Monday, November 22, 2010

"Seasonal" weather returns to the Bitterroot Valley

After a beautiful Indian summer, fall/winter has returned to western Montana. Snow (4-8") and cold (-9 F tonite) temps are in the forecast. Here's what things look like currently:
Lolo, Montana
While shoveling this morning spied a covey of gray partridge crossing the road heading uphill. American tree sparrow, Raven, starling, and rock pigeon are the only other avian species detected. At Maclay Flat yesterday photographed the Bitterroot river icing at the shore and

Bitterroot river shore icing up
 lichens on ponderosa pine.
Overall bird diversity was low except for the nuthatch species; all three species were very vocal and numerous. Contrast this with the lower Rio Grande Valley of south Texas...saw zero nuthatches during the Birding Festival attended Nov. 10-14. However, did see very colorful birds,

Altimira Orioloe

Black-bellied Whistling-Duck


Mexican Bluewing
and dragonflies.

Roseate Skimmer