Two-Day Field Trips – 2017
Entering our seventh year of Two-day Field Trips for Members sees offerings of three more exciting to trips to various locations around the province.
How the Trips Work
BCFO two-day field trips are member-led, but participants make their own arrangements for accommodation, food, and travel.
Day 1: all-day birding and then evening get together at a restaurant to recap the day and tally species.
Day 2: morning birding, afternoon optional birding.
Carpooling is encouraged, and will be arranged on the morning of Day 1.
Register at least two weeks in advance. The leader will give specific details of when and where to meet.
Cost: Members $10 per person; non-members $40, which includes BCFO membership.
Birds of the Herring Spawn
Leader – Dave Aldcroft
Register via firstname.lastname@example.org
Poss species – rafts of sea duck including all three scoters, Greater Scaup, Long-tailed Duck. Numerous gulls with good chance of Iceland/Glaucous Gull. Good chance of rarities among the fray. The herring spawning is a great spectacle of nature!
Itinerary – Roaming between Nanoose, and Deep Bay, sites will include Rathtrevor Beach Provincial Park, Englishmen River Estuary, Parksville Bay, French Creek, and Columbia Beach.
Suggested accommodation – Sandcastle Inn, Parksville.
Update – June 07 and June 08 pre-conference trips now fully subscribed. Waitlist only.
Soda Creek – West Fraser loop
Leaders – Brian Murland & Adrian Leather (two groups)
Register via email@example.com
Poss species – Lazuli Bunting, Western Kingbird, Veery, Western Meadowlark, Long-billed Curlew, Spotted Towhee, Grey Catbird, Mourning Dove, Bullock’s Oriole, Golden Eagle, Turkey Vulture. This area hosts the most northerly nesting site for Lewis’s Woodpecker. Black-chinned Hummingbirds have been established here in very small numbers for approx ten years.
a.m. Soda Creek to Rudy Johnson Bridge. Includes a stop to observe members of Quesnel Birding Club banding hummingbirds.
Lunch – Please bring a bag lunch.
p.m. Selected stops along West Fraser Rd.
Tally-up @ Best Western Plus Tower Inn, 500 Reid St, Quesnel @ 6p.m.
Suggested accommodation – Best Western Plus Tower Inn, Quesnel.
Info via http://www.bwtowerinn.ca
Tel # 250-992-2201
Travelodge, and Ramada are in close proximity.
Wells – Bowron – Barkerville
Leaders – Adrian Leather & Brian Murland (two groups)
Register via firstname.lastname@example.org
Poss species – Tennessee Warbler, Townsend’s Warbler, Blackpoll Warbler, Three-toed Woodpecker, Boreal Chickadee, Fox Sparrow, American Redstart, Northern Waterthrush, Cliff Swallow, American Dipper.
a.m. Hwy 26 to Wells including stops in the Stanley area.
Lunch – @ Big H’s Halibut n’ Chips in Wells
p.m. The Meadows (the bog) in Wells, and Bowron River bridge @ Bowron Lakes. Optional visit to Barkerville Historic Site.
Suggested accommodation – Best Western Plus Tower Inn, Quesnel.
Travelodge, and Ramada are nearby.
Two-Day Field Trips – 2016
Year six of offering Two-day Field Trips for Members sees three more exciting to trips to various locations around the province.
Clinton & Ashcroft
May 14–15, 2016 with an extension trip on May 16 morning.
Brian Murland, Quesnel 250-747-1802 murlandsATmsn.com
Adrian Leather, Quesnel 250-249-5561 qabis4ATgmail.com
Adrian Leather – as above.
Nights of May 13–14: Cariboo Lodge, Clinton. 250-459-7992. Special BCFO rate based on two nights: single occupancy $76 per night + tax; double occupancy $85 per night + tax. (Cariboo Lodge has a pub and restaurant.)
Nights of May 13–14: Nomad Motel, Clinton 250-459-2214, Round-Up Motel, Clinton 250-459-2226, Clinton Pines Campground, 250-459-0030.
Night of May 15: Sandman Inn, Cache Creek 250-457-6284, Bonaparte Motel, Cache Creek 250-457-9693, Brookside Campsite, Cache Creek 250-457-6633.
Bag breakfasts and lunches on Saturday via Cariboo Lodge.
Bag breakfast on Sunday via Cari-boo Lodge.
