The Pacific Northwest: An Introductory Birding Tour: Jul 23—27, 2014

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Departs: Seattle
Tour Limit: 7
Operations Manager: Margaret Anderson
Download Itinerary: PDF (83.3 KB)

Route Map


Tour Leaders


Bob Sundstrom

Bob Sundstrom has led VENT tours since 1989 to many destinations throughout North America, a...

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Black Oystercatcher

Black Oystercatcher— Photo: Barry Zimmer

A memorable introduction to the birdlife, wildflowers, mountains, forests, and inshore marine waters of one of the most scenic regions in North America.

Mid-July on the Olympic Peninsula is an ideal season to introduce birders to this special region within the Pacific Northwest. There is so much variety within a short distance: great and diverse birding, stunning mountain scenery and wildflowers, marine waters dotted with emerald islands and teeming with bird life, and miles and miles of accessible shoreline. We will spend three of the four nights of the tour in Port Angeles, scenically set between the saw-toothed Olympic Mountains and the Strait of Juan de Fuca, with great birds and great food close at hand.

Our Pacific Northwest Introductory tour makes the most of the varied natural history of the northeast portion of the Olympic Peninsula. Early in the tour we explore the South Puget Sound region, where likely birds include Red-breasted Sapsucker, Black-throated Gray Warbler, Purple Finch, Black-headed Grosbeak, Western Tanager, Rufous Hummingbird, Pacific-slope Flycatcher, and a whole range of species typical of this area. Much of the tour will be devoted to touring the Olympic Mountains and a range of lowland habitats on the Olympic Peninsula where we will target such specialties as Sooty Grouse, Varied Thrush, American Dipper, Northern Pygmy-Owl, Pacific Wren, and Gray Jay among others. Red Crossbills may turn up at any elevation in this land of many conifers. Expect an incredible show of mountain wildflowers too.

We will bird also along the salt water edge and take a short charter cruise to Protection Island, creating excellent opportunities to view such seabirds as Tufted Puffin, Rhinoceros Auklet, Pigeon Guillemot, Heermann’s Gull, and Pelagic Cormorant, as well as eye-catching specialties like Bald Eagle, Harlequin Duck, and Black Oystercatcher. Shorebirds are coming south after nesting season too, with birds like Black Turnstone, dowitchers, yellowlegs, and others a good bet. On a tour of this length we can’t hope to see every bird species in the area, but we will make an effort to see as many regional specialties as possible.

Very good accommodations and cuisine; easy, non-strenuous walking; ferry crossings on inland marine waters; comfortably moderate weather conditions.