2018 Field Trip to Susanville and Environs
Field Trip Organizer – Carl Schwedler
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 (1:00 pm) begins with a meet-up at Donner Lake (Lake #1) along the way to Susanville, followed by an attempt at a Juniper Titmouse on Red Rock Road.
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 (possibly some terns), eagles, hawks and falcons, sundry geese, grebes and ducks, a variety of woodpeckers (including White-headed and Williamson’s Sapsucker). Best of all are the mountain specialties, e.g., Mountain Bluebird, Stellar and Pinyon Jays, Townsend’s Solitaire, Cassin’s Finch, Crossbills. And 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.
Once confirmed for the trip, individual arrangements for lodging should be made in advance at the Best Western Plus Trailside Inn, 2785 Main Street, Susanville, CA (530) 257-4123. The hotel has given our group a discounted room rate, so be sure to mention you are with the Yolo Audubon Society when you call to make your reservation.
Space is limited. Please contact the trip leader if interested.