Sunday lunch at Horstings Farm, Cache Creek 250-457-6546.
Sunday dinner at Heartland Restaurant (Sandman Inn) Cache Creek 250-457-9330.
Oregon Jack extension on Monday breakfast 6:00 AM at Husky House Restaurant, Cache Creek 250-457-9312.
Saturday, May 14: Clinton Sewage Ponds; Big Bar Lake – Jesmond Loop, including Echo Valley and Hidden Valley. Tally-up at Cariboo Lodge, Clinton.
Sunday, May 15 morning: Kelly Lake – Pavilion; Horstings Farm (lunch).
Sunday, May 15 afternoon: Venables Valley; The Slough.
Monday, May 16 morning: extension trip to Oregon Jack Loop.
Clark’s Nutcracker, Lewis’s Woodpecker, Western Kingbird, Lazuli Bunting, Chukar, Say’s Phoebe, White-throated Swift.
May 26–27, 2016
Gary Davidson, Nakusp, 250-265-4456 gsd37ATyahoo.ca
Adrian Leather – as above
Nights of May 25–26. Downtowner Motor Inn, 1218 Canyon St, Creston, 800-665-9904 or 250-428-2238. BCFO rates based on two nights, single occu-pancy $70 per night + tax, double occu-pancy $80 per night + tax, suite which sleeps four (includes kitchen), $120 per night + tax.
Creston Valley Motel, 1809 Canyon St, 250-428-9823; Creston Hotel & Suites, 1418 Canyon St, 250-428-2225; Pair-a-Dice RV & Campground, 1322 North-west Blvd (Hwy3) 250-428-2347.
Bag breakfasts and lunches via A Break In Time, 1417 Canyon St, Creston, 250-428-5619.
Thursday, May 26: Meet at Downtowner Motor Inn 6 AM; Leach Lake; Duck Lake; Hwy 21S and Kootenay River Road. Tally-Up at Creston Hotel, 1418 Canyon St, 250-428-2225.
Friday, May 27: Meet at Downtowner Motor Inn 6 AM; Balancing Rock Trail; Nature Centre board-walk trails; West Creston Loop and Reclamation Road. Birding continues until to 2 PM when participants can proceed to the Cranbrook 2016 Conference and AGM.
Bobolink, Wild Turkey, Forster’s Tern, American White Pelican, Double-crested Cormorant, American Bittern, waterfowl.
Leader: Brian Self, Delta, 604-943-9378, brianselfATeastlink.ca
Registration/Admin: Adrian Leather, Quesnel, 250-249-5561, email@example.com
Accommodation: Beach Grove Motel, Tsawwassen – 5921 12 Ave Delta, 604-943-2632 $125.35 per night incl.tax.
Other Accommodation: Coast Inn, Tsawwassen – 1665 56 St, Delta, 604-943-8221
Delta Town & Country Inn, Ladner – 6005 Hwy.17.A. Delta, 604-946-4404
Itinerary: Saturday a.m., Ladner Harbour Park, Reifel Bird Sanctuary – Westham Island
Saturday p.m., Boundary Bay
Tally-up @ Skyhawk Restaurant, Boundary Bay Airport – Unit 102-7800 Alpha Way, Ladner, 778-434-1238
Sunday a.m., Tsawwassen Jetty. Sunday p.m. , Boundary Bay
Previously posted materials
Two-Day Field Trips – 2015
Now into our fifth year, we’re again offering three trips for 2015. These member-led, low-cost trips will visit: Cache Creek/Spences Bridge, May 16th and 17th; Kelowna/Okanagan Moutain Park (Pre-AGM) May 28th and 29th; and East Sooke Hawkwatch, September 26th and 27th.
The overview of all three trips is found below, and below the overview you will find more detailed descriptions of the Kelowna and East Sooke trips. Because of the somewhat exploratory nature of the Cache Creek trip we have not developed a detailed outline.
To download a copy of the above page click here.
Two-Day Field Trips – 2014
Now into our fourth year, these member-led, multi-season, low-cost trips for members, visit three locations in 2014: Creston Valley, May 31st to June 1st; Lillooet, June 12-13 (now full); and Salmon Arm, August 30 to 31. Should we get a fourth trip set up for 2014, an announcement will be made on this website.
For a full description of the 2014 offerings click here.
