Showing posts with label birding. Show all posts
Showing posts with label birding. Show all posts

Sunday, May 18, 2014

What a Difference a Week Can Make.

It is amazing what a difference a week in May can make on a birding walk. Last week I spent an hour or so walking along the Yellowstone River at Two Moon Park. It was amazingly quiet. I heard and saw very few birds, fewer species and numbers than I typically find in January there. The winter birds were gone, the resident birds were dispersed, and the migrants and summer residents had apparently been stalled out on their way north by a rather large spring snow storm south of Montana.


This morning was quite different. I noticed the Yellow Warblers in my neighborhood had showed up a couple of days ago and there were a couple of Swainson's Thrushes in the backyard later in the week so I suspect that was when most of the residents and migrants arrived around here. And arrive they did.  I got to the foggy wet park fairly early in this morning and there were Yellow Warblers singing everywhere, only interrupted by the Common Yellowthroats and Yellow-breasted Chats. It was tough just trying to figure out how many were there.  I observed or heard Black-headed Grosbeaks, Gray Catbirds, and Brown Thrashers as well. It was nice to see so much activity in the park again.



Friday, April 25, 2014

Monday Morning Meeting - Sharp-tailed Grouse

Earlier this week I was able to sneak away early one morning for what will probably be my last lek morning of the year.  It was a very pleasant way to close out the season.  There was no wind, it was fairly warm for a late April morning and the sky was clear. I was back at a Sharp-tailed Grouse lek and there were probably close to forty birds stomping....





rattling....






cooing....



and fighting (lots of fighting) around me.


















I also had a few other creatures besides the grouse join me at the lek. This Pronghorn wandered through, had a bite to eat on a sagebrush, scratched an itch, expressed his opinion, and wandered over the edge of the hill.




The Western Meadowlarks were also pretty active and singing vigorously from various perches around my blind.



On my way home I stopped by to check out the Mountain Bluebird nest boxes and found this guy.





* Here are some bonus photos from a morning at a different lek earlier this month.







Monday, April 14, 2014

Godzilla in a Feather Boa - Greater Sage-Grouse

Last year one of my friends commented on a portrait of a Greater Sage-Grouse I had taken that spring. He said that the photo looked like a picture of Godzilla in a feather boa. Now I can't see anything but that so I am passing that thought along to the rest of you.


These are a few photos from a recent morning spent on one of my favorite leks. It is a rather new (for us to know about) lek that was found by a couple of my interns a few years ago after their diligent sleuthing and early morning searching and it has figured prominently in a couple of graduate projects I was fortunate to be part of. It also happens to be in one of my favorite landscapes so spending time there is therapeutic. It was nice to have a meeting with sage-grouse rather than about sage-grouse for a change.















Sunny side up



Fan Dance