3-Day Lake Almanor Trip for the Grebe Nesting Season – SPECIAL EVENT 2018 – $575
Time - 2:00 pm
Trip Leader(s): Rob Fowler & David Schumacher
**DEADLINE APPROACHING FOR ROOM RESERVATIONS – SIGN UP TODAY!!
For this all-inclusive package trip, we will spend two nights at the historic Bidwell Inn, a 1901 farmhouse-style Bed & Breakfast within a mile of Lake Almanor and 30.7 miles from Lassen National Park. The package includes two nights’ accommodations, two breakfasts, two sack lunches, a boat ride with the local Plumas Audubon Society on the lake one day to see grebes up-close, and professional birding guides all three days. Carpooling from Arcata to The Bidwell House is an option but the official tour will begin at 2 p.m., when we all meet up at the Bidwell House on the first day of the tour, 22 August. Local guides Rob Fowler and Dave Schumaker will be traveling with us. Focus will be on nesting waterbirds on Lake Almanor, migrant shorebirds, high elevation forest species and early migrant songbirds.
DAY ONE, 22 August
All participants will meet at the Bidwell House in Chester, Plumas County, CA at 2 p.m. where the tour officially starts. If coming from Arcata there will be an option to carpool with the leaders, which will be leaving early in the morning to do some trip pre-scouting at Mineral and other locations on the way or near Chester, the town The Bidwell House is located. Once the group gets checked in to the lodge we will meet up at 3 p.m. for some mid-afternoon birding locally with options to bird the Lake Almanor lakefront, Feather River Riparian and mouth, or even a short drive to Mineral for birding the wastewater ponds there, depending on what the guides find on their earlier pre-scouting. After the mid- to late-afternoon birding we will return to the Bidwell House to get ready for dinner (no host, not included in trip price) at 6 p.m., leaving for dinner at 6:30 p.m. For dinner, you may join the guides for a no host dinner at the Red Onion Grill on the Lake Almanor peninsula (not included in trip price). *10% off meal will be given if reservations made with Rob and Dave. After dinner we might have the option to look for Flammulated Owl or other nocturnal owl species—especially if we have a good stakeout location for them!
DAY TWO, 23 August
After some early-morning birding (0630; optional) and breakfast (Bidwell House), the centerpiece of the day will be a boat tour around Lake Almanor, a.k.a. Grebe City. Both Western and Clark’s Grebe will be nesting on floating mats of vegetation along the lake’s margins. Brad Walker, project manager for Plumas Audubon Society, will be our boat driver, grebe nesting interpreter, and local guide for the morning, with Rob F. on other bird-spotting duties. American White Pelican, White-faced Ibis and other waterfowl are expected. Osprey or Bald Eagle has good potential for putting in an appearance. We will also be birding from the Highway 36 causeway where Sandhill Crane and various waterfowl species are possible, along with potential for migrant shorebirds. Checking the riparian habitat at the mouth of the Feather River will round out the day. We have several spots to check for mixed chickadee flocks, and the Chester WTP may also hold some shorebirds. A full day’s birding, with limited driving will greatly enhance our birding experience. We shall end day two with a full stomach, sweet bird lists, and a restful sleep in historic accommodations. Dinner will be on your own, trip leaders will keep you posted with their plans.
DAY THREE, 24 August
After breakfast at 7:00 am we will prepare for our return trip via Mt. Lassen National Park along Hwy 89, getting on the road by 8:00 am. We start out heading west, back the way we came on Hwy 36 until we reach Hwy 89, and head north to Mt. Lassen on the right. As we climb and stop at various public campgrounds to bird, the remaining high elevation species will be possible: Williamson’s Sapsucker, Black-backed Woodpecker, Gray Jay, Mountain Bluebird, Cassin’s Finch, Green-tailed Towhee and Evening Grosbeak. We will go up and over Mt. Lassen through the national park. At the peak, the views are fantastic and here Clark’s Nutcrackers will be “working” the vista points. At the Bumpass Hell area we may even have a chance to spot some high elevation mammals like Pika and Yellow-bellied Marmot! Dropping down to Hwy 44, Summit and Manzanita Lake are two great spots for a real mix of species: woodpeckers to warblers! The stop at Summit Lake will be for lunch (12:00-1:00), before heading down to Manzanita Lake. At either lake we could possibly dig up a Black-backed Woodpecker in the nearby forest. Once at Hwy 44, it is time to head for Redding and Hwy 299 back to Arcata. (Breakfast, sack Lunch included). At almost every stop while driving through Lassen Volcanic National many opportunities for epic landscape observation and photography will be available. Lassen really is just a spectacularly beautiful destination, with excellent high elevation birding opportunities to boot!
It takes about 5 hours of driving get to Chester from Arcata. Link to Google Maps: https://goo.gl/maps/rf4wXVtTjik
The first year this tour was run stops were made in some Central Valley and foothill locations but during August many of those locations are very hot midday so this year we are cutting out those locations to focus solely on the high elevation, cooler habitats. Lots of other cool birds can be expected throughout the trip including crowd-pleasers like Mountain Bluebird, Pygmy Nuthatch and Black-necked Stilt. Common Nighthawks are likely. Birds that will be hard to see and/or would be just a stroke of luck include : Mountain Quail, Sooty Grouse, Northern Goshawk, rare shorebirds like Pectoral, Baird’s or Semipalmated Sandpipers, Wilson’s Phalarope, etc.
Please e-mail [email protected] with questions and to connect with the guides if you decide to register for this fun and exciting trip.
This event will need a minimum of 5 participants to go. Room accommodations must be made in advance.
Bookings are closed for this event.