Here are the DHWF2022 WOODPECKER FESTIVAL TRIP DESCRIPTIONS
As of May 18 th there are spaces on Friday's Sunriver trip, Friday's Outback trip, Sunday's Empids trip, Sunday's Photography trip and Sunday's Bluebird trip. There is also space for Steve Shunk's Saturday evening's talk at the Belfry.
Participants must be vaccinated and willing to wear a mask in a carpool.
Saturday, June 4, 7 PM at The Belfry in Sisters will feature a Keynote Address by Steve Shunk, author of A Peterson Reference Guide to the Woodpeckers of North America. Here is a summary of his talk.
"Welcome to Woodpecker Wonderland! Half of all North American woodpecker species--11 of 22--breed annually in the Sisters area. What makes this place so special? North American woodpecker specialist and 25-year central Oregon resident, Steve Shunk, will demystify the phenomenon of our woodpecker abundance and diversity. He will tell you a little bit about each species and will discuss the natural history, ecology, and conservation of our local forest carpenters. "
This is a social event starting at 5:30 PM with no-host bar and light hors d'oeuvres. A $10 ticket can be purchased on the Registration page.
Thursday June 2
CLSummer Lake 1 $45 6am-6pm
CLSummer Lake 2 $40 6am-3pm
Friday June 4 Full Day Trips $35
Saturday June 4 Full Day Trips $35
Sunday June 5 Half-day Trips $30
Banding Bluebirds/Kestrels 7am-12pm
Bird Photography Walkabout 7am-12pm
All trips could involve walking up to one mile on rough ground, which may include downed trees, rocks, and substantial slopes.
None of the trips listed will include areas within the Wild and Scenic Corridors of Wychus Creek or the Metolius Riveo trip will access National Forest designated Wilderness areas.
Full day trips are $35 (Summer Lake 1 is $45, Summer Lake 2 is $40); Night Prowl and half day trips are $30
Dean Hale Woodpecker Festival 2022 Trip Descriptions
Thursday, June 2
CLOSEDSummer Lake 1 $45 (full day 6am - 6pm) - Not many woodpeckers but this is a fantastic day out and some great scenery. We will arrive at Fort Rock on the edge of the Great Basin and search for sparrows (Sagebrush, Brewers, Vesper) as well as Say’s Phoebe, Sage Thrasher, Logger-head Shrike. At the rock there are White-throated Swifts and Canyon Wrens. In the agricultural fields we will see lots of raptors including eagles, Prairie Falcon, Swainson’s and Ferruginous Hawks. Continuing on, we will pass great habitat but the next stop will be the oasis of Summer Lake. This is full of egrets, night-herons, bitterns, rails, waterfowl, curlews, avocets, stilts and Snowy Plover, possible Black-throated Sparrow and possibly Yellow Rail. The terrain is generally level with packed dirt and gravel paths.Tom Lawler, Tom Penpraze back to top
CLOSEDSummer Lake 2 $40 (about an 9 hour day leaving Bend at 6 am and returning at 3 pm) - For those who prefer a shorter day, but with the same desire to explore Fort Rock and Summer Lake Wildlife Area.Marty St. Louis, Duke Tufty back to top
Friday, June 3 (full day trips) $35
CLOSED Shevlin Park/Awbrey Hall Burn(full day) - We go to Shevlin Park for the spectacle of many Lewis's Woodpeckers and sapsuckers, then to the old Awbrey Hall Burn to view our resident birds of the big Ponderosa pines, with a chance for Pileated Woodpecker and Black-backed Woodpecker. Both areas are rich in migrants so we will also see songbirds of the riparian areas and pine forest including empids and Calliope Hummingbirds. Expect to walk about three miles [slowly] on forest trails with slopes and rough spots. These trails also go through areas likely to have ticks. Mary Poss, Patty Meehan back to top
CLOSED Trout Creek Butte Loop(full day) – This trip will follow the FS 1018 Road from the Mackenzie Hwy to the 15 Road and return to the Mackenzie Hwy. It includes Scott Pass Trailhead and Trout Creek Swamp which has good Pileated territory and in recent years, American Three-toed Woodpeckers have nested here. Many other birds are found in the surrounding brush such as Lazuli Bunting, flycatchers, Hermit and Townsend's warblers, Green-tailed Towhee, and Townsend's Solitaire. The habitat is quite varied with burn, scrub, and denser forest. We will also visit Cold Springs Campground which is good for the sapsuckers and White-headed Woodpeckers. The terrain includes bumpy trails, uneven ground and modest inclines. Steve Shunk back to top
CLOSEDNative Plants/Birding(full day) - Crooked River Ranch is an 11,000 acre community located between the Wild and Scenic Crooked and Deschutes Rivers. We will have an opportunity to explore several different habitats managed by the BLM for birds and wildflowers. We will begin our adventure at the Native Plant Interpretive Garden, located by the tennis courts and a pond with nesting yellow-headed blackbirds. Volunteers with Friends and Neighbors of the Deschutes Canyon Area (FANs) created the garden to showcase native shrubs, wildflowers, and bunchgrasses of the sagebrush steppe. Plants in bloom during our visit should include bush oceanspray, purple sage, Oregon sunshine, Richardson’s penstemon, desert yellow daisy, threadleaf fleabane, white-stemmed globemallow and sulphur and rock buckwheat.
