Journeyed to the Bitterroot NF - Kootenai Creek Trail (just north of Stevensville) to view/hear the resident Canyon Wren (Catherpes mexicanus); it's a January tradition (see my Jan. 2, 2012 blog for same spot, different outcome).
Arrived at the spot (~200 yards in from the trailhead) at 1 pm with overcast, calm, no rock climbers present and 41 F...perfect conditions! Within a minute (quickest response ever...and not using playback of any kind), I heard the bird calling (my description: hollow, buzzy, metallic...not high or low pitched in tone...called note repeated 118 times over 30 minutes) from near the top lip of the rock face. A mere hour later saw the bird working a ledge just below the top of the rock face (yeahhhhhhh). This wren is ABA coded 1, but it is local here and takes some effort to check off in the Bitterroot. So the challenge, plus it's a beautiful little bird even at a distance...equal awesome birding success for great start to the year :-) Here's a pithy video of today's field trip: