Monday, March 22, 2010

First wildflower of 2010...

While searching the burn area of Blue Mountain (3/21/2010 at Missoula, Montana) for bluebirds and woodpeckers, found sagebrush buttercup (Rannunculus glaberrimus) in bloom on the dry east facing slope. Extensive information about this plant can be found at: http://www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/plants/forb/rangla/all.html

Did find western bluebird (Sialia mexicana) in numbers in the burn area. The birds were very vocal. Ralph Hoffman [Bent 1949] describes the vocalizations as "chu, chu, chu". Also in Bent, Grinnell and Storer described the song as "...simple affair...call notes uttered over and over again". Captured video, though dark, highlights a male/female with accompanying sounds of these birds.

Species not found on this trip or with any regularity in the mountains so far this year, evening grosbeak (Coccothraustes coccothraustes), was found in the town of Stevensville by Deborah Goslin (3/16/2010). Made it to location on 3/19 and found the birds readily by listening. Video is here: