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Category Archives: Okanogan Highlands

In the eastern part of Okanogan County and the western part of Ferry County is a region referred to as the Okanogan Highlands. It is an area dotted with lakes and covered with forests and meadows and occasional high mountains. The lakes are a big attraction for birders and anglers and photographers.

Lost Lake is really one of my favorite places to camp. It is a stunningly beautiful, quiet lake nestled in the Okanogan Highlands, surrounded by deep dark forest and at the far end rich wetlands. Common (not so common, really, in our state) Loons nest at Lost Lake each year. They struggle to raise their young while Bald Eagles search for easy meals of the tiny chicks. The loons’ call echoes off nearby cliffs, almost a lament at times.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Life’s been busy recently and I’ve had little time for personal work. Couple that with an aching back and I’ve just not had anything recent to post.

Last week I got away with a friend for a few days of (car) camping in the Okanogan Highlands and the Sinlahekin valley. We planned  some serious birding adventures and were not disappointed. By the end of four days we had seen 114 species and along the way, we saw a few other things as well.

 

The Okanogan Highlands clouds are always spectacular

 

And then there’s litter

 

Lost Lake, where we stayed for two nights. One of my all time favorite camping spots.

 

Dog at the Chesaw Store

 

Phone booth at the Chesaw Store.

This area is so close to Canada that if you have your cell phone on, it will connect to Canadian cell towers and your bill will show extra and possibly unexpected charges.

 

Molson is an old ghost town between Oroville and Chesaw

 

 

Camp coffee

 

Camp site in the Sinlahekin valley

I have a few photos of birds to share and will get them posted soon.

 

 

Common Loons nest at Lost Lake. There are only a few places around Washington where they nest so it’s a special place for folks who love the charismatic birds. This season, the nesting pair has lost both of its chicks to marauding Bald Eagles. It is quite a dilemma for bird lovers. We did see a chick on Thursday evening when we arrived but the eagle was watching at the same time. We never saw the baby again so it must have been taken by the eagle shortly after we saw it.

 

 

 

 

 

I was lucky enough to be invited to search for Great Gray Owls near a known nesting site. Our small group walked along a county road and first spotted the young fledglings near the end of dusk and then the adults hunting from fence posts after dark!

 

Red-winged Blackbirds rule the marsh with their raucous calls.

 

Juvenile swallows waiting for a meal or a lesson in catching their own.

 

Young Spotted Sandpipers

 

The adult Spotted Sandpiper watching its babies.

 

 

 

 

It was Ken’s birthday while we were at Lost Lake and we had a low key celebration over breakfast on Friday. The big party is this Saturday so ya’ll be sure and show up!

There was a general theme of fishing throughout the weekend. Riley is his middle name.

Sometimes I think it’s more about fiddling with gear than actual fishing.

Two very nice eastern brook trout.

And another one.

Because Lost Lake is home to Common Loons, lead fishing tackle is banned. Ken used all non-toxic tackle to catch these fish.

Playing guitar and singing under the tamarack trees.

He cooked dinner in the campfire each night, including those three mighty brook trout!

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