birding the S. Okanagan on May 27

Chris Charlesworth c_charlesworth23 at
Thu May 27 19:13:14 PDT 2004


After finding some good birds, and all Tim's target birds, in the Central
and North Okanagan, we decided to spend a morning in the South Okanagan. We
left Kelowna at 5 AM and started off at our first birding location, White
Lake, at about 6:30. White Lake, asides from the usual orchestra of Brewer's
Sparrows, Western Meadowlarks and both bluebirds was fairly quiet.

>From White Lake we continued down Green Lake Road to OK Falls where we

quickly found an American Dipper at the nest. The Vaseux Cliffs were very
productive. Both Canyon and Rock wrens sang loudly from the cliff face and
we were able to get 2 Rock Wrens in the scope. On the very top of the cliff
a Chukar was enjoying the view over the lake as we enjoyed him in the scope.
On the lake was Wood Duck, Ring-necked Duck, Redhead and Gadwall. We then
birded the riparian woods along River Road where there were at least 4
singing male Yellow-breasted Chats. We caught a glimpse of two as they
chased each other across the road. At least 3 male Black-chinned
Hummingbirds, the most I've seen at this location, perched on the telephone
wires alongside the road. The woods echoed with the songs of Black-headed
Grosbeaks, Gray Catbirds, Yellow Warblers, Wilson's Warblers and Spotted
Towhees. Overhead were calling White-throated Swifts.

Road 22 was alive with birds and we enjoyed numbers of Bobolinks, Virginia
Rails, Soras, Northern Waterthrushes, several Least Flycatchers, a Willow
Flycatcher, Say's Phoebe, Eastern Kingbird, male and female Northern
Harrier, many Ospreys and a singing Lark Sparrow. At the N. end of the lake
were 2 lingering imm. Bonaparte's Gulls.

The final birding of the day was done along the Venner Meadows Road. At km
15 we found the male Black-backed Woodpecker at the nest. Two Barred Owls
answered my calls and came in to investigate. A Brown Creeper called from
the larches nearby while Clark's Nutcrackers and Williamson's Sapsuckers
called in response to the racket the Barred Owls were producing. A fine
ending to an excellent tour of the valley.

Tim and I finished our 2.5 days of birding with 160 species. Tim's view of
the valley was similar to those of others who have visited. He called the
valley "the hidden treasure of North America" both for birding and just
plain living. I'd have to agree.

Chris Charlesworth
Avocet Tours
725 Richards Road
Kelowna, BC
V1X 2X5
(250) 718-0335
c_charlesworth at

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