Two-Day Field Trips – 2013
Now starting its third year, this very successful BCFO program has four more outstanding trips for members this year. Click here for full details and join in for some excellent birding to stunning areas around the Province.
Two-Day Field Trip Report
April 7-8, 2012
A small but keen group signed up for BCFO’s first two-day field trip of 2012: Doug and Gala Sly from Nelson, Bev Gaal and Holley Rubinsky from Kaslo, and June Ryder and Mike Church from Vancouver. I met the gang at my house in Penticton at 7 a.m., happy to see that a lovely day was in store for us – a rarity during this cold, blustery spring. We decided to head directly to Vaseux Lake, hoping to hear Chukar cackling from the cliffs. We were greeted by the cascading song of a Canyon Wren, and eventually got superb views of this handsome bird, but the Chukar were silent. A Say’s Phoebe sang near the base of the cliffs and a few Violet-green Swallows chirped overhead, but it was apparently too chilly for White-throated Swifts to be out and about.
Out on the lake was a huge flock of coots mixed in with American Wigeon, Redhead, Greater Scaup, Canvasback, Ring-necked Duck and other waterfowl. Happy with that start, we continued south through Oliver, then drove along the river dykes toward Road 22. We hiked into The Juniper, famous for its roosting owls, hoping to see the Long-eared Owl that was there a couple of weeks ago. Instead we flushed a Barn Owl — a very good species for the Okanagan and another of the Juniper’s regular visitors. Farther south we checked a Long-eared Owl nest; the female was sitting so tightly we could only see her “ear” tufts, but they were definitely long enough to clinch identification.
Dick and the gang search for Bewick’s Wren.
A Bewick’s Wren sang nearby, another good bird for the Okanagan, but one that is becoming increasingly widespread in valley bottom thickets. By now it was almost lunch time, so we drove up to the top of Meadowlark Lane and ate our sandwiches below The Throne. A Western Bluebird flew from post to post in the vineyard, joined by a silent — obviously migrating — Vesper Sparrow, my first of the year. After lunch we drove through Osoyoos and up Anarchist Mountain to the east, one of the traditional spots for Williamson’s Sapsucker in the Okanagan. We weren’t disappointed; the male was drumming and calling as we opened the car doors. As we worked around to get a good look at him, a series of deep hoots came out of the forest to the east. Great Gray? We eventually heard the owl four more times, each one a classic Great Gray hoot series, but the bird went silent as we hiked towards it. Frustrating but fascinating! Driving on, we stopped at a junction where I’d seen a Hoary Redpoll a couple of weeks ago, but were quickly distracted by a wheeling flock of finches higher up the hill. We drove up to meet them, and found 200 Gray-crowned Rosy Finches swirling over a gravel quarry, the sun setting off their pinks, browns and greys to perfection.
Mountain Bluebird MH
We stopped in at one of the Regal Ridge subdivisions on the way back to Osoyoos, where the ponderosa pines were alive with Pygmy, White-breasted and Red-breasted nuthatches, and a small flock of Cassin’s Finches. Once through Osoyoos we continued west over Richter Pass. While stopping to scan the ducks on Richter Lake (mostly Ring-necked with a smattering of Redhead, scaup and goldeneye) a pair of Chukar flew by us!
After a delicious meal at Benji’s Thai Restaurant in Keremeos (who knew Keremeos had such cuisine!) we drove up to Twin Lakes and down to White Lake in the gathering dusk. A couple of late Northern Shrike were on the wires and then a Rough-legged Hawk (our second of the day). In a narrow valley south of the lake we called up a Northern Pygmy-Owl, and then heard a Western Screech-Owl respond to the whistles as well! At Mahoney Lake we stopped in the darkness to call for a Northern Saw-whet Owl, and one soon responded, serenading us with its tooting song and cat-like wails. A great end to a great day!
The next morning we started with some gull-watching on the Okanagan Lake beach, where a small mixed flock of Ring-billed, California, Herring and Glaucous-winged gulls provided a good opportunity to study this challenging group. A flock of moulting Horned Grebes was offshore and a Merlin flew overhead. At Okanagan Falls we quickly found the resident pair of American Dippers and a migrant Townsend’s Solitaire.
Determined to find White-throated Swifts, we stopped at Vaseux Lake again and soon heard them chattering overhead, offering good flight and pattern comparisons with Violet-green Swallows. A careful search through the wigeon produced a single male Eurasian Wigeon, then Rock Wren—another spring arrival—sang from the cliffs, offering brief looks.
We drove up McKinney Road east of Oliver, enjoying great views of Western Bluebirds, Mountain Bluebirds, and Red Crossbills. We walked the roads at the Mount Baldy ski village, hoping to find Boreal Chickadees and Pine Grosbeaks, but had to be satisfied with a single Gray Jay and a fly-by Northern Goshawk. On our return through the Fairview-White Lake Road, the pine forests were quiet on this warm spring afternoon, so we capped the trip off with a visit to a very urban Great Horned Owl nest in downtown Penticton.
American Dipper MH
During the two days, we recorded a total of 99 species. The complete list can be found in the Appendix to BC Birding, June 2012 on the BCFO website.
Annual BCFO Conference, (2012) Princeton, BC
Field Trips In & Around Princeton, BC
Trip One: Princeton – Summerland Road
Elevation: 650 – 1100 m; approximate distance: 45 km; mostly driving with short walks
We will drive a secondary hwy NE of Princeton through grassland and forest, past small lakes, marshes, creeks, and 3 larger lakes. Expect to find a variety of waterfowl, raptors, sparrows, swallows, thrushes, warblers, bluebirds, flycatchers, chickadees, nuthatches, woodpeckers, and more. Less likely are shorebirds, Golden Eagle, Lewis’s Woodpecker, Clark’s Nutcracker, Varied and Hermit thrushes, Black-headed Grosbeak, Wild Turkey and Red Crossbill. We may visit a hummingbird banding site (Rufous, Calliope, Black-chinned) but this is not confirmed.
Trip Two: Baldy and Iron Mountains
Elevation: 650-1000m. This trip will involve more walking than Trip 1, so bring water.
We will drive the Iron Mountain Rd, NE of Princeton, a narrow gravel road with many switchbacks before leveling out at the top in grasslands. Ephemeral ponds and/or waterholes for cattle attract many birds. Many Trip 1 species will be found here, plus Canyon and Rock wrens and there may be more accipiters. Possibilities include Horned Lark (has nested), Prairie Falcon, Common Nighthawk, Long-eared Owl (roosting in Juniper), White-throated Swift, Golden Eagle, grouse. Good views of Similkameen R. from Mt. Baldy.
Trip Three: KVR Trail along the Tulameen R. and River Rd along the Similkameen River
Elevation: 650 m. Length: up to 18 km on foot. This tends to be a very hot walk so bring water.
Access is through tunnel. The trail heads NW, past the Vermillion Cliffs (historical/geological interest).Good area for a host of passerines: lots of shrubs, grass and diverse trees. Look for a variety of sparrows, warblers, and Gray Catbird, Northern Oriole, Swainson’s Thrush, Veery, Black-headed and Evening Grosbeaks, Willow Flycatcher, Western Wood-Pewee, Osprey, Bald and Golden eagles. Possibilities: Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Least Flycatcher, Great Horned Owl. On the river: Common Merganser and Harlequin Duck are common.
Trip Four: Sewage Lagoons, August Lake, Allenby Rd, Copper Mountain Rd.
The sewage lagoons are often productive, and surrounding wet meadows attract a few shorebirds, including Solitary Sandpiper. From the golf course to August L. (hayfields on left, forest on right) look for nuthatches, woodpeckers; possible Williamson’s Sapsucker, Lewis’s Woodpecker, Band-tailed Pigeon. At August L: waterfowl, and chances for shorebirds are better than anywhere else; there are records for Barred and Great Gray owls (nesting), and Flammulated, Saw-whet and Screech owls (calling). Allenby and Copper Mtn. Rds: waterfowl, rails and many of the passerines mentioned above. (Caution: traffic on these roads can be quite busy at times.) * Information provided by Madelon Schouten, Vermillion Forks Field Naturalists. Additional information about each Field Trip will be available at the “Meet and Greet” on the Friday evening.
2-Day Field Trips for Members 2012
To see this year’s offerings, click here.
The Fraser Delta with George Clulow – Trip Report
November 12 and 13, 2011
The final Two-day Field Trip for Members in 2011
While there’s always hope for good weather when birding BC’s South Coast in November, expectations should be for rain. And for the hardy group of eight who came from as far afield as Quesnel and Victoria to bird the Coast this November, expectations were met.
