(THURSDAY TO MONDAY)
TOUR LEADER: TIM AVERY
Day 1 (THU): Arrive in SLC by 4:00 pm when we will depart for Elko. It's about a 4-hour drive, and we'll make a couple stops for birds and dinner along the way.
Night in Elko, NV
Day 2 (FRI): It will be a very early morning--waking by 3:00 and departing by 3:30 am, we'll drive 45 minutes to the trailhead in the dark. The trek to the valley where we'll find HIMALAYAN SNOWCOCK takes about 90 minutes at a slow to moderate pace. We give ourselves up to 2 hours to make sure we are in place by 6:30 AM at an ideal viewing location. Then comes the hard work of scanning rugged terrain and slopes for our quarry. It's not uncommon for BLACK ROSY-FINCH and CLARK'S NUTCRACKER to grace us with their presence while we search.
We'll spend several hours in search of our target after which we'll make our way back down the trail and back to town for an early lunch before taking a long afternoon break. In the evening we'll have dinner before visiting nearby shrubsteppe to look for SHORT-EARED OWL, SAGEBRUSH SPARROW, and other high sage species.
Night in Elko, Nevada
Day 3 (SAT): Saturday morning is a backup for the Snowcock if for some reason we were unable to track down the target bird on Friday. If needed our morning will follow the same itinerary as Friday, before packing up and traveling northeast to Idaho, where we'll make an evening attempt at tracking down CASSIA CROSSBILL, before spending the night nearby in Twin Falls. If we were successful on Friday, we will go birding in the morning around Elko, before departing for the crossbills in Idaho later in the day.
Night in Twin Falls, ID
Day 4 (SUN): Sunday morning will be a 2nd chance for CASSIA CROSSBILL. If we missed out on Saturday, we'll head back to the mountains and spend the morning checking some of the best places these birds are known to frequent, before making the 4-hour drive back to Salt Lake City, with a potential stop or 2 along the Great Salt Lake on the way. If we got the crossbill on Saturday, we will leave early Sunday morning and head into Utah to see if we can seek out GRAY PARTRIDGE, CHUKAR, PRAIRIE FALCON, GOLDEN EAGLE, and other desert plains species along the north side of the Great Salt Lake. We'll also visit Bear River MBR which should be seeing it's first waves of southbound shorebirds for the fall.
In the afternoon we'll make our way back to Salt Lake City and have dinner and a break before heading into the mountains to pick up the diminutive yet spectacular FLAMMULATED OWL, the highlight of our nocturnal birding. This 6" tall owl has become a centerpiece of summer birding in Utah, where it is seen more than anywhere else in the world.
Night in Salt Lake City, UT
Day 5 (MON): On the final morning of our tour, we'll head into the desert outside of Salt Lake and see if we can nail down a host of sage and juniper specialists. Highlighted by PINYON JAY, SAGEBRUSH and BLACK-THROATED SPARROW, ASH-THROATED FLYCATCHER, GRAY FLYCATCHER, and GRAY VIREO this harsh environment is home to incredible birds. Making our way back to Salt Lake for a lunch and a wrap, we will drop you off at the airport or nearby hotels between 1-2 pm.
We can expect to see around 150 species of birds during this tour, as well as more than 10 species of mammals. We be hiking at elevations between 4,200' and 12,000' with hikes up to 2 miles each way possible. Please be sure you are in the right physical condition to take part in this adventure!
No real options for this tour--just if you would like the Single Supplement.
Here's what we'll provide as well as what you need to bring.
With more than 20 years of birding experience, and extensive knowldege of the local flora and fauna.
Door to door service. We pick you up, take you where you need to go, and drop you off when we're done!
We provide use of a scope, any calls/tapes, and a laser to help point the birds out when needed.
No need to worry about a hotel, we take of all 4 nights accomodations at national brand hotels for this tour.
4 breakfasts, 4 lunches, and 4 dinners included! Fresh and cold water is provided on all MWBirdCo tours.
We will see and hear some birds! We'll also engage in lively discussion about said birds and anything else that comes up.
You must provide your flights to and from SLC, any snacks and drinks not with meals, and any alcoholic drinks. For birding you'll need your own binoculars, cameras, bug spray, jackets, clothing,shoes, etc. We highly recommend all of those :)