DHWF2020 WOODPECKER FESTIVAL TRIP DESCRIPTIONS 

Registration will open April 1 at 8am PDT 

Thursday June 4

Summer Lake 1  $45                                6am-6pm

Summer Lake 2  $40                                6am-3pm

Friday June 5 Full Day Trips $35  

Crooked River Country                              7am-3pm

Shevlin Park/Awbrey Hall Burn                   7am-3pm

Crooked River Wetlands                            7am-3pm

Sisters Hot Spots                                      7am-3pm

Sunriver Nature Trails                                7am-3pm

Saturday June 6 Full Day Trips $35

Pole Creek                                               7am-3pm

Trout Creek                                              7am-3pm

Milli Burn                                                 7am-3pm

Abbot Creek                                             7am-3pm

Sisters Hot Spots                                      7am-3pm

Suttle Lake/Santiam/Shadow Lk                  7am-3pm

Native Plants/Birding Tour                          7am-3pm

Green Ridge                                             7am-3pm

Empids & Woodpeckers & Others, Oh my!   7am-3pm

Leisure/Limited Mobility $30(1/2 day)          7am-12pm

Night Prowl  ($30)                                     8pm-11pm

 

Sunday June 7 Half-day Trips $30

Green Ridge                                             7am-12pm 

Camp Polk                                                7am-12pm

Banding Bluebirds/Kestrels                         7am-12pm

Shevlin Prk Awbrey Hall Burn                      7am-12pm

Park Meadow Trail                                     7am-12pm

Abbot Creek                                             7am-12pm

Trout Creek/Dry Creek                               7am-12pm

Empids & Woodpeckers & Others, Oh my!   7am-12pm

Sisters Hot Spots                                      7am-12pm

Leisure/Limited Mobility                             7am-12pm

Catch-up                                                  7am-12-pm

  • 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 River.

  • No 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 2020 Trip Descriptions

 

Thursday, June 4

Summer 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 …. so many birds!  back to top

 

Summer Lake 2 $40 (about an 9 hour day leaving Bend at 6 am and returning at 3 pm) - Again not many woodpeckers but we will stop at Fort Rock and continue on to Summer Lake Wildlife Area for the birds described above. back to top

 

Friday, June 5 (full day trips) $35

Crooked River Country(full day) - This is a fast-paced tour where we will be visiting many different habitats and locations. This route will give participants an opportunity to see birds not associated with the forests around Sisters, including some desert species, raptors and waterfowl. Most of the birding will be done close to vehicles. We will visit two locations in search of canyon species like White-throated Swifts and Canyon Wren.  In Powell Butte we have a chance for rails and bittern, and possibly Basin species such as Gray and Ash-throated Flycatcher and several sparrow species.  Stopping in Prineville, we will visit a Tri-colored Blackbird colony and search for local raptors.   Heading to some of the major lakes , we will look for Clark's Grebe, Yellow-breasted Chat, Lazuli Bunting, Bullock's Oriole, Rock Wren, and, possibly, Long-eared Owl.  We will always be within a few miles of the Crooked River, taking advantage of this major Central Oregon waterway. back to top

 

Shevlin Park/Awbrey Hall Burn(full day) - We go to Shevlin Park for the spectacle of many Lewis's Woodpeckers and sapsuckers, then work along the old Awbrey Hall Burn to find many of  our resident birds of the big Ponderosa pines - sparrows of the bush and songbirds of the riparian area including empids and Calliope Hummingbirds. Expect to walk two to three miles on forest trails with slopes and rough spots. These trails also go through areas likely to have ticks. The trip will leave from Sisters.  back to top

Crooked River Wetlands (full day) – This trip will focus on one of the newest, most wonderful birding areas east of the Cascades. Not any woodpeckers (probably) but this 120-acre, multipurpose project, has created a new public walking trail system with numerous educational and birding opportunities. The system of paved trails make it ideal for easy access. If alerted, there can be a golf cart available to help folks navigate the area. Here is al link to the complex www.cityofprineville.com/wetlands/page/trail-guide

If there is time and folks are willing, a few other wetland areas will be visited that are close by. back to top

Sisters Hot Spots (full-day) – Staying within shouting distance of the town of Sisters (almost), this trip will visit the local areas of Hindman Springs, Calliope Crossing, Indian Fold Campground, Gobbler’s Knob, and in-town feeders maintained by local residents including the Ponderosa Best Western Motel whose feeders almost always yield a White-headed woodpecker or three. back to top

Sunriver Nature Trails (full day) – Starting at the Sunriver Nature Center, the resident, and, hopefully, nesting,Trumpeter Swans will be observed along with other waterfowl that are on SNC’s Lake Aspen. Many other birds are in this resort area habitat so after the Nature Center the group will move to the river trails by the Marina. Paved and well-maintained paths make this area comfortable for walking although there may also be uneven walking on trails beyond this area.  Located in both open and Ponderosa Pine habitat, many birds may be seen including nesting Western and Mountain Bluebirds, and across the river, safe and sound, Great Grey owls have nested within the last 3 years. No promises but you never know. Time permitting, the group will take a short drive to a recently burned forest area, site of the 2016 Sheridan fire. There will be flexibility on areas visited, depending on what is being seen.  Folks should be prepared to walk several miles including some on uneven ground. back to top

Saturday, June 6 (full day trips) $35 

Pole Creek(full day) - You want woodpeckers … get ready for lots of woodpeckers.  We will visit the eastern area of the 2012 Pole Creek burn focusing on Three-toed and Black-backed Woodpeckers although we can see almost all the 11 species with luck.  This is a great area to see the species that prefer more open habitat such as Sooty Grouse, Olive-sided Flycatcher.  We will also visit intact forest at a higher elevation for more variety.  back to top

 

Trout Creek(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 some areas of the 2017 Milli fire that burned though some of the older burns. Trout Creek Swamp has good Pileated territory and many of the other birds are found in the surrounding brush.  Other species include Lazuli Bunting, flycatchers, Hermit and Townsend's Warblers, Green-tailed Towhee and Townsend's Solitaire.  The habitat is very varied with burn, scrub and more dense forest. Cold Springs Campground is good for the Sapsuckers and White-headed Woodpeckers. back to top

Milli Burn (full day)  - This trip will go into the newest burn area created by last year's Milli fire. It covered some old areas and created  new burned habitat around Hwy 242 west of Sisters. Black-backed Woodpeckers should be nesting in this area as well as several other species including possible Three-toed.  Dry Creek is in the older GW burn so there are more chances for Lewis’s Woodpecker and, other species include Lazuli Bunting, flycatchers, Hermit and Townsend's warblers, Green-tailed Towhee, and Townsend's Solitaire.  The habitat is very varied with burn, scrub, and more dense forest. A stop will be made at Cold Spring Campground which is good for the Sapsuckers and White-headed Woodpeckers.

back to top

 

Abbot Creek(full day) - Another fantastic place for woodpeckers. White-headed and all of the Sapsuckers are usually seen. Since this is an older burn there is more chance for Lewis’s Woodpecker.  Other species include Lazuli Bunting, flycatchers, Hermit and Townsend's Warblers, Green-tailed Towhee and Townsend's Solitaire.  The habitat is quite varied with burn, scrub and more dense forest.  Various stops will yield local breeders and some late migrants. The trip will not include the Wild and Scenic Metolius River Corridor.   back to top

 

Sisters Hot Spots (full-day) – Staying within shouting distance of the town of Sisters (almost), this trip will visit the local areas of Hindman Springs, Calliope Crossing, Indian Fold Campground, Gobbler’s Knob, and in-town feeders maintained by local residents including the Ponderosa Best Western Motel whose feeders almost always yield a White-headed woodpecker or three. back to top

 

Suttle Lake/Santiam/Shadow Lake(full day) - If you’ve been to the festival before and you 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, Gray 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.  back to top

 

Native Plants/Birding(full day) - This trip is for those people who wish to have more time to enjoy the habitat as well as the birds. It will visit accessible riparian and forest areas. In June, Syringia, Indian paintbrush, lupine, Clarkia, Washington Lily, Calypso orchid, arrowhead balsamroot, beargrass and many other species are likely blooming or fruiting, depending on elevation and seasonal moisture. Birds in those areas include American Dipper, 4 or  more species of swallows, Vaux's Swifts, Western Tanagers, Black-headed Grosbeaks, Rufous Hummingbirds and several species of warblers. White-headed Woodpeckers are often found in the areas of this tour.  back to top

 

Green Ridge(full day)  – This tour is designed to visit the recent Bridge 99 burn NW of Sisters and will include Green Ridge and some of the springs in the area.  Species we will search for include Mountain Quail, Ruffed Grouse, Sooty Grouse, Wild Turkey, Northern Pygmy-owl, Calliope Hummingbird, all the woodpecker species, Cassin's Vireo, Gray Jay, Clark's Nutcracker, chickadees and nuthatches, Townsend's Solitaire, MacGillivray's Warbler, Hermit Warbler, Townsend's Warbler, Green-tailed Towhee, Fox Sparrow, Cassin's Finch and much, much more.  back to top

Empids and Woodpeckers and Others, Oh, my! (full day) – This is a 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. back to top

 

Leisure Birding/Limited Mobility($30 half day) - For those who would like a leisurely pace or have walking or mobility limitations. This trip will be limited to 3 vehicles. Birding will be from the vehicles or from spots near the vehicles, such as productive feeders, local parks and riparian stretches near Sisters. Leader will provide use of a small scope with a window mount to share among the vehicles for distant birds.  When you register for this trip, please indicate whether you use a wheelchair, require being in your own vehicle or will carpool or have any special requests.  During the tour, we will utilize designated accessible restrooms in the town of Sisters.  Birds to expect on this tour include a variety of woodpeckers, sapsuckers, raptors, Calliope Hummingbird, Western Tanager, Black-headed Grosbeaks, Red Crossbills and dependable feeder birds such as Mountain Chickadees, Pygmy and Red-breasted Nuthatches, etc.  We will make a special effort to find White-headed Woodpeckers and Pinyon Jays.  back to top

Night Prowl $30 (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 actually 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.  back to top

 

Sunday, June 7 (half day trips)$30

Several of these trips are repeats of Saturday with curtailed areas covered. 

Green Ridge - This tour is designed to visit the recent Bridge 99 burn NW of Sisters and will include Green Ridge and some of the springs in the area.  Species we will search for include Mountain Quail, Ruffed Grouse, Sooty Grouse, Wild Turkey, Northern Pygmy-owl, Calliope Hummingbird, all the woodpecker species, Cassin's Vireo, Gray Jay, Clark's Nutcracker, chickadees and nuthatches, Townsend's Solitaire, MacGillivray's Warbler, Hermit Warbler, Townsend's Warbler, Green-tailed Towhee, Fox Sparrow, Cassin's Finch and much, much more.  back to top

 

Camp Polk - This is a great meadow with willow, alders and other riparian habitat.  American Dippers nest on the river, and Virginia and Sora Rails can be found in the ponds.  A diversity of sapsuckers, White-headed Woodpeckers and a variety of warblers and flycatchers are all possible. Great Horned Owls are often seen.   Folks should be prepared to walk several miles including some on uneven ground. Long pants and waterproof footwear is advised.   This goes through an area likely to have ticks. An additional waiver will be required for participants on this trip. back to top

 

Banding Bluebirds/Kestrels - Attendees will be taken to a local banding station where they will be able to be involved in a banding demonstration.  Local experts will explain the banding program and attendees will have the opportunity for hands-on experience with managing bluebird boxes and nesting bluebirds.  back to top

Shevlin Park/Awbrey Hall Burn - We go to Shevlin Park for the spectacle of many Lewis's Woodpeckers and sapsuckers, then work along the old Awbrey Hall Burn to find many of  our resident birds of the big Ponderosa pines - sparrows of the bush and songbirds of the riparian area including empids and Calliope Hummingbirds. Expect to walk two to three miles on forest trails with slopes and rough spots. These trails also go through areas likely to have ticks.  The trip will leave from Sisters.  back to top

Park Meadow Trail - This is a woodpecker expedition.  Attendees will journey along the Park Meadow Trail for 1 1/2 miles to the Wilderness border in search for the elusive Three-toed Woodpecker.  Other woodpeckers will be present along with a few passerines.  This is a burned out area so the diversity is not as great as some places but this has been a Three-toed hotspot in years past. This area was in accessible last year due to heavy snow.  back to top

 

Abbot Creek - This will be a truncated version of the regular Saturday tour.  Another fantastic place for woodpeckers. White-headed and all of the Sapsuckers are usually seen. Since this is an older burn there is more chance for Lewis’s Woodpecker.  Other species include Lazuli Bunting, flycatchers, Hermit and Townsend's Warblers, Green-tailed Towhee and Townsend's Solitaire.  The habitat is quite varied with burn, scrub and more dense forest.  Various stops will yield local breeders and some late migrants. The trip will not include the Wild and Scenic Metolius River Corridor.   back to top

 

Trout Creek/Dry Creek - This tour will consist mostly of an out and back trip up FS Road 1018 to Trout Creek Swamp.  Periodic stops will sample a variety of habitats and their associated bird species.  Trout Creek Swamp is famous for woodpecker (especially Pileated), Pacific Wren, Olive-sided Flycatcher, Hermit Warbler and Lazuli Bunting just to name a few.  This route really gives the attendee a nice sampling of the local forest avifauna. A visit to the Dry Creek area will look for Lewis's Woodpeckers.  back to top

 

Empids and Woodpeckers and Others, Oh, my!  – This is a 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.

back to top

Sisters Hot Spots  – Staying within shouting distance of the town of Sisters (almost), this trip will visit the local areas of Hindman Springs, Calliope Crossing, Indian Fold Campground, Gobbler’s Knob, and in-town feeders maintained by local residents including the Ponderosa Best Western Motel whose feeders almost always yield a White-headed woodpecker or three. back to top

Leisure Birding/Limited Mobility - For those who would like a leisurely pace or have walking or mobility limitations. This trip will be limited to 3 vehicles. Birding will be from the vehicles or from spots near the vehicles, such as productive feeders, local parks and riparian stretches near Sisters. Leader will provide use of a small scope with a window mount to share among the vehicles for distant birds.  When you register for this trip, please indicate whether you use a wheelchair, require being in your own vehicle or will carpool or have any special requests.  During the tour, we will utilize designated accessible restrooms in the town of Sisters.  Birds to expect on this tour include a variety of woodpeckers, sapsuckers, raptors, Calliope Hummingbird, Western Tanager, Black-headed Grosbeaks, Red Crossbills and dependable feeder birds such as Mountain Chickadees, Pygmy and Red-breasted Nuthatches, etc.  We will make a special effort to find White-headed Woodpeckers and Pinyon Jays.  back to top

Catch-up - This will give folks an opportunity to find birds they might have missed on earlier trips. The guides will try to accommodate the requests within a reasonable circuit of the area. 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.

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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