Arrivals at our Western Montana Lodge
We have and continue to experience new arrivals at our Western Montana Lodge, all expected, but still a delight. Our first 'official' bird tour - a group made up mostly of British bird enthusists - spent an evening with us this past Thursday. Although hot on the trail of several species they had yet to find on the first leg of the two week trek which will take them on a fly-by trip through much of the state of Montana, they enjoyed a quiet evening, a good dinner, a quick breakfast, and a bit of the beauty of our neck of the woods.
They were a nice combination of 8 men and 2 women. For some, this was their first trip to America. For others, this was their first trip to the Rocky Mountain States. And, for the few Americans mixed in, this was a trip through their own backyard.
According to their official leader, Jeff Marks, Montana's head orinthologist, they had already sighted more than 130 birds in their first few days. They hoped to see a Broad Tailed Hummingbird while here - in fact, I had seen one just the day before - but the illusive little fellow avoided their company. Nonetheless, a quick early morning walk up Narrows Creek provided some coniferous forest habitat - and the sightings of a few more birds to add to their impressive lists.
As they drove away, Friday morning, their van cutting a swathe through the early morning light in pursuit of some yet unseen feathered friend, we were left with the memory of a few new friendly faces, and a greater appreciation of our ability to stay here and enjoy what they didn't have time to stop and see.
On Saturday, we did just that. Although, officially, the purpose was to get supplies in Bozeman, our trip through the Centennial produced a few more memorable sightings - this time of new babies. A cow moose with her newborn calf and an antelope with her new kid were the highlight of the day. Of course, we never complain when we get an upclose and personal view of an eagle - and we were blessed with two. A couple of young bald eagles were sunning themselves beside Elk Lake Road. Neither were overly anxious to move - and we weren't desirous of bothering them. And, so, for a few moments we reveled in the size, the power, and the majesty of these wonderful birds.
Add in a few elk, a few deer, a couple Sandhill Cranes, a mature Bald Eagle, and birds and smaller animals too numerous to list - and we had a full day. Then, Sunday, the crowning delight - two bull moose, grazing unconcerned near the top of Red Rock Pass - not 100 feet from the road, and less than 200 feet from a couple of campers (and their occupants). Incredible!
And so, another week passes as we enjoy life, here at Elk Lake Resort.
Lady of the Lake