Another day, another chicken lek and this time we drove along icy, snow-covered roads to a high plateau with snow-capped mountains all around to view Greater Sage Grouse. The birds were already present when we arrived just before daylight and we were treated to an amazing display from these gorgeous birds as the males inflated their air sacs, threw their heads back and called. We were here for maybe 90 minutes and there were maybe 30 birds opposite us and quite close, as well as another mini-lek further along the road with up to 6 birds. What a privilege to see these birds doing their thing….
|Watching Greater Sage Grouse lekking is one of the tour highlights|
|We watched the lek from our van|
|Greater Sage Grouse lek|
|The scenery here is stunning|
Then we drove back into Walden for breakfast before heading up the mountain to some feeders, where amongst a winter wonderland scene we enjoyed Grey-headed Junco, Pink-sided Junco, Mountain and Black-capped Chickadee, and finally 2 Brown-capped Rosy-Finches appeared.
|It was a winter wonderland here...|
On the way we also had Swainson’s Hawk, Bald Eagle and a pair of Moose.
Leaving here we drove down to the lakes just outside of town and had a great time with Black-necked Stilt and Marbled Godwit found and both are scarce in these parts.
Wildfowl was well represented with Canvasback, Redhead, Ring-necked Duck, Lesser Scaup, American Wigeon, Blue-winged and Green-winged Teal and all the other more familiar ducks. A longish drive took us to some feeders where several Brown-capped Rosy-Finches, a Grey-crowned Rosy-Finch and a couple male Cassin’s Finches were the star birds.
Leaving here we stopped to look at a Red-shafted Northern Flicker before checking out the lakes again.
This time we found 24 Snow Geese, a few Common Mergansers (Goosander), Yellow-headed Blackbirds, and all the same wildfowl.