Trip Report – Multiple visits
This is the summary of a guided trip that we have done many times with groups over the years.
We meet in Princeton, BC at 11.30 am. and drive through the town on our way to Separation Lakes.
We will visit some local feeders to get great views of Evening Grosbeak, White-breasted Nuthatch, Pileated Woodpecker, Western Tanager, several species of humming bird and many more.
From there, due to special permission we will access the private lands of Separation Lakes. En route we will see Western and Mountain Bluebirds, Western Meadowlark, various warblers, ducks and raptors. At Separation Lakes there are many more duck, shorebirds, Wilson’s Phalarope, Black Tern and many grassland sparrow species.
After several hours of birding and a picnic by the lake, we visit a private home with dozens of humming bird feeders for Calliope, Black-chinned and Rufous Hummingbirds. Continuing towards Osoyoos, we will stop for our first wine tasting at the Seven Stones Winery.
Arriving late afternoon in Osoyoos, we head for our hotel and spend a little time with a slide show on the birds we have seen today and some we hope to see tomorrow.
We start our day early, leaving the hotel around 5.45. With coffee onboard we head to Road 22 – the first birding hotspot.
As soon as we pull onto this road the birding heats up. Yellow-headed, Red winged & Brewer’s Blackbirds abound in the marsh, swallows, Common Yellowthroat, Virginia Rail and Sora are also among the reeds. Common Snipe sit on the fence posts along the road and Osprey nest on the platforms nearby.
Working our way down the road we get to a dyke where will have breakfast, before walking that area for warblers, terns, orioles, Gray Catbirds, Lark Sparrow, Say’s Phoebe, Bobolink and the red-listed Yellow-breasted Chat.
Then up to the Throne – an amazing rock outcrop overlooking Osoyoos Lake – for a hike under the cliffs where we will see, Canyon Wren, Rock Wren, Lazuli Bunting, Eastern Kingbird, Western Kingbird, Lewis’s Woodpecker, White-throated Swift and Prairie Falcon.
After a picnic lunch on the hillside over looking the Burrowing Owl Winery and the whole valley below, we will drive up to Okanagan Falls. Following the road up past See Ya Later vineyard, we will stop on along the way for many woodland species.
On our way back we will stop at 3 or 4 wineries, Desert Hills, Burrowing Owl, Inniskillin and Black Hills (or any others) for some more wine tasting.
If we are lucky, in the evening there will be an outdoor concert scheduled at one of the wineries for us to enjoy. If not, we may return to the campground at Okanagan falls for Common Nighthawk.
Another early start at 5.45 as we drive to Oliver and turn onto McKinney Road. First stop comes immediately at a Bank Swallow colony where there is also a chance for Grey Partridge and Western Screech Owls.
Then we wind our way along McKinney Road stopping for a picnic breakfast at a spot where Long-billed Curlew breed, along with Vesper, White-crowned, and Brewer’s and Lark Sparrows in a wonderful area of sagebrush flats.
This road continues all the way to the Mt Baldy ski area – there are numerous points to stop along the way for woodpeckers, Williamson’s Sapsucker, warblers and hummingbirds. This is the only spot in Canada to see Gray Flycatcher.
Near the summit we will have a picnic lunch before descending the far side, watching all the way for bears and moose.
As we drive back down into Osoyoos, stopping for some spectacular views and a visit to another local winery we will take the opportunity for some gulling en route.
For those feeling wealthy, we recommend the Burrowing Owl Restaurant for dinner tonight – which has one of the most spectacular settings for dinner we have ever experienced.
This morning we start slowly working our way back to Vancouver.
Starting with breakfast at a stunning, secluded lake, Turtle Lake on the road to Kilpoola Lake we will look for Nashville Warbler, Townsend’s Solitaire, Swainson’s Thrush, Marsh Wren and more.
Then a stop further on at Nighthawk Road, should provide Brewer’s Sparrow, Clay-colored Sparrow and possibly Grasshopper Sparrow and Sage Thrasher which breed in the vicinity.
We will complete our trip in Manning Park with a stop at Beaver Lake for some more warblers, sapsuckers and, if we are lucky, American Three-toed Woodpecker. Then our final picnic lunch behind Manning Park Lodge for a final few species.
Estimate arrival back in Vancouver is 4 pm.
All in all, we should experience well over 100 species and our record is 130 species – with many of them being specific to the dry, chaparral habitat only found in this region of BC.
There are plenty of hotels in the Osoyoos area but we have found the following two to be fine for a short birding trip:
Guides & Resources
We personally guide this trip and have done so for many years.