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2015-05-25 3rd Day In The Bitterroot Valley

Bobolink - Dolichonyx oryzivorusI spent the first two days with my friend in the Bitterroot Valley getting caught up with processing images from the drive in from Wyoming, with visiting old memories and in getting familiar with the area I now found myself in. I lived in nearby Missoula in the late 70’s and early 80’s for about 3 years, so I knew the region a little. However, back then the population was significantly less (58,608 in 1970, 111,807 in 2013).

On this day I wanted to photograph Bobolinks. I’d seen them on some fence lines while driving, but it was so unexpected, I wasn’t sure if this truly WAS what I saw. I found a suitable wide spot along the roadside fence lines and dropped the windshield on the Samurai and after a while the universe rewarded me with some nice views. Even before the Bobolink posed so nicely there was a Wilson’s Snipe that sat up on the fence as well. I believe that during my time at this place only the male Bobolinks had come in from South America, for I saw zero females. There were Pileated Woodpeckers that would occasionally visit at my buddy’s homestead which were a treat for me, as I’d never met them before. Also there was a group of male Wild Turkeys (“Jakes” as I believe they’re called)  as yard birds at the homestead to keep me entertained. The woodpecker was expected, but the Bobolink came as an unexpected surprise.

Birds that I captured on this outing were Black-Capped Chickadee, Bobolink, Pileated Woodpecker, Pygmy Nuthatch, Ruby-Crowned Kinglet, Wild Turkey and Wilson’s Snipe.

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