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Four Lakes and a Lek

March 29th @ 8:00 am - March 31st @ 6:00 pm
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Four Lakes and a Lek

Greater Sage-grouse, Sami LaRocca

2019 Field Trip to Susanville and Environs

Friday through Sunday, March 29-31, 2019 or

Rain check – Friday through Sunday, April 5-7, 2019 

Field Trip Organizer – Carl Schwedler


 This trip has a limited number of participants. Please contact the trip leader if interested.

A three-day trip to the Susanville area to observe a Greater Sage-Grouse lek, with visits to four nearby mountain/high-desert lakes.

Friday afternoon begins with a meet-up at Donner Lake (Lake #1) along the way to Susanville, followed by a Juniper Titmouse drive-by on Red Rock Road north of Reno.

Saturday morning we go out to the Belfast Petroglyphs, then bird the Amedee wetlands and Honey Lake (Lake #2) on the way back to the hotel for a civilized brunch. In the afternoon we bird up Jack’s Valley through the Willow Creek Wildlife Area and then all the way counter-clockwise around Eagle Lake (Lake # 3) to the opposite bottom, at Christie Day Use Area and Gallatin Beach. Then clockwise back home for dinner.

Then it’s up before dawn Sunday morning to grab some coffee and be on the road by 4:15 AM (yes, seriously, THAT early) for the Shaffer Sage-Grouse Lek east of Susanville (the “Lek”). Bring your scope/big camera. The site is about a mile from the main road, so we would need to consolidate into four-wheel drive or high clearance vehicles. We will have to walk if it is in any way wet or rainy. After brunch back at Susanville, we then cross the mountains and bird lake shores and meadows of Lake Almanor (Lake #4), birding down its west side and finally heading home from Canyondam via Oroville and Road 70.

Expected birds include herons and egrets, wading birds, Sandhill Crane, gulls, eagles, hawks and falcons, geese, grebes and ducks, and woodpeckers (including White-headed and Williamson’s Sapsucker). At the lek site we’ll be hoping for the sage trifecta, i.e., Sage Thrasher, Sagebrush Sparrow and of course the Greater Sage-Grouse, but elsewhere on the lookout for mountain specialties, e.g., Golden Eagle, Mountain Bluebird, Stellar and Pinyon Jays, Townsend’s Solitaire, Cassin’s Finch, Crossbills, etc..


Individual arrangements for lodging should be made in advance at either the SureStay Plus Hotel by Best Western, 2785 Main Street, Susanville, CA (530-257-4123), (breakfast voucher to the Lumberjack restaurant included), or the Super 8 (530-257-2782) (continental breakfast in hotel).

Yolo Audubon Society field trips are free and open to the public. Some trips may be limited by number of participants. Car-pooling is encouraged, but not arranged by the club, and all rides are private arrangements between driver and riders.

Heavy rain or high winds may cancel any trip.



March 29th @ 8:00 am
March 31st @ 6:00 pm
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