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Showing posts from June, 2014

Yellowstone: Tower, Lamar Valley, Mount Washburn, and Specimen Ridge.

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My brother and I woke up early one morning to head out to Lamar Valley and look for wolves at a bison carcass a ranger had told us about.  Unfortunately my excellent navigation skills took us right past the turn for Lamar Valley and we ended up driving pretty far south before realizing my mistake.  We did find lots of black bears during this misadventure.



Eventually we made it to Lamar Valley and to the bison carcass we had heard about.  A grizzly had just finished up and was running in the opposite direction.  We overhead a guy say he had just seen wolves at a second bison carcass a few miles up the road.  We jumped back in the car and drove up there.


But we missed the wolves.  Instead the carcass was hosting a coyote and about forty ravens.  As we watched someone pointed out a grizzly bear slowly approaching the carcass. 


Eventually the grizzly arrived at the bison and begin ripping out chunks.  The coyote retreated to a safer distance but would occasionally sneak in and grab some m…

Yellowstone: Old Faithful & Lower Falls

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Our first few nights at Yellowstone we stayed at the Old Faithful Inn (the brown building above), located next to, you guessed it, Old Faithful geyser (steaming on the left above).  The inn itself is a pretty cool building, over a hundred years old.  There were plenty of trails and boardwalks around to explore, with plenty of birds and critters to keep me entertained.

Yellow-bellied marmots

 American Dipper

 Awkward chipmunk pose

Cassin's Finch

 Mountain Bluebird

Old Faithful

 Solitary Geyser

Violet-green Swallow

 Killdeer


While staying here we did lots of little trips to other spots around the southern part of the park, like the Lower Falls of the Yellowstone River.  This area is called the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone, and like the real Grand Canyon, it feels a bit surreal when you're looking at it.

View from the top of Lower Falls

Lower Falls

Stairs down to a viewing deck at Lower Falls

On the drive back to Old Faithful we stopped to peep on some bison families...


And one last one from…

Grand Teton NP.

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While staying at Yellowstone, I woke up early one morning and drove down to Grand Teton to try for a couple of birds.  The drive down was a bit nerve-wracking at times, with snow falling and occasional deer and elk lurking on the side of the road.  I made it to the top of Signal Mountain by dawn, as directed, but no Dusky Grouse were to be found.


The views were nice, though, and a Townsend's Solitaire kept me company.  I drove back down the mountain and headed south along the main road, stopping to peep on some elk.



I eventually made it to Moose-Wilson Road which is known for Great Gray Owls.  I found none, but it was a birdy road with lots of small trails and areas to explore. 

Gray Catbird

Red-naped Sapsucker nest 



 Nope.

Hairy Woodpeckers

Black-headed Grosbeaks

When I drove back up the road towards the main road I found a bunch of people clearly looking at something interesting.  Moose!  This female gave the best looks while her young hid in thick brush nearby. 


That was about it …