Monday, 26 January 2015

Elk, moose, sheep (20150117) A trip up 1A in the winter

Kerri and I were headed out to 1A, hoping to duplicate the sighting of a Pine Marten that Grayson and I had last year about this time. Unfortunately we had no fresh snow to help us with tracks, and the day was forecasted to be less than ideal. We found this group of 6 bull elk feeding, or at least "mostly".
I was amazed that in the middle of January that these bulls were still expending energy fighting one another well after the rut has been completed. They must be very healthy to willing to be undertaking this type of activity in the middle of winter. These two fought for several minutes, I thought they might have locked their antlers but they broke loose after a bit only to go back at it.
 Up the road a couple of miles we found this big boy. As you can see this bull moose has already dropped its antlers in order ot aid it in getting through the winter months.
We were getting snippets of sun during the morning so we agreed to hustle over to a spot where Kerri and Jamie had found a White-tailed Ptarmigan. As we arrived we sa very little sign of any birds being active in the area. I broke out the snowshoes and did a little investigating to no avail. On our way back home kerri spotted this Clark's Nutcracker. 
These can be very friendly corvids, but these two were keeping their distance.
On the road home we got caught up in a Sheep jam. There was a flock of about 12 ewes, lambs and I think 1 ram. Here are a couple of the young 'uns!
We don't ususally get held up on this road for this type of critter.  Here is a shot of one of the ewes.
We finished up the day with a little side trip that had us find a couple of thousand Snow Buntings. The wind  kept us from getting close. How many can you find in this shot.
We got back to town a little later than planned, but unexpected encounters have a habit of delaying us:)  Pur some wild in your day, get out to woods soon.

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