This three-day trip to the Susanville area will include a rare opportunity to observe an established and carefully protected Greater Sage-Grouse lek, with visits to five area mountain/high-desert lakes. The trip starts the afternoon of Friday, March 27 with a drive to Susanville, with a stop at Donner Lake. Saturday morning, participants will bird Lake Almanor, Lake Leavitt, Honey Lake and hike to the Belfast Petroglyphs. Sunday morning, the group will leave Susanville by 4:30 am for the lek observation site. The site is about a mile from the main road. Travel to the observation site may be by vehicle or foot, depending on the conditions. There is minimal hiking on this trip, and no rugged trails, unless the group has to walk to the lek observation site, which would be through mud and sagebrush. Later on Sunday, we will bird Willow Creek Wildlife Area and Eagle Lake.
Over the three days, the expected and hoped-for birds include herons, egrets and other wading birds, Sandhill Crane, gulls and possibly some terns, eagles, hawks and falcons (a Goshawk is not impossible), sundry geese and ducks, a variety of woodpeckers and some mountain specialties such as Steller’s and Pinyon Jays, Clark’s Nutcracker, Townsend’s Solitaire, Cassin’s Finch and Mountain Bluebird. We’ll also take a shot at some sage specialties, like the Sage Thrasher, Sagebrush Sparrow and Chukar. To sign up and learn details about lodging, depart/return times and recommended clothing, contact trip leader Carl Schwedler, (530) 210-3104, firstname.lastname@example.org.