Friday, July 10, 2009

Birding the Okanagan Valley, B.C. July 6-12, 2009

Flew out of Ottawa on July 6th and spent a few days birding around the Banff, Alberta area before crossing over to the mountains to the Okanagan Valley. The valley is renowned for both birding and wineries. The birding in the valley has been great with a number of the local specialties. So far the highlight has been Flammulated Owl which we observed on July 9th in the evening at Penticton . Other interesting observations have included Lazuli Bunting, Bullock's Oriole, White-throated Swift, Lewis' Woodpecker, Rock Wren, California Quail, Calliope Hummingbird, Western Bluebird, Williamson's Sapsucker and Gray Flycatcher. Mammal highlights have included Bobcat, California Bighorn Sheep, and Mule Deer. The weather has been beautiful, mainly sunny, highs of 30+c with lows at night of 12+c.

A mountain view of Lake Ososyoos, Southern Okanagan.

A group of California Bighorn Sheep grazing above Vaseux Lake.

A view west of Oliver.

One of the many vineyards in the Okanagan Valley.

An old burn site above Vaseux Lake

The Okanagan Valley is renowned for its cherries.

Desert habitat in the Osoyoos area.

The Western Kingbird is a common sight in the Valley.

A Great Horned Owl roosting during the daytime.

The Black Bear is a regular sight in the mountains.

Abundant in the Okanagan Valley, a family of California Quail are out for a leisurely stroll in a residential neighbourhood.

The Flammulated Owl is a cavity nester, but will use nesting boxes.

One of the many estate wineries in the Okanagan Valley, Burrowing Owl Winery, leads in local conservation efforts.

An adult male California Quail.

An adult Golden Eagle flying over the mountains.

The Lazuli Bunting is a common sight in the valley.

The Flammulated Owl was first recorded breeding in Canada in the Okanagan Valley.

The Lewis' Woodpecker is a regular breeder in the valley.

A White-throated Swift flying over the cliffs near Naramata.

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