(NEW) Himalayan Snowcock PLUS 2007
August 3-9, 2007
from Salt Lake City, Utah
This “new” tour is an outgrowth of a special tour we designed and have run for several years with Jaeger Tours. It combines the quest for the Himalayan Snowcock, one of the lower 48 states’ greatest birding adventures, with some of the best northern Utah birding. You’ll enjoy Nevada’s scenic Ruby Mountains and everything else that’s a part of the regular Snowcock Tour, and add the famous Bear River Bird Refuge at the height of the fall shorebird migration, the avian and wildlife riches of Deseret Ranch, the montane forests of the Uinta Mountains, the raw beauty of the Great Salt Lake, and much more. If you want to try for the snowcock, but would like to include some of the West’s best birding while you’re here, then this is the tour for you.
August 3rd After a mid-morning arrival in Salt Lake City, we make the three-hour drive to Elko, Nevada with perhaps a few short birding stops on the way. We pass through good shorebird habitat along the world-famous Bonneville Salt Flats of the south shore of the Great Salt Lake possibly picking up Baird’s Sandpiper, Snowy Plover, and other shorebirds. After we enter Nevada, we pass through some ridges covered with pinyon-juniper woodlands in the Pequop Mountains, where we'll have a chance to see Pinyon Jay, Juniper Titmouse, Gray Flycatcher and other birds of this specialized habitat. We'll have an early dinner in Elko, and do a little birding around town afterwards, looking for waders, California Quail, and western songbirds in the riparian habitat along the East Humboldt River.
August 4th Our day starts early, 3am for light snacks before we leave for Lamoille Canyon and the trailhead. From there we hike 2 miles to Island Lake, from the lake we'll head up into the cirque above the lake to look for snowcocks. We will have breakfast on the trail and spend most of the morning in the cirque, looking for snowcocks, Black Rosy-Finch and enjoying the many other birds and the spectacular scenery of this alpine area.
As the morning progresses we leave the lake, birding our way back to the trailhead (numerous good birds are possible, including Blue Grouse, hummingbirds, western empids, warblers, sparrows and finches). On our way back to town we'll stop at the mouth of the canyon, where a grove of large cottonwoods is home to a colony of Lewis's Woodpeckers, and where other birds, such as Chukar, Cordilleran Flycatcher, Green-tailed Towhee, and Lazuli Bunting can be seen.
After lunch in town, we take a short break for a nap, a swim or relaxation, and then spend the late afternoon birding in the Elko area. A trip to South Fork Reservoir, about 15 minutes southwest of town, will round out our list with an amazing variety of waders, waterfowl, shorebirds and terns. The drive to the reservoir, through rolling sagebrush-covered hills, gives us a chance to see sagebrush birds such as Sage Thrasher and Brewer's Sparrow. We return to Elko for dinner at one of the town’s famous Basque restaurants.
August 5th This morning, we have one last chance to try for the snowcock (if we need it) before birding our way back to Utah. If we try for the snowcock, our activities will be exactly as in the previous morning. Otherwise, we'll do some early morning birding in the town of Lamoille and the adjacent Lamoille Valley, where wet meadows and riparian woodlands lie at the base of the Ruby Mountains. Raptors, Sandhill Cranes, hummingbirds and many western songbirds will be the main targets of the morning.
After lunch we leave for Utah, going around the Great Salt Lake to the north, passing through very remote Great Basin desert vegetation and pinyon-juniper covered mountains. In addition to the birds of the pinyon-juniper mentioned earlier, we may find Ferruginous Hawk, Prairie Falcon, Chukar, Sage Sparrow and Black-throated Sparrow. We’ll check into our motel in Brigham City, and after dinner head north into the grasslands and agricultural areas of the Whites Valley where we’ll look for Swainson’s Hawk, Gray Partridge, Sharp-tailed Grouse, Grasshopper Sparrow and Short-eared Owl.
August 6th This morning we visit the Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge, where huge numbers of shorebirds and waterfowl congregate at this time of year. A lot depends upon water levels but we should come across Western and Clark’s Grebe’s, American White Pelicans, California Gulls, Cinnamon Teal, White-faced Ibis, Long-billed Dowitchers, Marbled Godwits, various sandpipers, American Avocet, Black-necked Stilts, Caspian and Forster’s Terns, Marsh Wrens and Yellow-headed Blackbirds.
