Blackpoll Warbler (Photo: Phil Fowler)
This tour is for serious and focused birding, primarily in pursuit of Bicknell's Thrush and other high-elevation, spruce-fir forest birds. Time on this trip is emphasized toward viewing and photographing Bicknell's Thrush (not guaranteed), a regional specialty. Moderate hiking ability is required on this 3-mile (round trip) tour. Other species frequently observed include Yellow-bellied Flycatcher, Gray Jay, Boreal Chickadee, Winter Wren, Golden-crowned Kinglet, Swainson's Thrush, Magnolia Warbler, Blackpoll Warbler, Pine Siskin, and more. Start time to be determined. If no Bicknell's Thrush seen, receive 1/2 price voucher for a future Bicknell's Thrush tour. At least 3 persons needed to run this tour. (Not available August to May).
Trail Conditions: Portions of this trail can be very muddy and wet granite rocks are slippery. There are no major stream crossings. Portions of the lower trail are moderately steep. The steepest sections of the trail begin at treeline, the upper limit of Bicknell's Thrush habitat, and will not be part of this tour. Individuals should be able to hike at a sustained walking pace needing a break only every 30 minutes. (Breaks are frequently taken anyway to look for birds).
What to Expect: Bugs: During this time of year, the blackflies and mosquitoes can be very challenging. Bug spray will be available for your use. Have long sleeve shirts and pants accessible. At rare times in June, a head net may be needed depending on your tolerance. Heat and humidity: Typically, at the start of this tour the air is cool (50F-60F) and welcoming. Upon entering the forest a rapid rise in humidity is quickly noticeable. Combined, the bugs, temperature, and humidity will dictate the layering you will want. On the way back the temperature may climb to 70F-80F. Rain: A light raincoat is recommended to layer against wind and rain exposure.
What to Bring: Binoculars, camera, field guides, hat, appropriate footwear and clothing for the conditions, rain gear, drinking water, sunscreen. A backpack to carry your gear.
*Non-refundable deposit reserves the tour date on the OWE calendar and secures your spot on the tour. In the event of a tour cancellation due to weather or OWE issues, the ticket holder can elect to have a full refund including any deposits, or to have any payments applied as credit toward any future OWE event.
Bonus Bird - Gray Jay
Focus: Bicknell's Thrush; high-elevation spruce-fir birds
Season: Available May - July
Hike: 3 mile round-trip; Difficulty: Intermediate-Hard
Time: 4 hours
Size: 3-6 persons
Fee: $89 Adult / Youth $44.50 (10-15yo)
Deposit: $25 deposit required*
Private Tour: $300 for up to 6 persons for 4 hours ($40 for each additional hour)
Deposit: $100 deposit required*
Bicknell's Thrush (Photo: Phil Fowler)