We made a cracking start at Blackie Spit with good views of the expected Long-billed Curlew, and Marbled Godwits, and were treated to good numbers of ducks, grebes, loons, and other shorebirds expected for the time of year. A cooperative Cooper’s Hawk captured the group’s attention for a while. As the rain started in earnest, and we departed the spit, a somewhat late Bonaparte’s Gull provided a nice farewell.
Birding the farmland around Mud Bay we found a Rough-legged Hawk, which augured well for our raptor sightings, but only if the rain would stop! Soon after, we sighted our first Eurasian Collared-Dove – a now ubiquitous bird around Boundary Bay.
Despite our best efforts to stay vertical and view the birds on Boundary Bay at the foot of 104th St., the wind and rain rapidly drove us off the dyke. A rapid change a plans was called for to avoid the wind and rain pounding in from the South East. So we headed for Reifel and had lunch in the warming hut while we dried out a little. As it turned out Reifel was a good choice. Not only were birding conditions reasonable, but the Snow Goose flocks in the fields were spectacular, Trumpeter Swans were recently returned, and Black-crowned Night Heron was a BC tick for at least one member of the group. A Northern Saw-whet Owl was also a welcome addition to our list. Wild Sandhill Cranes (as opposed to the semi-wild resident family) graced the west field and many Northern Harriers continually quartered the saltmarsh. We finished the day with Canvasback, and the far less common on the Coast, Redhead, as our final birds of the day.
We retreated to a Greek Restaurant in Crescent Beach for dinner, libations and birding talk.
The morning of Day 2 found us at Boundary Bay again, but this time actually able to see the huge, wheeling flocks of Dunlin and get close looks at Black-bellied Plover and the massive rafts of Pintail, Wigeon, and Mallard that fill the Bay at this time of year.
Heading west we found Short-eared Owls at two locations on the Bay, The Tsawwassen Ferry Jetty was our next stop, and our targets of Willet and Snow Buntings were soon found, while sea-ducks provided some close-in looks for us.
Brunswick Point was our last stop, and for most of the group it provided the highlight bird of the whole weekend. Far out on the salt marsh, but providing pretty good scope views was a single Snowy Owl. We didn’t know it then, but this bird was one of the advance guard of the huge flight of this species we’re having this winter. What a great way to finish our weekend – Snowy Owl, ninety-two species, and it wasn’t raining!
Photographs: Leona Breckenridge and George Clulow
Species seen:Snow Goose Brant Canada Goose Mute Swan Trumpeter Swan Wood Duck Gadwall Eurasian Wigeon American Wigeon Mallard Northern Shoveler Northern Pintail Green-winged Teal Canvasback Redhead Greater Scaup Lesser Scaup Surf Scoter White-winged Scoter Bufflehead Common Goldeneye Barrow’s Goldeneye Hooded Merganser Red-breasted Merganser Ring-necked Pheasant [I] Pacific Loon Common Loon Horned Grebe Red-necked Grebe Western Grebe Double-crested Cormorant Great Blue Heron Black-crowned Night-Heron Bald Eagle Northern Harrier Sharp-shinned Hawk Cooper’s Hawk Red-tailed Hawk Rough-legged Hawk Peregrine Falcon American Coot Sandhill Crane Black-bellied Plover Killdeer Black Oystercatcher Greater Yellowlegs Willet Long-billed Curlew Marbled Godwit Dunlin Long-billed Dowitcher Wilson’s Snipe Bonaparte’s Gull Mew Gull Ring-billed Gull Glaucous-winged Gull Rock Pigeon (I) Eurasian Collared-Dove (I) Snowy Owl Short-eared Owl Northern Saw-whet Owl Belted Kingfisher Downy Woodpecker Northern Flicker Northern Shrike Northwestern Crow Common Raven Black-capped Chickadee Brown Creeper Bewick’s Wren Pacific Wren Marsh Wren Golden-crowned Kinglet Ruby-crowned Kinglet American Robin European Starling (I) Cedar Waxwing Northern Shrike Spotted Towhee Savannah Sparrow Fox Sparrow Song Sparrow Lincoln’s Sparrow Golden-crowned Sparrow White-crowned Sparrow Dark-eyed Junco Snow Bunting Red-winged Blackbird Purple Finch House Finch American Goldfinch House Sparrow [I]