An Evening Of Birds (P2)

Montana DOES have a beautiful face! Yet, I know many would agree, she puts on her most impressive show in the Greater Yellowstone area. It is a grand area bursting forth with high mountain peaks standing sentry over lush valleys filled with icy-cold mountain streams and pure blue lakes. I am privileged indeed to daily experience the mountain's magic!

And so, on a recent summer evening I headed for a rarely visited spot to see what wildlife I could find. Last post I left you on the mountainside preparing to head down to the lush savannah-like valley floor.

As we worked our way down the steep hillside, my friend spotted a Sandhill Crane head poking up above the marshland grasses. While the grass is quite deep, I was starting to wonder if this Sandhill was particularly short!

That is until I spotted the second head. Can you see it? (Just left of center) The chick still has some fuzzy down on its topknot - thus it is not fully grown. Now I understand why the parent was trying to keep a low profile while watching for 'intruders'.

Down near the water's edge we rejoiced to see and hear the abundant bird life - particularly the water fowl. The water seemed to team with life. These Ruddy Ducks are sporting a bright blue bill! Very cool!

The more we walked around, quitely moving from one bush to the next in an effort to keep our wildlife disruption to a minimum, the more babies we observed. Clearly we had stumbled upon 'The Nursery'!

Of course the marshlands abound with more than waterfowl. Based upon the interest we garnered, I'd bet the Red-winged Blackbirds were nesting in the area.

The even more illusive Yellow-Headed Blackbirds seemed to be thriving in this lovely oasis. We saw several males and females - and heard many more!

But our daylight was running out. Thus we headed back toward home. However, along the way, we stirred up this Spotted Sandpiper who kindly posed for its picture before heading downshore.

It was time for us to head back too. Thus with hearts full of the wonder of creation we turned away from this glorious little world-within-a-world. Perhaps I'll have a chance to visit again. Perhaps not. Either way, I am sure the photos and memories will rekindle delight many times in the future.

Lady of the Lake

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