Posts Categorized: Birding

  • Birding, Photography

    Plethora of Pied-billed Grebes

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    This year I have seen more Pied-billed Grebes than I can ever remember seeing before. The ponds of the Lee Metcalf National Wildlife Refuge seem to have at least one pair in each of them. The following images come from April and May (I know I am very late in posting them).

  • Birding, Butterflies, Hiking

    Summer keeps rolling along

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    Yesterday was a completely enjoyable, we went for a hike and last night was host to spectacular lightning storm. But the day got off to great start with a surreal sunrise. The hike was along Bass Creek to the old log jam at the boundary of the Bitterroot-Selway Wilderness. It was about 5 miles and just enough… Read more »

  • Birding

    Blue no longer, the Dusky Grouse

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    I still have to stop myself from calling them Blue Grouse. The former Blue Grouse was split some time ago into the Sooty Grouse of the Cascades, Sierra Nevada, and Pacific Coast, and the Dusky Grouse of the Rocky Mountains. The Dusky Grouse inhabits the dry forests and foothills, and during the spring, male Dusky Grouse… Read more »

  • Birding

    Rufous, Black-chinned, and Calliope – a hummer of a day

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    There is a few feeders that hang outside of the restaurant at Quinn’s Hot Spring along the Clark Fork River…these feeders are covered with hummingbirds. Calliope, Rufous, and Black-chinned all made their appearances, much to my delight. These tame little critters are more than photogenic as these images can attest.

  • Birding

    Another rainy morning spent with swallows and Bobolinks

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    I awoke this morning to the soft drumroll of the drizzle outside. The drizzle ever ease or increased – just a drizzle. So, I did what I always do I went birding. This time I birded the Sweeney and Bass Creek Roads. Which yielded Swainson’s Thrush, a variety of swallows, and a plethora of Boblinks.

  • Birding

    Bobolink and Barn Swallow Morning

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    This was rather gloomy, so dark that taking any images was difficult. Luckily, I stumbled upon a cooperative Barn Swallow and Bobolink along the Bass Creek Road. The Barn Swallow was just one of fifty or so that were feeding over the fields of timothy, which were also full of singing male Bobolinks.

  • Birding

    There’s nothing Country about the Nashville Warbler

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    Since back to northwest Montana, I have once again been treated the to presence of the Nashville Warbler. They are an explosion of color and voice. The gray head with its brilliant white eye-ring contrasts the olive back and yellow throat, chest, and belly. Its song always starts with a series of double notes. The Nashville Warbler… Read more »

  • Birding

    The continuation of the Wilson’s Phalarope

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    …When those marvelous sandpipers come around here, the little ones. While they’re in the air flying, they have one mind, they move all together. When they alight on the mud, they become individuals and they go pecking around for worms or whatever. But one click of the fingers and all those things go up into… Read more »

  • Birding, Owling

    My little secret Short-eared Owl spot

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    We all have our own secret little birding spots, those nooks of habitats that we find so magically. One of my spots is a little dirt road on the north side of the Ninepipe National Wildlife Refuge. So many times I have crept along this road as the dust settles from one of the occasional… Read more »

  • Birding

    Black-backed Woodpecker – sense a theme here?

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    Some creatures hold a mystic grasp on my birding imagination. They are rare, elusive, or just plain odd. The Black-backed Woodpecker may just possess all three of those attributes in a single animal. Incredibly patchy in distribution due to their requirement of recently burnt forests for both nesting and feeding, Black-backed Woodpeckers are scattered widely… Read more »

  • Birding

    California Quail of the Bitterroot Valley

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    I have not seen a California Quail since moving back into western Montana, and I decided to take a break and find a few of the little buggers. And boy, did I find a whole mess of California Quail. I even managed a couple of images. California Quail is Montana’s introduced species problem. They have… Read more »

  • Birding, Photography

    Cassin’s Vireo from Mount Sentinel

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    Harsh questions and answers resonate through the Douglas-fir and ponderosa pine. The first note is always an upward, plaintive infliction, and the following an answering second, upward note. This questioning is relentless as if I am being grilled in a Turkish prison. The Cassin’s Vireo is one of three members of the former Solitary Vireo, which was split into… Read more »

  • Birding

    4 First of the Years today

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    Just a quick note about today’s birding. I managed four FOYs today; Cassin’s Vireo, Ruddy Duck, Lincoln’s Sparrow, and Hermit Thrush. The Hermit Thrush posed up for one quick image.

  • Birding

    Meeting the neighbors

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    I am fortunate enough to have some pretty good neighbors. Bald Eagles, Osprey, and Canada Geese drop by for visits almost every day. Recently, a couple of new birds have moved into the neighborhood, American Goldfinch and Red-naped Sapsucker.

  • Birding

    Bitterroot River Merganser, an uncommon experience

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    One of the benefits of living next to the Bitterroot River is the near constant presence of Common Mergansers has they float on past. Dressed in stately garb, the male is strikingly black and white with a bright red bill, whereas the hen possesses a russet head adorned with a ragged crest of feathers. These outfits make the moniker… Read more »