Our next stop will be a few miles away at the Otter Bench trailhead on the rim of the Crooked River Canyon. The next few stops will be along the Deschutes River, where we will see an active golden eagle nest and some Native American rock art. The longest hike will be a one-mile roundtrip to see the iconic Steelhead Falls, recently featured on one of the twelve newly released Wild and Scenic River Stamps. American dippers nest under the falls.
We will have lunch on Marilynne Keyser’s deck overlooking the Deschutes Canyon while we keep an eye out for American Kestrels nesting in a nearby box.
Please bring binoculars, a hat, jacket or raincoat, water, snacks and lunch. A few scopes will be available. Although the hikes will not be long we will be walking on gravelly trails, and there will be some rocky spots where a trekking pole is very handy. Hiking boots, not athletic shoes, are highly recommended. Marilynne Keyser, Nancy Boever back to top
Sunriver Nature Trails (full day) – After meeting at the Sunriver Nature Center, we hope to visit the resident Trumpeter Swans which we can observe on SNC’s Lake Aspen. Located in both open and Ponderosa Pine habitat, many birds can be seen including nesting Western and Mountain Bluebirds, and (across the river) safe and sound Great Gray Owls have nested in recent years. Time permitting, the group may travel to a recently burned forest area; there will be flexibility on areas visited depending on what is being seen. Be prepared to walk several miles on a mix of maintained paths and uneven ground. Tom Lawler, Diane Burgess back to top
Oregon Outback Loop– Sage, Fort Rock and Cabin Lake (full day) -This trip is an excursion into the Oregon Outback to see species found in juniper and sage habitats. The first stop will be the sagebrush desert surrounding Fort Rock Natural Area, to find Sage Thrasher, Sagebrush Sparrow, Vesper Sparrow, Brewer's Sparrow and Ferruginous and Swainson's Hawk. We will have ample time to explore the magnificent Fort Rock area to find and observe White-throated Swift, Prairie Falcon, Rock Wren and Canyon Wren. We will leave the sage desert expanse to visit the higher elevation area of Cabin Lake, where desert merges with Pine forest. The Cabin Lake blinds allow close encounters with White-headed Woodpecker, Red Crossbill, Cassin's Finch, Western Tanager and Pinyon Jay. The group will meet the guide at the Forum Shopping Center in Bend, in front of the Barnes and Noble Bookstore at 7am. Bring lunch, snacks and water for the day.
Saturday, June 4 (full day trips) $35
CLOSED Trout Creek/Whispering Pines(full day) – There is good habitat for all of the 11 woodpecker species since the western area of the 2012 Pole Creek Burn will be included as well as parts of the more recent Milli Burn. Trout Creek Swamp has good Pileated Woodpecker territory and in recent years, American Three-toed woodpeckers have nested here. Many other birds are found in the surrounding brush such as Lazuli Bunting, flycatchers, Hermit and Townsend’s warblers, Green-tailed Towhee and Townsend’s Solitaire. This is varied habitat with burn, scrub and denser forest. We may also visit Cold Springs Campground along the way, which is good for sapsuckers and White-headed Woodpecker. Mark Gonzalez, Tom Crabtree back to top
CLOSED Abbot Creek(full day) - Formerly called the Camp Sherman trip, this is another fantastic place for woodpeckers. Our group will not access any of the designated Metolius River Wild and Scenic River corridor but there is a large area in the Metolius Basin including Abbot Creek, Jack Creek and Lake Creek that provides great habitat for many of the woodpeckers including White-headed, Pileated, sapsuckers, and Lewis’s. Other species include Lazuli Bunting, flycatchers, Hermit and Townsend's warblers, Green-tailed Towhee, and Townsend's Solitaire. With permission from the Deschutes Land Trust, The Metolius Preserve will be visited as well. The trip will not include the Wild and Scenic Metolius River Corridor. A Deschutes Land Trust Waiver is required and will be sent separately to registrants. Jeff Nordstrom, Jeff Roelke back to top
CLOSED Suttle Lake/Shadow Lake(full day) - If you’ve been to the Festival before and have already experienced the amazing abundance of Black-backed and other woodpeckers in the area burns, perhaps this trip will be of interest to you. We will visit a route through the forest at higher elevations near the Cascade crest. We begin around Suttle Lake looking for species like Hermit Warbler, Pileated Woodpecker, Bald Eagle, and Barrow’s Goldeneye. From there we will trace a loop up through some mixed burned/live forest. Species here might include Willow Flycatcher, Olive-sided Flycatcher, Canada Jay, Northern Pygmy-Owl, Hammond’s and Dusky flycatchers, and MacGillivray’s Warbler. We will also visit the Shadow Lake burn for more woodpecker possibilities. We should be able to find good numbers of White-headed, Lewis’s, and Hairy Woodpeckers, plus all the sapsuckers. Jim Moodie, David Mead back to top
CLOSED Empids and Woodpeckers and Others, Oh, my! – This is a new trip suggested, in part, by past participants and local guides. It will be a “study and learn” trip focusing on the local Empids usually seen such as Gray, Dusky, Hammond’s, Pacific-slope and Willow. There will also be opportunities to see various sparrows such as Thick–billed Fox Sparrow and Green-tailed Towhee as well as some species that are either hybrids or maybe subject to splits in the coming years. Woodpeckers, perhaps more Sapsuckers than others, will be seen since they are in most areas visited. Check out the bird lists of species seen on previous festivals for more complete information. Steve Kornfeld back to top
CLOSED Shevlin Park (half day) $30 - We go to Bend’s Shevlin Park for the spectacle of many Lewis's Woodpeckers and sapsuckers. The tour will be on smooth, relatively easy trails in the beautiful Tumalo Creek valley with its old growth Ponderosa Pines and Western Larch trees. We hope to find other resident birds like sparrows of the bush and songbirds of the riparian area including empids and Calliope Hummingbirds. Meet at Shevlin Park, Aspen Hall parking lot at 9 AM; ends before noon. Caution - these trails go through areas likely to have ticks. Lynda Paznokas, Skip Paznokas back to top
CLOSED Owl Prowl (4 hours)$30 - This trip will include two groups going in opposite directions We will look for Common Poor-will as it is getting dark and try for some local owl species such as Great-horned, Saw-whet, Flammulated, and Western-Screech. Great Gray and Northern Pygmy-owl are possible as well. There is a good chance to see Poor-wills; less chance to actually see owls, although we will hear them. Some of the roosting owls might be visible in the early evening twilight.Mark Gonzalea back to top
Sunday, June 5 (Trips 7am to 12pm)$30
Banding Bluebirds/Kestrels - Attendees will be taken to a local bluebird trail where they will be able to observe young bluebirds (and maybe kestrels) being banded. Local banders will explain the banding program. The group will have the opportunity for hands-on experience with managing bluebird boxes for nesting bluebirds and kestrels. Ken Hashagen, Ann Nora Kruger back to top
CLOSED Trout Creek/Dry Creek - This tour will consist mainly of an out and back trip on Deschutes Forest Road 1018. Several stops along the way including Cold Springs campground as well as various stops on 1018 at different habitats looking for target species. Good opportunities to see most of the area woodpeckers (Lewis’s and Pileated to name a few) as well as a number of other birds such as Townsend’s and Hermit warblers, flycatchers, and sparrows. If time permits, we will end the trip at Calliope Crossing, a Central Oregon birding mecca. If needed, recorded birdsongs may be used on a limited basis. Walking on uneven ground and established grassy trails is expected. Tom Penpraze, Diane Burgess back to top
CLOSEDNative Plants/Birding(6 hours) - See Trip Description on June 3 for Details back to top
CLOSEDEmpids and Woodpeckers and Others, Oh, my! – See Trip Description on June 4 back to top
CLOSED Camp Polk Meadow Preserve - Owned and managed by Deschutes Land Trust, this is a great meadow with willow, alders and other riparian habitat. Dippers nest on the river; Virginia and Sora Rails can be found in the ponds. A diversity of spasuckers, White-headed Woodpeckers, Calliope Hummingbirds, a variety of flycatchers and warblers are all possible. Great Horned Owls are often seen. Since this area can often be marshy and buggy, long pants and waterproof footwear is recommended. This area has grassy trails with inclines and uneven ground; walking poles and tick-preventive clothing are recommended. A Deschutes Land Trust waiver is required for registration. It will be sent separately to registrants. Colleen Pigeon Back to top
Bird Photography Walkabout - After gathering to organize into carpools at Creekside Park at 6:30 am, you will arrive at the parking lot of the Crooked River Wetlands in Prineville at 7:30 am. Bring your appropriate camera, comfortable walking shoes, something to drink and your enthusiasm, and enjoy a pleasant 2 to 3 hour walk photographing and observing birds. The focus is on photographing the birds we see. Instruction and guidance will be provided by a skilled bird photographer whose goal is to help you get better photos. Your camera must have long telephoto capabilities and should have manual controls. For example, a mirrorless or DSLR camera with 400mm or longer lens, or a superzoom all-in-one camera like a Nikon Coolpix or Sony RX10 will be fine. Tripod is optional. The Wetlands provide smooth pathways and accessible restrooms to visitors.
This trip is limited to 8 people to allow time for everyone to get the help they want. Abbott Shindler, Chuck Gates Back to top
None of these trips will include the Wild and Scenic Corridor of Wychus Creek or the Metolius River. No Deschutes National Forest designated Wilderness area will be accessed.