Saturday, December 13, 2014
Meet up at 7:50 am
- Meet at Albertsons, 1304 N Liberty Lake Rd, Liberty Lake, WA
- In your car, you will follow the tour leader to Beauty Bay, Lake Coeur d'Alene
- After Beauty Bay, you can continue to follow the tour leader to Harrison, ID (optional)
Come learn from a bird expert from the Audubon Society! She'll help you look for eagles, Coots, Canada Geese, Mergansers, Buffleheads (ducks), grebes, kingfishers, dippers, Pileated Woodpeckers, Steller's Jays, turkeys, Golden-crowned Kinglets, Pacific Wrens, Pygmy Owls, Sharp-shinned Hawks, chickadees, juncos, nuthatches, Great Blue Herons, and swans.
"We'll meet at the specified location, carpool out to the Beauty Bay area, stop and set up a spotting scope. There will not be much walking because the road is narrow, the traffic, hurried, and the lake beside it, deep! We look for, count and watch the eagles. Then we stop at the boat launch to see what other water species there might be...from Coots and Canda Geese to Mergansers, Buffleheads (ducks) grebes,..most can be seen only with high-quality binocs and spotting scopes...less likely, a kingfisher or dipper near shore. How much of that we do will depend mostly on the weather and how well the participants are dressed. Folks usually underestimate the cold factor, especially if it is windy; but sometimes we luck out and get a sunshiny day.
We move on around to the Beauty Bay trailhead area. If the Idaho Fish and Wildlife group is there, they will have a display of taxidermied eagles, the fish they feed on, etc. We look for smaller birds. There can be NO birds there if conditions are not good. In previous years, we've seen everything from a Pileated Woodpecker or a Steller's Jay to turkeys to Golden-crowned Kinglets to a Pacific Wren. It just depends. The birds aren't easy to see because they are in survival mode and may be shy. They may also have moved elsewhere if the food sources aren't plentiful.
The first half of the trip ends when we have about exhausted the possibilities in the area...usually by 11am or before. What we do next depends on the weather and the desires of the participants. On good days we may drive down to Harrison because the Thompson Slough area can be good for birds that have sought a sheltered area in which to pass the winter. If the slough is frozen over, there are far fewer possibilities, but we don't know til we get there. We've seen a Pygmy Owl....once...a Sharp-shinned Hawk...once. There are chickadees, juncos, and nuthatches. There may be a couple of dozen Great Blue Herons...sometimes a swan or two. Those who go on the second part of the trip are usually up for an all-day excursion."
Tour limit: 3 cars
Age: Due to the nature of standing outside for a while looking for birds, this trip is recommended for ages 8+.
What to wear/bring: Weather appropriate clothes and shoes. Bring your own lunch, snacks, drinks.