Saturday, July 15, 2017

Wildlife Refuges - Montana to Minnesota



Our first stop north of Livingston was Freezeout Lake National Wildlife Refuge.  We had a very nice auto tour route and found free camping on the site so stayed the night.  Abundant Am. White Pelicans, and many ducks and grebes, Marbled Godwits, Am. Avocets, Wilson's Phalaropes, and Am. Bittern.  Hot day, 95, but cooled off for a good night of sleep.

American Avocet

Franklin's Gull

Blue Damselflies 

Willet

Sunset over Freezeout Lake




We drove to the northeastern part of Montana enjoying many hawks along the route including this Swainson's Hawk.  We found an RV park in Malta for the night.


You never know what you might see.  Like a moose quickly walking across a cut off field.  Unlikely place, but fun to see, wonder where she was going?

Cliff Swallows on nests


 Next morning we drove the 15 mile auto tour of Bowdoin NWR.  Great Place to see Sharp-tailed Grouse.

Sharp-tailed Grouse poses for close-up

Short-eared Owl up past his bedtime



When we returned, we saw our inner duel tire was flat (good thing there's two).  Couldn't get it fixed until next morning, so relaxed the day in the air conditioning at the RV Park.  It was 104 degrees.  Only bad thing was 2 days of trains roaring close by.
Still downy baby Am. Avocet

Wilson's Phalarope

Orchard Oriole

Common Nighthawk sleeps at the RV Park


After a quick tire repair, we drove on to Medicine Lake NWR.   Best find there were nesting Chestnut-collared Longspurs.  Another 103 degree day so we drove on to North Dakota.  We found a county park with electric hook-ups and were hoping for a good night's sleep minus the trains.  But... we had high winds all night, whistling and flapping through the RV, very noisy.
Chestnut-collared Longspur

Mama duck with brood


Our next stop was Lostwood NWR in ND and a 7 mile auto tour through Prairie Pot Hole country.  Lots of birds and best find was a moose with her twin calves running through the grass and then hid in some bushes till we left.

Wood Lily


There were lots of ducks and grebes, shorebirds and the fields had many species of sparrows including LeConte's and Baird's.  The prairie wild flowers were beautiful.

Belted Kingfisher


Another very hot day as we rode across North Dakota passing many yellow fields of grain.  We stayed at Icelandic State Park that night, thundershowers were moving in.  The rangers came around warning of a tornado watch.  The rains came and the temps dropped and thankfully no tornados.
Look into my eyes, what do you see?

Green-eyed Darner



We drove through northern Minnesota in the cool, drizzle that sometimes turned to heavier showers.  Not finding many birds we drove on to Sax-Zim Bog northwest of Duluth.  In the 40's that night, quite a change for us.  Time to bundle up.  Pretty quiet in the north woods except for the tons of mosquitos, deer flies and gnats.  Best sighting was a young Black Bear running across the road as we headed for Wisconsin.



We are always amazed at the variety in God's creation.  So much to experience.
Love & Prayers,
Ty & Ida Baumann

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Montana Adventures




We have enjoyed our time in Livingston, MT for the last month, especially our time with Ty's brother and his wife Vicki.  The wild flowers are in full bloom in the yards and all the mountain sides.  The most common bird in our neighborhood was the Black-billed Magpie.
Absaroka Range south of Livingston

Rocky Mountain Ground Squirrel

Neighborhood Cottontail Rabbit

Andrew, Christy, Jake, Dani, Daryl, Vicki, Becky, Nate, Rachel, Jim, Abi
The Baumann Clan

Backyard House Wren sings out


For one weekend, the whole family got together and it was great to see everyone and how much all their Grandkids have grown.
Guess who?  Ty's favorite camera target

Mountain Bluebird


We went on rides in all directions from Livingston, exploring the mountain roads, wooded valleys, and checking out many trout streams for future fishing.

Ty and Daryl did go fishing on the free day along the Tom Minor creek and caught and released many Cutthroat Trout.

Western Meadowlark

Goat's Beard

Young Red Fox checking out intrusion to his territory

Black-headed Grosbeak

Bald Eagle eats his catch 

Madia

Young Mountain Bluebird

Richardson's Geranium



We did a 10 hour road trip through the northern roads of Yellowstone Park into Beartooth Pass.  We saw lots of Am. Pronghorn Antelopes, Am. Bison, Deer and Elk along the way.  We drove to "The Top of the World" at 10,947 foot altitude which is above tree line and all the magnificent rocks and flowers of the area.

Forget-me-nots

Black Rosy-Finch


Beartooth pass summit, There are mountain goats in the distance

The "Bear Tooth" that marked out the pass


Red-naped Sapsucker





Ty and Daryl went to the Shield's River to check out the fishing.  And while Daryl caught a few fish, Ty caught some birds and wildlife with the camera.  Including a young moose high-tailing into the woods.
Young Moose - camera shy

Daryl with his Cutthroat Trout


Cedar Waxwing

Yellow Warbler



Tomorrow, we head out northeast along the Canadian border heading back through the plains, Northern Minnesota and back into Wisconsin.

Love & Prayers,
Ty & Ida Baumann