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Pacific Northwest Trip: Okanogan with Stefan Schlick

On this unique trip, we will look for butterflies, dragonflies and wildflowers en route and, of course, birds. There are many specialties in the area such as Least Flycatcher, Clay-colored Sparrow, American Redstart and Northern Waterthrush. Other trip targets include Bobolink, Veery, Black Swift, Dusky and Spruce Grouse, Common Poorwill, Tricolored Blackbird, woodpeckers, and many more.

En route from Portland to Ellensburg, we will make stops at Brooks Memorial State Park near Satus Pass (MacGillivray’s Warbler and Veery are possible) and Toppenish National Wildlife Refuge (Yellow-headed Blackbird). The Forest Discovery Trail on Blewett Pass will be a special treat in the morning. Dusky Flycatcher, Nashville Warbler and Black-backed Woodpecker are possible. We then drive north along the scenic Columbia River, checking out Chelan Falls for White-throated Swift and the Cassimer Bar in Bridgeport.

In the higher elevations, we will search for Boreal Chickadee and American Three-toed Woodpecker. We will also visit Long Swamp, a good area to look for Moose, but Lincoln’s Sparrow is a more realistic target. Near Loomis, a colony of Lewis’s Woodpeckers will be a special treat. The rest of the day we will spend in the Sinlahekin Valley, an area with several smaller lakes which will have many breeding lowland birds including Red-eyed Vireo, Bullock’s Oriole, Gray Catbird and Yellow-breasted Chat.

The early morning hours we will spend in and around Nespelem looking for Northern Waterthrush and American Redstart. Later in the day we’ll target high-elevation species such as Spruce Grouse, Three-toed Woodpecker and Boreal Chickadee. We will need luck to see these three.

Okanogan Highlands will be the highlight of the trip for its serene beauty. Possibilities are Least Flycatcher, Clay-colored Sparrow and Bobolink. A few smaller lakes typically host a slew of waterfowl including both goldeneyes and maybe Black Tern. The coniferous portions of the Highlands may host Three-toed woodpeckers and Williamson’s Sapsucker.

On our second to last day, we will make an excursion to the Methow Valley where we will focus on Dusky Grouse and Black Swift. We will be at lower elevation sites in the morning and then head up Hart’s Pass. Slate Peak is the highest elevation road in Washington and the area is very scenic. While a lot of the montane species could show up at this elevation, birds have been slow in recent years.

On our drive home, we will make some stops on the way taking the scenic route through the Lower Grand Coulee. We will stop at Dry Falls, one of the geological marvels of the state. At Soap Lake, we will look for the Eared Grebes and in Othello we will try to add Tricolored Blackbird to our list.

*This is a self-catered tour. Lodging (book ahead of time), meals, transportation, and park entrance fees are your responsibility. Stefan will send out details about where the group will meet-up, and then guide you through the wonders of birding in the Okanogan. 

Register today to travel with us to the Okanogan!

Escape the lingering pandemic and join Okanogan birding expert Stefan Schlick on this unique tour to the Okanogan. Stefan has done countless trips to the area and knows all the right spots. With its diverse habitats, it is the area in Washington State with the highest number of breeding bird species. The scenery is fabulous, even after last year’s wildfires. Boreal forest, pinelands, riparian, lush meadows, lakes and rivers, sagebrush steppe, the Okanogan has got it all! You will never forget this trip!

Register

Trip Details

  • Trip Leader: Stefan Schlick
  • Fee: $800 members / $1,050 non-members
  • When: June 14 – June 20
  • Group size: Limited to 10 participants
  • What is included: the services of your experienced Portland Audubon leader. *This is a self-guided tour. Lodging, meals, transportation, and park entrance fees are your responsibility.

Mandatory COVID guidelines: 

  • Stay home if you or a member in your household have any symptoms, or if you have been in contact with anyone with these symptoms:
    • Fever or chills
    • Cough
    • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
    • Fatigue
    • Muscle or body aches
    • Headache
    • New loss of taste or smell
    • Sore throat
    • Congestion or runny nose
    • Nausea or vomiting
    • Diarrhea
  • Everyone drive on their own, with members of their household
  • Everybody must wear a face covering at all times
  • Everybody remain at least 6 feet apart at all times
  • No more than 10 people, plus the instructor
  • Only go to locations with plenty of room to stay safe:
    • Wide, open spaces are best
    • No crowded trails – limit to early morning walks and/or weekdays
    • Prioritize trails that are one-directional
    • Prioritize locations with trails at least 6-feet wide

 

Okanogan Itinerary

Details

Start:
June 14
End:
June 20
Event Categories:
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Organizer

Tara Lemezis
Phone:
971-222-6131
Email:
tlemezis@audubonportland.org