Day 1 - Tour begins this afternoon in Kelowna. Before dinner we can check a couple of Western Screech-Owl roosts. Night in Kelowna.
Day 2 - An early start will take us up Beaver Lake Road, through grasslands where Lazuli Buntings, Lark Sparrow, Western and Mountain bluebirds, Say's Phoebe, Western Meadowlark and more can be found. Raptors like Golden Eagle and Swainson's Hawk are often encountered over the grasslands, and once we're in the woods, we can keep an eye open for Northern Goshawk. As we climb higher into forested areas, we will search for woodpeckers, including Pileated, Hairy, and American Three-toed, as well as Red-naped Sapsucker. Ruffed Grouse are often encountered as we traverse these mountain roads. Northern Pygmy-Owl will be encountered, with any luck, this morning. As we reach the higher elevation boreal forest, we will begin to search for the sought-after Boreal Chickadee, and perhaps we'll stumble upon a Spruce Grouse. Canada Jays are found here, alongside BC's official provincial bird, the Steller's Jay.
We'll make an afternoon visit to Robert Lake, to pick up species such as Wilson's Phalarope, Black-necked Stilt, Eared Grebe, Ruddy Duck, Yellow-headed Blackbird and much more.
This evening, we will visit an area excellent for finding several nocturnal species including Flammulated and Western Screech-owls, and Common Poorwill. Night in Kelowna.
Day 3 - In an effort to find more boreal forest species, we will travel east from Kelowna, along Hwy 33. We will cruise through an area where Great Gray Owls are known to hunt, first thing. Next, we will explore other forest roads where we may find species like Chestnut-backed Chickadee, Ruffed Grouse, Black-backed Woodpecker, Northern Pygmy-Owl, Evening Grosbeak, and Red Crossbill, amongst others. American Dippers can often be found along the streams in this area.
As we near the ski hill of Big White, we can explore some side roads, excellent for Boreal Chickadee, Spruce Grouse and perhaps White-winged Crossbill and Pine Grosbeak, if they are in the area. Olive-sided Flycatchers sing from treetops here, and Northern Waterthrushes creep around the edges of puddles.
This evening we will visit some high elevation forest at dusk, where if luck is on our side, we could see a Great Gray Owl. The area has also hosted Boreal Owls, though they are not easy to find. Night in Kelowna.
Day 4 - We'll head south this morning, across the Bennett Bridge, stopping in at Rose Valley for a short walk through a strip of riparian habitat excellent for birds like Gray Catbird, Veery, Spotted Towhee, Calliope Hummingbird, Pygmy Nuthatch, Nashville Warbler, Dusky and Hammond's flycatcher, Black-headed Grosbeaks and more.
At White Lake, we will look for sagebrush birds like Brewer's, Clay-colored, and the rather rare Grasshopper Sparrow. Sage Thrasher may be seen here with luck, as well as Gray Partridge. Western and Mountain bluebirds are often perched next to their nest boxes on fences. The bluebirds have to share their perches with other open country birds like Eastern and Western kingbirds, Western Meadowlark and Say's Phoebe.
In Okanagan Falls area we will search cliffs for rock-loving birds like Canyon and Rock wrens and White-throated Swifts as well as mammals such as Yellow-bellied Marmot and California Bighorn Sheep. Lewis's Woodpeckers are also summer residents of the open, rocky habitats of this region.
After checking into our hotel in Oliver, we can relax a bit before dinner. After dinner, those that want to go out and do a little more owling are welcome to. Riparian habitat along the oxbows at the north end of Osoyoos Lake is home to the Northern Saw-whet Owl, and we have a good chance of seeing or hearing a Great Horned Owl as well. Though rare, the open grassy fields here do sometimes produce sightings of Barn Owl. Night in Oliver.
Day 5 - The final day of the tour, we will begin with a visit to forests east of Oliver, where woodpeckers may be found in a burn. The area is also good for Clark's Nutcracker, White-breasted Nuthatches, Black-chinned Hummingbird, Townsend's Solitaires, Cassin's Finch, Cassin's Vireo, and Gray Flycatcher.
The Road 22 area is excellent for riparian birds, and we hope to find Bullock's Oriole, Yellow-breasted Chat, House Wren, Western Wood-Pewee, Least Flycatcher, and Downy Woodpecker, to name a few. Hay fields here are home to the largest colony of nesting Bobolinks in the province. A walk through the sagebrush to cliffs near Osoyoos Lake may yield nesting Peregrine Falcons, as well as Canyon and Rock wrens, White-throated Swifts and perhaps Chukar.
To finish off our tour, we will head up a forest service road near Okanagan Falls in hopes of finding another rare and rather beautiful woodpecker, the Williamson's Sapsucker. We will return to Kelowna in the late afternoon where the tour will conclude.