Jay, Hammond’s Flycatcher, Cassin’s Vireo, and MacGillivray’s Warbler.
We then crossed the bridge and made our way over to Rose Valley for some late morning birding. It was very active with birds here, despite quite a strong wind. Some of the more noteworthy birds we encountered included Rufous and Calliope hummingbirds, Red-naped Sapsucker, Dusky Flycatcher, White-breasted and Pygmy nuthatches, Western Bluebird, Veery, Wilson’s Warbler, Western Tanager, Black-headed Grosbeak and Lazuli Bunting!
We took a ‘siesta’ for a few hours in the afternoon and we met once again after dinner. We spent half an hour or so checking out Robert Lake and Alki Lake. Highlights included nesting Black-necked Stilts, a number of Wilson’s Phalarope and at Alki Lake, a few American Avocets. The usual waterfowl were present including Ruddy Ducks, Blue-winged and Cinnamon teal, Redhead and Bufflehead, as well as close to 2 dozen Eared Grebes.
We headed up Beaver Lake Road, east of Lake Country, enjoying some early evening birding in the grasslands, where there were Western Meadowlarks, Lazuli Buntings, Vesper Sparrows and more. Once we entered the forest more birds were there, this time including a drumming Ruffed Grouse, singing Swainson’s, Hermit and Varied thrushes, Cassin’s Finch, Townsend’s Warbler and others. We tried some owling, once the sun went down, and we heard a calling Northern Saw-whet Owl.
May 29 – Along White Lake Road, near OK Falls, we began with a nice view of Lewis’s Woodpecker, as well as a Gray Flycatcher in the Ponderosa Pine trees. White Lake itself had a few ducks, including Blue-winged and Cinnamon teals, Northern Shoveler and Ruddy Duck. Along the shore were Wilson’s Phalarope, Killdeer and Spotted Sandpiper. We had a single Sage Thrasher singing from the top of a sagebush in the distance. Along nearby Twin Lakes Road we had views of Clay-colored Sparrow and a Brewer’s Sparrow, as well as a male Black-chinned Hummingbird, both Western and Mountain bluebirds, Western Kingbird and Bullock’s Oriole. A Yellow-breasted Chat was heard, but not seen.
In the mountains east of Okanagan Falls we watched a Williamson’s Sapsucker pair tending to their nest in a tall larch tree. Venner Meadows was productive and we saw Dusky Flycatcher, Wilson’s Warbler, Northern Waterthrush and Lincoln’s Sparrow here. In a wooded gully we had a pair of Barred Owls as well as Pacific Wren and Townsend’s Warbler.
The lower reaches of McKinney Road yielded another male Black-chinned Hummingbird, though this one provided excellent views. Also new, a Lark Sparrow showed nicely in the sagebrush and pine trees.
Exploration of a section of riparian habitat along the Okanagan River near Oliver produced a Yellow-breasted Chat, as well as Gray Catbird, Cedar Waxwing, Yellow Warbler and Lazuli Bunting.
The cliffs at Vaseux Lake yielded both Canyon Wren and Rock Wren, as well as over a dozen White-throated Swifts. A Cooper’s Hawk circled over the cliffs as well, our first for the tour.
After dark we explored an area of forest where we heard several, and saw one Flammulated Owl. Also, we heard up to four Common Poorwills here as well. Our two full days of birding had come to an end. We had tallied, between the two of us, over 130 species of birds!
Bird Species: Canada Goose; Blue-winged Teal; Cinnamon Teal; Northern Shoveler; Gadwall; American Wigeon; Mallard; Green-winged Teal; Redhead; Lesser Scaup; Bufflehead; Ruddy Duck; California Quail; Ruffed Grouse; Pied-billed Grebe; Eared Grebe; Rock Pigeon; Eurasian Collared-Dove; Mourning Dove; Common Poorwill; White-throated Swift; Black-chinned Hummingbird; Rufous Hummingbird; Calliope Hummingbird; American Coot; Black-necked Stilt; American Avocet; Killdeer; Wilson’s Snipe; Spotted Sandpiper; Wilson’s Phalarope; Ring-billed Gull; California Gull; Common Loon; Great Blue Heron; Turkey Vulture; Osprey; Northern Harrier; Cooper’s Hawk; Bald Eagle; Red-tailed Hawk; Flammulated Owl; Western Screech-Owl; Northern Pygmy-Owl; Burrowing Owl; Northern Saw-whet Owl; Belted Kingfisher; Lewis’s Woodpecker; Williamson’s Sapsucker; Red-naped Sapsucker; Black-backed Woodpecker; Downy Woodpecker; Hairy Woodpecker; Northern Flicker; American Kestrel; Western Kingbird; Eastern Kingbird; Western Wood-Pewee; Hammond’s Flycatcher; Gray Flycatcher; Dusky Flycatcher; Say’s Phoebe; Cassin’s Vireo; Warbling Vireo; Canada Jay; Black-billed Magpie; American Crow; Common Raven; Tree Swallow; Violet-green Swallow; Northern Rough-winged Swallow; Bank Swallow; Cliff Swallow; Barn Swallow; Black-capped Chickadee; Mountain Chickadee; Red-breasted Nuthatch; White-breasted Nuthatch; Pygmy Nuthatch; Rock Wren; Canyon Wren; House Wren; Pacific Wren; Golden-crowned Kinglet; Ruby-crowned Kinglet; Western Bluebird; Mountain Bluebird; Townsend’s Solitaire; Veery; Swainson’s Thrush; Hermit Thrush; American Robin; Varied Thrush; Gray Catbird; Sage Thrasher; European Starling; Cedar Waxwing; House Sparrow; Evening Grosbeak; House Finch; Cassin’s Finch; Red Crossbill; Pine Siskin; American Goldfinch; Spotted Towhee; Chipping Sparrow; Clay-colored Sparrow; Brewer’s Sparrow; Vesper Sparrow; Lark Sparrow; Savannah Sparrow; Song Sparrow; Lincoln’s Sparrow; Dark-eyed Junco; Yellow-breasted Chat; Yellow-headed Blackbird; Western Meadowlark; Bullock’s Oriole; Red-winged Blackbird; Brown-headed Cowbird; Brewer’s Blackbird; Northern Waterthrush; Orange-crowned Warbler; Nashville Warbler; MacGillivray’s Warbler; Common Yellowthroat; Yellow Warbler; Yellow-rumped Warbler; Townsend’s Warbler; Wilson’s Warbler; Western Tanager; Black-headed Grosbeak; Lazuli Bunting.