Monday, 30 April 2018

Greater Sage Grouse & More!!

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. 

Black-capped Chickadee

Brown-capped Rosy-Finch

Grey-headed Junco

Mountain Chickadee

Pink-sided Junco

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. 

Black-necked Stilt

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. 

Grey-crowned Rosy-Finch

Leaving here we stopped to look at a Red-shafted Northern Flicker before checking out the lakes again. 

Northern Flicker

This time we found 24 Snow Geese, a few Common Mergansers (Goosander), Yellow-headed Blackbirds, and all the same wildfowl.

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