We had a couple of hours to look for Black Rosy-Finch so headed over to Bridger Bowl Road in the rain and, no surprise, we dipped. A little compensation came with stunning views of a Pileated Woodpecker that flew around us before landing in a nearby tree. So we decided to call it quits and head north towards Flathead Lake but en-route decided to call into Missoula (some 3 hours along our route) and twitch the reported drake Hooded Merganser, which duly showed well on our arrival. There was an exceptional number of Evening Grosbeaks around the town and after a couple false starts we finally caught up with a flock of over 14 along a leafy suburban lane.
Moving on, we had a very enjoyable walk around a forest for a couple of hours notching up Olive-sided Flycatcher, Calliope Hummingbird, Western Bluebird and Pygmy Nuthatch quite easily.
Further on we heard Williamson’s Sapsucker but it failed to show. However a little judicious pygmy owl call brought in dozens of Red Crossbills, Cassin’s Finches, Pine Siskins, Audubon’s Warblers and two more Evening Grosbeaks, with several Vesper Sparrows out in the grassland. All that was left was to drive to Polson at Flathead Lake for an early night.