Hi Frogmouth, welcome to the site and great sighting. A very rare bird, indeed! I am wondering if you could give more specific instructions on where the bird was located. I'm sure there will be a few people that would like to take a look for this bird, including myself. Were you hiking the trail that the mountain bikers use to get up the hill, in which you park up the hill from Ledgeview Golf Course?
Where is Ledgeview? Is in in Agassiz, Abbotsford, Langley, Harrison Mills, Harrison Hot Springs, Hope, Boston Bar, Princeton, Washington State, etc. I really am interested in the Hawk Owl as I have only observed 2 over 45 years of birding. I would really appreciate something more specific for location. Thanks. Super find. Janne Perrin Harrison Hot Springs
Post by frogprincess on Dec 2, 2008 14:14:55 GMT -8
Ledgeview is a mountain biking hill across the road from Ledgeview Golf course in Abbotsford.
The owl was on the top of the fir tree in the clearing at the west viewpoint just before arriving at the peak. Follow the access road all the way up. Walking and biking only. Private property - no vehicles.
Hi and welcome Frogprincess! Great bird. Nicely done. Described perfectly. At the top of a tall tree in a clearing is pretty much bang on!! I, too, would be excited to see this guy to put to rest my lamentations of not seeing them here but only in Washington (not by me) and North/Central BC (only once by me).
Looking at a map, I see there is a parking lot across the street from the golf course but then the road/trail splits. Would I take the left (east) or right (west?) If I go west, would I keep straight or then turn left at the other split?
I bet it is still around! Thanks and welcome again.
Gord Fraser Valley Birding Administrator eBird Regional Editor (Fraser Valley)
Post by frogprincess on Dec 2, 2008 14:40:01 GMT -8
I hope this pic goes through.
There is a Christmas tree farm across the street from the golf course and the trail starts just passed the farm on the left side if you are driving up. Don't park in the parking at the base - lots of break ins, park on the road - safer.
Thanks Frogprincess for letting me know that Ledgeview is a golf course in Abbotsford and for the very specific walking directions once I arrive. Here is a link for all those non golfers who, like me, still may not really know where Ledgeview is: www.ledgeviewgolf.com/directions.html
Frogprincess: I will echo the refrain of great sighting!! Not having been here, I think your directions are fine, but can you can tell me how long a hike it is- just for planning purposes. Would it be safer to park in the golf course parking lot? Thanks. Thor
This is a great find! Thanks, Thor, for the heads up on the other birding lists.
For those interested in looking for the Northern Hawk Owl, the location is also known as McKee Peak, if I understand the posts (particularly Frogprincess' second post) correctly. The access is not right across from the golf course. Those roads (what you see on the map, Gord) will not get you there.
Coming from the west, follow the main road (McKee Road) past the golf course a couple of hundred yards to where the road starts down hill again, and on the right (south) is an informal parking area (at least it's a clearing in the trees) that gives access to an obvious old logging road that winds uphill through the forest to the peak.
There's lots of room there to park on the shoulder of busy McKee Road, and mountain bikers park there regularly.
The old logging road (criss-crossed with mountain bike trails) is easy to follow, and after a couple of kms you come up into a large sort of clearing that is probably a Christmas tree plantation, about 200 yards square. Presumably the owl was seen near the top of this area. There are a number of larger trees scattered in the area.
At the top of the clearing the road enters forest again and reaches the peak with its communication tower in another 200 yards. Elevation at the peak is about 1500 feet.
Incidentally, the logging road goes up the opposite side of this peak from the well known band of sandstone cliffs prominently visible on the south side of McKee Peak from Hwy 1 east of Whatcom Rd.
Ponder also that most of this hill, home to a number of listed species, is slated to be turned into residential development, although the city did put the brakes on for an environmental inventory and there will be considerable greenspace included now.
I hope this is helpful. I can't go anywhere tomorrow or I'd be up there looking. Let's hope it sticks around.
Hi all: Checked out the N. Hawk Owl site today between noon and 1:00 p.m. - no luck. There was a couple there the previous hour with the same luck. Looks like good, if limited, habitat for a Hawk Owl. Stan's and Frogprincess' directions were good, and there was no problem parking on the side of the road by the clearing. Good luck to anyone else who tries. Also looked for the Gyrfalcon on Gibsons Rd in East Chilliwack, and struck out there, too. If nothing else, it was a great day to be outside. Cheers, Thor