Tuesday, May 22, 2012

~Montana Birding~

Cassin's Finch
As we were on our way to Minnesota we planned to make a few birding stops at some rest areas; the first was at mile marker #71 and the second was on Elk Park Pass 6368 ft. The one at MM #71 we have nicknamed it Big Rock for obvious reasons; there's a huge rock along side the Clark Fork River. On the 18th of May; yes I'm five days behind in my blog updates, was the first time we had stopped there and look forward to going back.

Once we got to Big Rock Rest Area we noticed that the Clark Fork River was much higher than it was before and we couldn't walk along the way the bank of the river; since the water was all the way up to the thick treeline. So, we headed for the dirt path to the other way down to the river. Hoping for something new but this rest area only gave us one new bird this time; unlike last time which was very productive. As we were heading for the truck we heard something up in a pine tree and after about five minutes to locate the bird it was a female Cassin's finch.

Yellow-rumped Warbler
Audubon's Group
After we left there we decided we had enough time to fit in an hour birding trip through the woods behind the rest area on top of Elk Park Pass. What a beautiful sight; it's so nice to be able to walk into the mountains and not really caring about anything and getting away from the truck! Well that is until you see signs of Mountain Lions.

We spotted a lovely Audubon's Yellow-rumped Warbler flying out and catching flies. Then we saw a few Chipping Sparrows hoping they were something new but no luck.

Chipping Sparrow
Red-naped Sapsucker

Next, Simon spotted a pair of Red-naped Sapsuckers. Very nice looking male on the right.

We were very excited to see the Mountain Bluebird again this year. Males and Females flying all over the trees, what a sight. Might be my favorite bluebird!

Mountain Bluebird

 Happy Birding!!!

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