Yellowstone Park/Grand Tetons – the story so far…

1 06 2009

Scarlet Tanager - Luke Tiller

Scarlet Tanager - Luke Tiller

Is it me or is Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons a vastly underrated birding destination? It seems like there aren’t many birders here (we’ve met one – who strangely enough I met during my time with another tour company). Anyway the highlights thus far have been legion including: my GPS taking me down a wrong turn in Jackson and stumbling upon the towns best feeder setup, with multitudes of Western Tanagers, Bullock’s Orioles and in the stream nearby a spritely little American Dipper, 4 sightings of Three-toed Woodpecker including crippling views of a pair, Great Gray Owl, Sandhill Cranes aplenty, Trumpeter Swans all over the place, both Crossbill species, Jackson’s second record of Broad-winged Hawk (trust me to stumble on a mega that barely raised any eyebrows amongst the US contingent!) and today’s highlight – drop dead views of two Lewis’s Woodpeckers at a nest site. Throw in Williamson’s Sapsucker, Lazuli Bunting and Calliope Hummingbird and you have a host of wonderful accompanying beauties.

I have to say though, even as a hardcore birder, the mammals somewhat steal the show with great looks at Grizzly Bear and Gray Wolf amongst the ubiquitous Bison and Elk. Today’s special was a sow Black Bear with two young cubs that were putting on quite the show climbing trees, pouncing on each other and generally just behaving all too cutely for words. Anyway my useless laptop isn’t compatible with the card in my new point and shoot so for now you’ll have to make do with this snap of a Scarlet Tanager from my yard until I get home.

If you are desperate to see some great pictures of the local birds and animals check out Dan Hartman’s online gallery – we just snuck in there today to do some shopping (link here).