The Birds and the Bears
Finally reappearing on the blog after two very busy weeks of Bear Workshop and Birding Workshop.
After a very dry winter, the Rocky Mountain Front is collecting some moisture. The rain is pelting from the trees onto the tin roof, and even the young bull moose who sauntered across Alice’s Ridge—in full view from the dining room windows—has gone to hunker in the trees.
We saw a tremendous amount of bear sign (tracks, clawed trees, fresh hair clumps on wire, grubbing for ants) however, it wasn’t until the Bird Workshop that we got a fabulous look at a Grizzly bear through the scopes.
This is wild country, with a lot of room. It makes for a great illustration of desirable habitat, but sometimes difficult country to find animals with enormous home ranges.
The birds are a little easier.
On the day we went to tour Freezeout wetlands, then drove back across the prairie past the Pine Butte Swamp preserve and into the mountains we saw a measly 116 bird species.
It was wonderful, but enough birds to make your head swim. Ornithologists and artists David Allen Sibley and Keith Hansen added some new bird species to the Pine Butte Guest Ranch bird list including: red-necked phalarope, stilt sandpiper, and sanderlings.
David Sibley and Keith Hansen really allow you to see the birds as they are, not as you expect to see them based on previous experience or habitat. Sibley and Keith see them as they would draw them, so unusual and rare birds do not escape their attention.
Speaking of drawing, guests and some staff got a drawing lesson from the masters themselves, using Skar-ta (the magpie) as a compliant model.
The kitchen prepared fabulous meals, and the rest of the staff kept everything running smoothly while we romped around chasing birds.
Here are some of our favorite photos from the past two weeks, including a link to some videos taken during the two weeks from the trail cameras.
Click on the following link: