July 25-28, 2019
Details Max Participants: 7
We can expect to see around 120 species of birds during this tour, as well as more than 5-10 species of mammals. We will be hiking at elevations between 4,200’ and 12,000’ with hikes up to 2 miles each way possible.
Please be sure you are in the right physical condition to take part in this adventure!
1 of 7 Spaces Still Available
Day 1 - Thu, July 25 Arrive in SLC and transfer to Nevada
Arrive in SLC by 4:00pm and transfer west towards Nevada. Some light birding along the way with a stop at the Bonneville Salt Flats, and in Wendover for dinner, before arriving in Elko in the evening.
Night in Elko, NV
Day 2 - Fri, July 26 The Search for Himalayan Snowcock
It will be a very early morning--waking by 3:00 and departing by 3:30 am, we'll drive 45 minutes to the trailhead in the dark. The trek to the valley where we'll find Himalayan Snowcock takes about 90-120 minutes at a slow to moderate pace. We give ourselves up to 2 hours to make sure we are in place by 6:30 AM at an ideal viewing location. Then comes the hard work of scanning rugged terrain and slopes for our quarry. It's not uncommon for Black Rosy-Finch and Clark's Nutcracker to grace us with their presence while we search.
We'll spend several hours in search of our target after which we'll make our way back down the trail and back to town for lunch before taking a long afternoon break. In the evening we'll have dinner before visiting a nearby reservoir to see if any fall shorebird migrants are on the move.
Night in Elko, NV
Day 3 - Sat, July 27 Transfer to Idaho for Cassia Crossbill
Saturday morning is a backup for the Snowcock if for some reason we were unable to track down the target bird on Friday. If needed our morning will follow the same itinerary as Friday, before packing up and traveling northeast to Idaho, where we'll make an evening attempt at tracking down Cassia Crossbill. If we were successful on Friday, we will go birding in the morning around Elko, before departing for Idaho, stopping to look for Canyon Wren, Grasshopper Sparrow, and Calliope Hummingbird before trying for Cassia Crossbill later in the day.
Night in Twin Falls, ID
Day 4 - Sun, July 28 Gray Partridge and end of the Tour
Sunday morning will be a 2nd chance for Cassia Crossbill. If we missed out on Saturday, we'll head back to the mountains and spend the morning checking some of the best places these birds are known to frequent, before making the 4-hour drive back to Salt Lake City, with a potential stop or 2 along the Great Salt Lake on the way. If we get the crossbill on Saturday, we will spend the morning around Twin Falls tracking down Gray Partridge, Barn Owl, and Burrowing Owl before heading into Utah and visiting the Great Salt Lake where 100's of 1,000's of Red-necked and Wilson's Phalarope typically provide a shorebird spectacle unlike anywhere else in the interior United States. Long-billed Curlew, Western Willet, and Snowy Plover are usually seen as well. We will also attempt to track down Chukar to wrap up our most wanted list, before enjoying an early dinner at one of Utah's most popular Mexican restaurants, and dropping everyone off at the airport or nearby hotels around 5:00 pm.
See extension below if interested in Flammulated Owl, Black Swift, and Juniper Specialists.
Extension + $300
Day 4-5 - Mon, July 29
Flammulated Owl, Black Swift, and Juniper Specialists
If you were unable to join our Most Wanted Tour, we created an extension for the Mini Most Wanted to try and see the additional species we'd otherwise miss. After the regular tour concludes, we'll try on the evening of the 28th for Black Swift before dark, and Flammulated Owl after sunset. This will be followed by a night in Salt Lake City.
On the morning of the 29th, we’ll visit the desert southwest of SLC for juniper and sagebrush species like Gray Vireo, Gray Flycatcher, Juniper Titmouse, Ferruginous Hawk, and Sagebrush Sparrow, before making our way back to SLC for some light birding at the marshes near the airport, before lunch and drop-off at the airport or local hotels around 2 PM.