Well i tried writing a blog post about my last bird adventure in May before leaving to California but for whatever reason I just didn't have the inspiration, maybe because so much time lapsed, also California has a lot of Wine, and Wine tasting...
Anyways I will just do a quick update on whats happened on my Big Year since last I posted.
I started out going to Salmon Arm for Clark's Grebe. This is the only location where you can regularly see them in B.C. I was lucky enough to meet another birder already scoping out the Western Grebes.
|Western Grebe-Salmon Arm|
I hit up Robert's lake in a vain attempt to see a Black-necked Stilt or other rare shorebird, but it was pretty quiet, there were some Avocets sitting on nests, which is always fantastic to witness.
Spent a while at Kalamalka Lake, one of my favourite places in the North Okanagan. Bird life was limited due to the heat, I did get a nice Lazuli Bunting, but the highlights were photographing the lovely Yellow-bellied Marmots.
|California Quail-Kalamalka Lake|
|Singing Yellow-breasted Chat|
|Calliope flight display at dusk-Max Lake|
It seemed as though not even Russells inspired mimic calls would not even get one to pipe up. While we turned to walk back down to our cars a birder stopped and shouted Flammulated! We all stood around with our ear's pricked up..and finally a hooting flammy was heard way up on a rocky hillside. Amazing!
I thanked the birders and headed down to White Lake/Fairview road in hopes of lucking out on a Western Screech Owl. Although I never heard one, I ended up seeing 3 Great Horned Owls pearched on powerlines along Fairview Road. I heard another one by Willowbrook, as well as hearing another Flammulated Owl! Easily the best night of Owling I've had.
Sunday Morning I hit up the South Grasslands in hopes of Grasshopper Sparrow or an early Sage Thrasher. I checked out Nighthawk Road and the Spotted Lakes area. There were 3 Avocets at Spotted Lakes, a new location for me. I checked out Blue/Kipoola lake and though I didn't find the target birds I did managed to come accross this lovely little fawn hiding in the grass.
|Spot the Fawn|
|Literal definition of Fawning|
It was another amazing encounter with nature, of which I have already had so many this year.
I finished off checking out the benchlands of Osoyoos, nothing too exciting but was able to get some good looks at Western Kingbirds and Bullock's Oriole.
The next morning I drove that terribly rough Channel Road, and I thought about how I never wanted to drive this road again this summer. It had been the 5th time I had done this already this year. When I got to Duck Lake, I scanned the marsh, and the lake, but there was nothing. I felt that old impending failure filling up in my lungs, but then heard a :"Kreeer" over my head, I looked up..and there they were 5 Forster's terns careening through the air, they followed a path that took them over the lake and to the other side. Success!
I spent the rest of the morning around West Creston Road where I managed to get my first Red Eyed Vireo of the year, as well as this lovely American Redstart.
-Ryan Edward Johnston