Sunday, 12 May 2013

Killdeer, Moose, elk on a Saturday in the Blind Part one.(20130511)

Jamie picked me up at 5:00 a.m this morning, and geez, it was already light enough to shoot in some conditions.We were headed off to the Ranch to see if anything was going to show up at the "waterhole", so we wanted to try and get out there early. We boogied out, spotting one GHO on a tree top, but no time to stop and shoot.While "loading up" for the two mile trek in the pond, this Killdeer popped in right on the landing.
Getting through fence and stating our track, we were being watched by two moose, this one is a bull that I am hoping to see again this fall.
On the way in we confirmed a sighting the last time we were here was actually a GGO as we saw him twice, a little further along we came upon a bachelor herd (6) of Elk bulls.

As we came up to the first water hole we were surprised to see very little in the way of life force, the second pond delivered like we were expecting. First we grabbed shots of this pair of Ring Necked Ducks.
As can happen from time to time, when you get to shooting, you can develop "tunnel" vision. While I am snapping away at the ducks, Jamie says "look right". Here 40 yards away was a cow elk and her bull calf from last your, you can see his nubs starting the year out.
Swinging back to the pond we picked up this American Wigeon.
Next while standing there, Jamie called in Mountain Chickadee, this one has nesting material in its mouth. 
This is only my second MC so I was pumped, we also picked up a muskrat, and we haven't even got to our appointed destination yet.
As we dropped down the ridge into our designated pond, we found another moose on the top of the ridge, it disappeared as we go got closer to the water. Just before setting up the blind we had had a pair of Canada Geese come in for a landing.
8:10 a.m. and we are set up and and ready to settle in for a couple of hours of observation. The pond is probably 40-50 acres in size so there was lots of room.  As near as we could tell, we had a pair of geese, 4 teals, 8-10 buffleheads, a noisy pair of ring necks, some sandpipers, and that was about it for diversity.
Nothing was coming close to the blind at all for quite a while. Our only true visitor was this Solitary Sandpiper, solitary in a couple of ways:)
The Buffleheads were squabbling pretty constantly so there was always some thing going on, we also enjoyed watching a pair of Harriers working the ridge across the way. After an hour and half we finally had a big animal come down for a drink. When you pair up a young bull moose and Canada Goose in the same frame, you know you are living right. Isn't it amazing how wildlife knows what it should fear, and what it doesn't need to?
That pretty well wrapped up our excitement for the Ranch. We found one more moose on the way out, and some Redtail hawks. We investigated the Great Grey area on the way out, with no success. We got back to the truck about 12:15 p.m. and it was getting warm. This will wrap up part one, and I will follow up with a part deux!

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