There is not much out there about the wonderful Himalayan Snowcock. Having just returned from a successful trip to see these birds, I thought I would share our experience. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to give me a shout.
Our adventure began on the 17th of July, 2014. Meeting in Salt Lake City, we made our way to Elko, Nevada. On the 18th we hiked into Lamoille Lake just to try to acclimate to elevation we would be hiking in. What a beautiful area. Here John found 3 Black Rosy-finches.
The morning of the 19th we were up at 1:00 am, left the hotel at 2:00 and on the trail by 3:00. The first group of our hikers arrived at Island Lake around 5:30. The last of the group made it in by 6:00 am. It was really quiet until a Golden Eagle showed up to hunt the black rock to the north of the lake. He cruised back and forth without flushing anything. My heart sunk. . . if an eagle couldn't see a snowcock. . . what were our chances?? Around 8:00, we heard our first sounds from the snowcock. All of us were on high alert, then 3 birds flew out, but were seen only by Diego, our youngest birder from another group. We continued to scan and listen. My strategy was to lie on the ground with my head on my pack and scan the ridge line. WAIT!!! One of the birds just hit the ridge line, rushing to the scope, we soon had the bird. Eventually, we had six birds and a possible nest site. All had superb looks at the birds through the scope. High fives all around!!! Our group shared with our young birder and 2 gentlemen from Florida. Patience had given us great reward. We all made it down the hill on wings in about 2.5 hours.
Just a note: our group consisted of birders all over 70 years young. . two with bionic knees. All made it up and back with little discomfort. Be sure to acclimate to the high altitude a couple days before doing the hike and stay hydrated.