Cleaning Out Yellowstone – Part 1

I must admit I’m mentally drained at the moment.  For the last two days, I’ve been attending a presentation skills class.  That translates to 2 days of being videotaped giving presentations, getting critiqued by the instructor and peers topped off by a self assessment by watching your video.  There’s the concept of being outside of one’s comfort zone, but stepping out to Pluto is a better analogy at this point. Now that it is over, I can say I did learned a lot (and absolutely confirmed I dislike watching myself on video!).  This will take some work to implement in the field but the hard part is over.  Since there is not much left of me at the moment, figured it was a perfect time to start clearing out the Yellowstone pictures.  Today’s post will be more of a dump of pictures that didn’t warrant their own post, but thought you might enjoy viewing the other sights found at our favorite National Park.

Let’s start with an interesting pairing.
Scenes from Yellowstone May 2013

That would be a Magpie and a Kestrel hanging out on a dead tree.  Two meat eaters enjoying the day while talking about the best ways to marinate a dead mouse.

Scenes from Yellowstone May 2013

The next bird is no stranger to this blog.  There is something about those Ravens that have always intrigued me.  Thinking it might have something to do with the wide variety of expressions they display.  Either that, or the fact they are so damn huge – and therefore have little fear when The Beast gets pointed in their direction.

Scenes from Yellowstone May 2013

So above is the stoic portrait.  Below is the classic side profile which gives an excellent view of the hairs at the base of their daunting beaks.

Scenes from Yellowstone May 2013

Hit the jump to see some more pictures from Yellowstone.

…. and now….the Poofy look.

Scenes from Yellowstone May 2013

Did I mention they are huge!  Strutting around like they owns the place.

Scenes from Yellowstone May 2013

Mixed paper goes in the hole … food scraps can go right here on top.

Scenes from Yellowstone May 2013

On to a flock of Common Mergansers – looks like one of the males is getting all the action.

Scenes from Yellowstone May 2013

Pretty sure this next couple are American Wigeons.  Oddly enough, I didn’t know these were actually in the tin.

Scenes from Yellowstone May 2013

I was elated when Ron and I got these at the Chain O’ Lakes State Park (link here) back in May 2015 – at the time it was the +1 for the list.  Little did I know I had them two years earlier.

Scenes from Yellowstone May 2013

Sticking with the duck theme..

Scenes from Yellowstone May 2013

That would be a male Lesser Scaup hanging out in one of the park’s lakes.  Pretty happy to see these come out half way decent.  I’ve had the Lesser on my list for a while (link here), but those pics were pretty crappy – upgrade to my Life List.

Scenes from Yellowstone May 2013

… and of course we have the females

Scenes from Yellowstone May 2013

Quick, where’s Malldo?

Scenes from Yellowstone May 2013

The Wolf sightings were pretty weak on this trip.  We did find two hanging out in some rolling hills.  Trust me, these were a looooong way off.  Once again, thanks to the 1.4 tele reach was able to make out the shapes.  It was disappointing in the darkroom to find out both of these specimens were collard.

Scenes from Yellowstone May 2013

I really liked how these Sandhill Crane shots came out.  One of these will definitely get added to the bird list portfolio.

Scenes from Yellowstone May 2013

Incredible how well these birds blend into the background.  If they were a little shorter you would likely never even see them.

Scenes from Yellowstone May 2013

Good luck on this next one boys and girls.  I am going with a Trumpeter Swan since they are pretty common out there.  These are not the best shots to be able to distinguish them from the Tundra Swan.

Scenes from Yellowstone May 2013

You really need a closer shot of the black at the base of the bill to officially make the call.  It would also help if you could see their neck/head posture (I actually have those shots as well, but though these were more interesting).

Scenes from Yellowstone May 2013

We stumbled on this Great Blue Heron hanging out in some trees on the other side of a stream.  Although a tad soft if you look close, I really liked the composition.

Scenes from Yellowstone May 2013

Once again, rig was at the extent of its reach.  The tripod took out some of the jitters, but really too far to compensate for the feather and tree movements.

Scenes from Yellowstone May 2013

It’s a little brown jobber!

Scenes from Yellowstone May 2013

I totally suck at identifying these Sparrows – especially the juvis which looks to be the case here.  Note, I thought the buffy spot along the sides of the neck would give a clue to the identification, but really couldn’t match it up with any of my reference books.

Scenes from Yellowstone May 2013

Pretty confident the next one is a Mountain Bluebird.  This one was actually shot in the Grand Tetons on our way back home.

Scenes from Yellowstone May 2013

There were plenty of this vibrant specimens out in about.

Scenes from Yellowstone May 2013

This particular one decided to give me the stink eye.

Scenes from Yellowstone May 2013

Like I said, they were everywhere.

Scenes from Yellowstone May 2013

A little on the fence about this one, but going with a Western Scrub-Jay

Scenes from Yellowstone May 2013

However, no doubt this one is a Scrub-Jay (on the right).  That would be another little brown jobber on the left.  In the same vein of the first pictures in this post, I liked the balance of the two birds in the frame.

Scenes from Yellowstone May 2013

And there you have it, the first in a multi-part series to clear out the Yellowstone shots.  Time to go lift, check in on some work emails and hit the sack – Bri be sleepy.

 

2 thoughts on “Cleaning Out Yellowstone – Part 1”

  1. Hmmm, I seem to be lagging a bit on my comments to your posts…

    However, I really enjoyed your pics here. A lot of birds you don’t see around here, which means I don’t have them on my life list yet: the Raven, the Mountain Bluebird, the Western Scrub-Jay and the Magpie, not to mention the wolves. I’m going out west this month and I’ll see what I can get.

    Others such as the Lesser Scaup and American Wigeons are already in the tin, thank you! And I have a better Mallard picture than yours here. 🙂

    That first Mountain Bluebird is gorgeous! However, those Ravens freak me out totally. The Sandhill Crane appears to be a juvenile (“colt”).

    A nice selection of western birds, thanks!

    Ron

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  2. Dammit, you broke my string – two solid months without a comment!!

    I believe the second rule of birding is you are not allowed to bird when traveling for any school graduation event – sorry, but that’s the rules.

    Are you calling out my Mallard pictures? hmmm might have to just bring out my Yellow-Rumped Warbler shot hehehehe

    I did not know juvi Sandhills are called colts – something to stow away for my next Trivia Crack game although it doesn’t really matter seeing as I’ve lost like 37 in a row.

    Welcome back!

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