After lunch we head east into the beautiful Cache Valley, where the mix of agricultural lands, riparian woodlands, and wetlands can produce some great birding. We pass through the town of Logan, and into scenic Logan Canyon, the route we’ll take to cross the Bear River Range, where the montane woodlands may give us views of Northern Goshawk, Northern Pygmy-Owl, Williamson’s Sapsucker, American Dipper, Clark’s Nutcracker and more. Just past the summit we’ll be presented with a spectacular view of the deep-blue Bear Lake in the valley below. We’ll pass along the shore of the lake as we head south and east to Deseret Ranch, one of Utah’s greatest birding locations.
August 7th We spend the entire day today touring the vast Deseret Ranch. At over 200,000 acres, the ranch is the largest piece of private property in Utah. The ranch is managed to maintain a healthy and diverse ecosystem, with sagebrush, grasslands, riparian, aspen and fir stands, mammals including Elk, Pronghorn, Coyotes, Moose, Beaver, White-tailed Jackrabbits and White-tailed Prairie Dogs and birds abounded.
Over 270 species of birds have been seen there. Among the "ranch specialties" are Greater Sage- and Blue Grouse, but many other birds can be seen there as well, including Golden Eagle and Prairie Falcon, Flammulated Owl, Common Poorwill, Sage Sparrow, Green-tailed Towhee, Canyon Wren, MacGillivary’s and Virginia’s Warbler as well as an assortment of western empidonax flycatchers.
August 8th We leave early for the Uinta Mountains east of Salt Lake City. Here we will have a chance for some upper elevation species including Mountain Bluebird, Red-breasted Nuthatch, Mountain Chickadee, both kinglets, Clark’s Nutcracker, Red Crossbill, Cassin’s Finch, Pine Grosbeak, Gray Jay, Williamson’s Sapsucker, Three-toed Woodpecker and there’s always a chance of Black Swift, Black Rosy-Finch and Northern Goshawk.
The afternoon will be spent at Antelope Island in the Great Salt Lake to look for Bison, Burrowing Owl, Barn Owl and Chukar and where we'll have another taste of the shorebird migration on this inland sea. This truly can be one of the west's greatest birding spectacles with a million Wilson's Phalaropes joined hundreds of thousands of other shorebirds on the lake and the surrounding wetlands including Red-necked Phalaropes and more Eared Grebe’s than you’ve ever seen before. Along the 7-mile causeway that runs to the island, Franklin’s Gulls and Long-billed Curlews spend the day chasing Brine Flies along the shoreline. After dinner we’ll look for Western Screech Owl.
August 9th Our final morning will be spent around Salt Lake City in the foothills and canyons of the Wasatch Mountains. At the top of Big Cottonwood Canyon lies the resort village of Brighton and picturesque Silver Lake. Possibilities in the canyon include American Dipper, Lincoln’s Sparrow, Red-naped Sapsucker, Olive-sided and Hammond’s Flycatcher, Hermit Thrush, MacGillivary’s Warbler, Band-tailed Pigeon, California Quail, Evening Grosbeak, Black-headed Grosbeak, Steller’s Jay and Western Scrub-Jay. By late-morning we'll return to Salt Lake City and the airport for your flights home, full of memories of the beauty and abundance the west has to offer.
If you have further questions regarding this trip, please call toll free (866) 552-0221, or e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
“Just wanted to let you know how much I thoroughly enjoyed the couple days we spent chasing birds together. You did a terrific job leading and taking us to some great birds. You run a class show . . . the highlight was the bird. What a bird and what a location! The Alpine glow, the sunrise, the wild flowers. It was just a great day. I told you I pick my bird of the year each year based on the overall Gestaldt of the chase. It will take a real adventure to top this one. Thanks for the experience.” Paul Berrigan, Farmington Hills Michigan
This is the list of birds seen in recent years on this tour. Birds marked with an asterisk (*) are rare, and not to be expected on most tours. If the snowcock is seen on the first morning, a trip list for this tour will typically be about 110-130 species. The birds seen on any tour will vary, according to the yearly fluctuations in bird numbers, the desires of tour participants, and luck.
|Canada Goose Gadwall American Wigeon Mallard Blue-winged Teal* Cinnamon Teal Northern Shoveler Northern Pintail Green-winged Teal Canvasback Redhead Lesser Scaup Bufflehead Common Merganser Ruddy Duck Chukar Himalayan Snowcock Greater Sage-Grouse Blue Grouse Wild Turkey California Quail Pied-billed Grebe Eared Grebe Western Grebe Clark's Grebe American White Pelican Double-crested Cormorant Great Blue Heron Great Egret Snowy Egret Cattle Egret Black-crowned Night-Heron White-faced Ibis Turkey Vulture Osprey Northern Harrier Sharp-shinned Hawk Cooper’s Hawk Northern Goshawk* Red-shouldered Hawk* Swainson's Hawk Red-tailed Hawk Ferruginous Hawk Golden Eagle American Kestrel Peregrine Falcon Prairie Falcon Sora American Coot Sandhill Crane Snowy Plover Semipalmated Plover* Killdeer||Black-necked Stilt American Avocet Greater Yellowlegs Lesser Yellowlegs Solitary Sandpiper* Willet Spotted Sandpiper Long-billed Curlew Marbled Godwit Sanderling Semipalmated Sandpiper Western Sandpiper Least Sandpiper Baird's Sandpiper Short-billed Dowitcher* Long-billed Dowitcher Wilson’s Snipe Wilson's Phalarope Red-necked Phalarope Franklin's Gull Bonaparte's Gull Ring-billed Gull California Gull Caspian Tern Common Tern Forster's Tern Black Tern Rock Pigeon Mourning Dove Flammulated Owl Western Screech-Owl Great Horned Owl Long-eared Owl Short-eared Owl Common Nighthawk White-throated Swift Black-chinned Hummingbird Calliope Hummingbird Broad-tailed Hummingbird Rufous Hummingbird Belted Kingfisher Lewis' Woodpecker Red-naped Sapsucker Downy Woodpecker Hairy Woodpecker Northern Flicker Olive-sided Flycatcher Western Wood-Pewee Willow Flycatcher Hammond’s Flycatcher Gray Flycatcher Dusky Flycatcher Cordilleran Flycatcher||Say's Pheobe Western Kingbird Eastern Kingbird Loggerhead Shrike Plumbeous Vireo Cassin’s Vireo Warbling Vireo Steller's Jay Western Scrub-Jay Pinyon Jay Clark's Nutcracker Black-billed Magpie American Crow Common Raven Horned Lark Tree Swallow Violet-green Swallow No. Rough-winged Swallow Bank Swallow Cliff Swallow Barn Swallow Black-capped Chickadee Mountain Chickadee Juniper Titmouse Bushtit Red-breasted Nuthatch White-breasted Nuthatch Brown Creeper Rock Wren House Wren Marsh Wren American Dipper Golden-crowned Kinglet Ruby-crowned Kinglet Blue-gray Gnatcatcher Mountain Bluebird Townsend's Solitaire American Robin Gray Catbird Sage Thrasher European Starling American Pipit Cedar Waxwing Tennessee Warbler* Orange-crowned Warbler Nashville Warbler Virginia’s Warbler Yellow Warbler Yellow-rumped Warbler Black-throated Gray Warbler MacGillivray’s Warbler Wilson’s Warbler Yellow-breasted Chat||Western Tanager Green-tailed Towhee Spotted Towhee Chipping Sparrow Brewer's Sparrow Vesper Sparrow Lark Sparrow Sage Sparrow Savannah Sparrow Fox Sparrow Song Sparrow Lincoln’s Sparrow White-crowned Sparrow Dark-eyed Junco Black-headed Grosbeak Lazuli Bunting Bobolink Red-winged Blackbird Western Meadowlark Yellow-headed Blackbird Brewer's Blackbird Common Grackle* Great-tailed Grackle Brown-headed Cowbird Bullock’s Oriole Black Rosy-Finch Pine Grosbeak Cassin's Finch House Finch Pine Siskin Lesser Goldfinch American Goldfinch Evening Grosbeak House Sparrow MAMMALS Bat, sp. Striped Skunk Coyote Red Fox Yellowbelly Marmot Rock Squirrel Ground Squirrel sp. Least Chipmunk Porcupine Pika Black-tailed Jackrabbit Mountain Cottontail Mule Deer Pronghorn Mountain Goat|
For general questions and information email email@example.com: For reservation status or account information email firstname.lastname@example.org: Or contact us by phone toll free at 866-552-0221: Our local number is 801-487-9453
Please send reservation forms and other mail to Westwings, Inc. P.O. Box 521720 Salt Lake City UT, 84152
Back to Top
|COPYRIGHT: All content on this Westwings, Inc. website, including photographs, text, and illustrations, is the property Westwings, Inc. No portion of the material on this Web site (including text, photographs, and artwork) may be copied, reproduced, or reused without the express written permission of Westwings, Inc.|