At 6:30 AM, I met Trevor, from the U.K. at the Air BnB he was staying at in Lake Country. We headed directly for Beaver Lake Road where we would spend the majority of our morning. Though we had planned to spend a full day out in the field, forecast temperatures for today were to reach 40 degrees Celsius, so we decided to do just a half day instead. Some of the first birds we found along lower Beaver Lake Road included comical California Quail, as well as Lazuli Buntings, Vesper Sparrows, Western
Meadowlarks, Say’s Phoebe, and both Western and Eastern kingbirds. A distant hummingbird feeder produced our only Calliope Hummingbird for the morning, and we also had good looks at a Black-chinned Hummingbird this morning. In one particular patch of scrubby deciduous habitat we encountered a nice number of birds including Willow Flycatcher, Hammond’s Flycatcher, Swainson’s Thrush, Spotted Towhee, Gray Catbird, Downy Woodpecker, House Wren, Western Tanager, Bullock’s Oriole, Warbling Vireo and a nice Northern Waterthrush. The grassland areas also produced nice views of American Kestrel, as well as Turkey Vulture, Bald Eagle, and Red-tailed Hawk. A mixed flock of blackbirds we found included Brewer’s and Red-winged blackbirds as well as a quite a few juvenile Brown-headed Cowbirds. After a little bit of searching we found a pair of Western Bluebirds that were feeding a late brood in the boxes along the fence line. Nearby was a spotted juvenile Western Bluebird, perhaps from the same pair’s previous brood.
Once we entered the mixed forests of upper Beaver Lake Road, we began to encounter birds of a different type. At most stops were Mountain Chickadees, Red-breasted Nuthatches, Yellow-rumped Warblers and Pine Siskins. Warblers were present in nice
numbers and we saw Nashville, Orange-crowned and Townsend’s warblers, as well as Cassin’s Vireos, Cassin’s Finch and a fly-over Evening Grosbeak. Varied Thrush was heard, but remained hidden, while we had views of both Ruby-crowned and Golden-crowned kinglets together in the same pine tree. Amongst all the Red-breasted Nuthatches, I was somewhat surprised to see two White-breasted Nuthatches this morning. Five Red-naped Sapsuckers were also nice to see, all together in one aspen snag. One was an adult and the rest of them appeared to be juveniles. Both Steller’s Jays and Gray Jays were found near Beaver Lake Lodge, and we also saw Common Loons and Osprey at the lake.
To finish off our half day, we headed for Kelowna’s Robert Lake. Birding, as usual was excellent here and we tallied 40 species at this location. Shorebirds included Red-necked Phalarope, Greater and Lesser yellowlegs, Least Sandpiper and Spotted Sandpiper.
Waterfowl were abundant with highlights including Cinnamon and Blue-winged teal, Northern Shoveler, hundreds of Ruddy Ducks, Ring-necked Duck, Bufflehead, Redhead and more. There were Pied-billed and Eared grebes, and a good number of Ring-billed and California gulls here today. We had nice views of Sora in the Marsh, and though I had a couple of views of Virginia Rail, Trevor had to settle just for hearing them. Yellow-headed Blackbirds were common, along with Red-winged Blackbirds, Brewer’s Blackbirds and loads of European Starlings. As we drove back towards Lake Country, Trevor spotted a Swainson’s Hawk soaring to the east of Glenmore Road. At the end of the ‘morning’ we had seen over a hundred species, including 37 new ones for Trevor!