This trip report covers Kelowna, White Lake Basin and Oliver for April 6 2013
The day started out with rain and generally bad weather. I managed to get a shot of a Dark-Eyed Junco in my back yard and then headed to Peachland to meet up with Flickr friend Tania.
We first headed to the Summerland Ornamental Gardens, but the heavy rain prevented us from getting out of the car. We continued towards the White Lake Basin. On the way we spotted some Killdeer. Stopped for a few photos and it started to hail, the killdeer were not very pleased and eventually sought cover. We continued on to White Lake and when we arrived we were very surprised to see many Sandhill Cranes on the edge of the lake with more coming in to land. The light was miserable at this point but at least it stopped raining. Got some shots of the cranes as well as some coming into land and then continued on towards Oliver. Along the way we spotted some Western Bluebirds and could hear Western Meadowlards off in the distance.
Traveled down No. 22 Road in Oliver and spotted some Curlews out in the field. Managed a few reasonable shots and then continued to the wildlife viewing area near the bridge. There were hundreds of Swallows (Tree and Violet-green) flying over the river catching insects so we stopped for awhile to try for some flight shots. As we were shooting an Osprey flew by hunting for fish. Just after we finished up and got back into the car the Osprey flew overhead with a fish in his talons, just missing a great photo op.
After the bridge turned right and proceded a short distance. Saw a Northern Harrier in the fields below hunting for food but could not get a decent shot. Off in the distance on the river we saw a group of about 5 American White Pelicans (too far away to get a shot). A beautiful male Pheasant crossed the road in front of us and we stopped to see if we could find him. As we got out of the car and approached the side of the road he spooked and flew away, with Tania managing to get a decent flight shot of him. Only a second later the female which we had not seen also spooked and flew away, although I got a few flight shots none of them were very clear.
We decided to head back the way we came via the White Lake Basin. We found a Western Meadowlark in the field along the road and with a short bird call on the iPhone had him on the fence near the road. After the Meadowlard we spotted a Northern Shrike and watched it for awhile. We saw it grab some prey but could not make it out until we zoomed in the picture, and we were both surprised that it was a mouse. Continued up the road and saw both Western and Mountain Bluebirds.
By this time the light was much better at White Lake so we took a few more pictures of the Sandhill Cranes. Finished off the trip seeing a Light Morph Rough-Legged Hawk perched on one of the poles near the Observatory.
Although the weather started out pretty bad, by the end of the day we were in sunshine. I saw four new species on this trip (Sandhill Cranes, Curlew, American Pelicans and Rough-Legged Hawk) and got some nice photos.
Equipment used on this trip (click on the link to see more details or to buy from Amazon):