Saturday, August 12, 2017

Elk Lake Lodge Day 3

Day 3 dawned with no clouds and good sun so it was perfect for a trip down the road to the refuge. We had a very incredible day in the refuge with Cranes, Sage Grouse, Antelope, Swans, and scads of swallows on a fence! Hawks and eagles added their excitement along with the ubiquitous cows just outside the refuge limits.

I was so glad to see the sun that the next two photos are rejoicing in it!

How now, Brown Cow?

This Sandhill crane was one of two that were just 15 feet from the vehicle. We almost didn't see them - for a big bird they can blend in quite quickly and well.

Mr Antelope was confrontative but he stayed a distance away.

Redtail soaring over the forest with the mountain in the background.

Two sage grouse kids were watched over by Momma as they explored the road.

Redtail sitting in the sage - a fairly common sight here.

Followed by the bald eagle sitting in the same spot that I saw him three years ago!

Trumpeter swans - adults and kids.

Looking east toward Yellowstone which is on the other side of the cleft mountain.

Lots of bugs to feed all these swallows.

Here's a diagram of the Wildlife Refuge. We were staying on the far upper right on the squiggly blue lake. As you can see the refuge is BIG!

After dinner we drove up a road to see what we would see. Below is the end of Elk Lake - lily pads and rushes with color and form mixed up and beautiful.

Later I sat on the dock and got these shots of a kingfisher and the Osprey. I saw the Osprey in a tree and told it I would appreciate it coming closer for a photo op and sure enough, he did!

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