Day 1 - We will spend today exploring the Central Okanagan Valley, in and around the city of Kelowna. This area is fantastic for birds, and we may explore forested areas east of town where species such as Chestnut-backed and Boreal chickadees, Canada and Steller's jays, Brown Creepers, Northern Pygmy-Owls, and a variety of woodpeckers can be found. With a little luck, we might find a Black-backed Woodpecker, or an American Three-toed Woodpecker today.
We will also check for roosting Western Screech-Owls today. In the process, we will explore riparian habitats, home to Veery, Pacific-slope Flycatcher, Nashville Warbler, Rufous Hummingbird and Western Tanager. A visit to Robert Lake should yield a variety of waterfowl and some shorebirds such as Spotted Sandpiper, American Avocet, Wilson's Phalarope and perhaps a Black-necked Stilt.
This evening, we have the option to do some owling, and perhaps we'll search for Flammulated Owl and Common Poorwill.
Day 2 - Our second day will take us into the southern Okanagan Valley. We will begin at Hardy Falls in Peachland, where a stroll up the creek should yield an American Dipper. Other species found at Hardy Falls include Red-eyed Vireo, Western Wood-Pewee, Spotted Towhee and Pygmy Nuthatch. We will then carry on south to White Lake, where we will look for species that inhabit the sagebrush environment. Some of these birds include Mountain and Western bluebirds, Brewer's, Clay-colored, Vesper and Lark sparrows, Western Meadowlarks, Western and Eastern kingbirds, Lazuli Bunting and with some luck, a Sage Thrasher. Passing by Mahoney Lake, we will try for Gray Flycatcher, White-breasted Nuthatch and other birds in the pine forest. On our way past Okanagan Falls, we will pause to look for an American Dipper.
A visit to the cliffs near Vaseux Lake should produce both Canyon and Rock wrens, as well as White-throated Swifts, Lewis's Woodpecker, Say's Phoebe and with any luck, Chukar. At Inkaneep Provincial Park, we can try and find some elusive riparian inhabitants such as Yellow-breasted Chat, Gray Catbird, and Bewick's Wren. Night in Penticton.
Day 3 - This morning we will head into the upper elevation forests east of Okanagan Falls. In forests of Western Larch we will look for the attractive Williamson's Sapsucker. This area is also good for North America's largest living species of woodpecker, the Pileated Woodpecker. Small songbirds like Ruby-crowned and Golden-crowned kinglets, Mountain Chickadees, Red-breasted Nuthatches, Warbling Vireos, Townsend's Warblers and Hermit Thrush can also be found here. At some wet meadows we will look for species like Northern Waterthrush, Wilson's Warbler, MacGillivray's Warbler, Lincoln's and White-crowned sparrows, Willow Flycatcher and more. Heading higher up into the forest we will have a chance at some difficult to find birds like Boreal Chickadee, White-winged Crossbill, Pine Grosbeak, Spruce Grouse and Fox Sparrow.
As we continue south, we will stop along River Road to look for Black-chinned Hummingbird, Downy Woodpecker, and Black-headed Grosbeak, amongst other species. We can then explore the Richter Pass, west of Osoyoos. Here, we will look for the rare Lesser Goldfinch, as well as other finch species like Cassin's Finch, Red Crossbill and Pine Siskin. The area is also good for birds like Western Bluebird, Chipping Sparrow, Say's Phoebe and House Wren. We will have a look for more sagebrush species at the border crossing at Nighthawk. This area is excellent for grassland sparrows such as Brewer's, Vesper, Clay-colored, Grasshopper and Lark. Sage Thrasher is sometimes possible here as well, and Gray Partridge make appearances from time to time.
In the late afternoon we will visit Road 22. This area can be alive with activity during early June. Hayfields will have attractive Bobolinks singing and doing their flight displays low over the waving grass. Northern Harriers course low over the reeds, while Marsh Wrens chatter away heartily. From the riparian woodlands along the Okanagan River, we will look for Bullock's Oriole, Least Flycatcher, Yellow-breasted Chat, and Black-headed Grosbeaks. Ospreys seem to be everywhere at the north end of Osoyoos Lake. Night in Penticton.
Day 4 - We will leave today with an open itinerary, in case we want to return to previous locations for a second time. Perhaps we will want a return visit to White Lake, or maybe to Road 22. Perhaps we would like to take a stroll through Ponderosa Pine habitat where White-headed Woodpeckers are rumored to be, or perhaps we need to revist some cliffs where Canyon Wrens, Chukar and Peregrine Falcons can be found. Another option for this afternoon is to head up to Anarchist Mountain and the grasslands near Bridesville to look for Swainson's Hawk. We will return to Kelowna in the later afternoon, where our tour will conclude.