Friday, June 15, 2012

June 14 &15- Day 12 &13 of our trip Grasslands Nat. Park

This is part 2 of our visit to Val Marie Sask. and the Grasslands Nat. Park.  Two mornings we awoke at 3AM to get out to the park for sunrise.  We found a grouse lek and wanted to get a few pictures while they were active.  We were successful but lighting conditions weren't ideal for good results.  Last evening we climbed 70 Mile Butte to find a Golden Eagles nest.  It was a great hike but couldn't find the nest.  Of course we left our map in the trailer.

Looking north from 70 Mile Butte

Looking east from 70 Mile Butte so named by the settlers because you can see 70 miles in all directions

The view of the Crossing Resort with 70 Mile Butte in background

Brown Thrasher

Looking for Burrowing Owls can be difficult.  But they have no problem spotting us.

But getting there early in the morning helps .

Black-tailed Prairie Dog towns are huge

And they are fun to watch

This Upland Sandpiper was trying to stay on top of the post with the wind having different ideas.  Yes, it is windy here.

Blue-winged Teal sitting in the rising sun.

A Ferruginous Hawk flew by.  My camera was on the wrong settings but I managed to save one shot.

Distance and lighting wasn't conducive to great photography but I have always wanted to get shots of these birds in their mating rituals.

This bird is heading to the center of the lek and we presumed he was the dominant male.

This one is a subordinate and lingers around the fringes of the lek.  The lek is actually a parking lot and if you arrived during the day you would have no idea it was used by the grouse in the early morning light.  All shots were taken while sitting in the truck.

Here is the dominant male daring a rival to enter his arena.  We didn't get to much confrontation between the birds as the breeding season is winding down.  In fact we saw no females and believe they are probably on nests.

Tomorrow, Saturday June 16 we are heading to Chaplin.  We heard we may find Piping Plovers there.

No comments:

Post a Comment