Subject: Ok Valley birding - June 22 (good owls)
Date: Jun 23 00:27:02 2003
From: Chris Charlesworth - c_charlesworth23 at


This morning I led a field trip for the Allan Brooks Nature Centre in
Vernon. We birded the grasslands and pond habitats of the Vernon Commonage.
Our trip total was nearly 70 species, with a few highlights listed below:

Turkey Vulture - many flying low over grasslands
Hooded Merganser - 1 on Bailey Pond
Osprey - 2 at Rose's Pond
Swainson's Hawk - 2 soaring overhead in wind along Bailey Rd
Virginia Rail - 1 called at Rose's Pond
White-throated Swift - 1 flying over Bailey Road
Common Nighthawk - 1
Red-naped Sapsucker - 4 in family group
Hairy Woodpecker - nest
Northern Flicker - nest
Willow Flycatcher - numerous birds gave nice looks
Say's Phoebe - 1 at Allan Brooks Nature Centre
Western Kingbird - nest
Tree Swallow - many nests
White-breasted Nuthatch - 2
Mountain Bluebird - 2 at nest
Western Bluebird - 1 male
Clay-colored Sparrow - 4 singing at Bench Row and Commonage Rd
Lazuli Bunting - 2 singing males

In the evening I joined a couple birding friends for Europe, Arnoud
Vandenberg (Holland) and David Cottridge (UK) and their group for dinner. We
then headed up Bear Lake Rd on the Westside of Kelowna for owls. We got to
the "traditional" Flammulated Owl spot and found dirt bikers, so we drove
another km up the rugged little road. The group had looks at a distant
Townsend's for most of them. I let out a Barred Owl call and
heard something that sounded like an owl calling from the valley below us.
Two birds came closer and turned out to be LONG-EARED OWLS. They sat on the
tops of the trees and called, while we watched in the scope. Chicks were
begging down the valley. A few moments later 2 BARRED OWLS started dueting
in the valley. Not more than 10 minutes later a FLAMMULATED OWL began
calling beside the van! We saw it fly across the road numerous times. Three
owl species and at least 6 individuals at one stop! Amazing. The Long-eared
was a year bird for me....Okanagan bird 229, BC bird 232 and ABA bird 350
for 2003.

Chris Charlesworth
Avocet Tours
Kelowna, BC

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