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Wow!

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  • Arla Eckert
    Wow, as I was looking a a large group of Red Heads I saw a Scoter. On more looks it turned out to be the one I have been missing! White-winged Scoter below
    Message 1 of 3 , Oct 31, 2009
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      Wow, as I was looking a a large group of Red Heads I saw a Scoter. On more
      looks it turned out to be the one I have been missing! White-winged Scoter
      below Giant Spring. Not only a Mt. bird for me but a life lister. Wow! Arla
      Eckert Great Falls
    • Arla Eckert
      Wow, the Snow Geese and the Swans sure put on a great show at Freezout over the past 2 days. (3/23 & 24) This makes my 3rd trip up there this spring and the
      Message 2 of 3 , Mar 25, 2010
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        Wow, the Snow Geese and the Swans sure put on a great show at Freezout over
        the past 2 days. (3/23 & 24) This makes my 3rd trip up there this spring and
        the second camping trip this year. It sure was a cold start to Wednesday
        am. Frost on the van and table but it was wroth it to hear the birds all
        night. Tuesday morning enjoyed the swans feeding and got to see one
        Green-winged Teal and 3 Eurasian Wigeons and a few Northern Shovelers, plus
        Northern Pintails. Then headed for the boat ramp. There were lots of Snow
        Geese just swimming around. Then a huge swarm of them rose out on the main
        lake. The few of us standing and sitting are saying we wonder why? I saw one
        of the reasons-a Bald Eagle. That swarm of geese set of the ones nearer us.
        Mass confusion of swarms of geese, the reason at least 8 Bald Eagles soaring
        overhead. Yes, was taking photo after photo since the light was great on the
        birds and on the front mountains. The geese set back down on the water and
        floated nearer and nearer us. We were less a threat then the Eagles. More
        folks came to the boat ramp area, some with huge lens! The geese were still
        flying around and sorting them self¹s out into swimming groups. Then things
        settled down and we lost the good light. I then spend time looking for swan
        neck bands-with no luck. Then checked out the Great Horned Owl nest, 2 ears
        showing, then checked out the golden Eagles, found 1 Prairie Falcon, saw one
        Ferruginous Hawk flying overhead. Then back to the lakes, lots more geese
        and swans. Enjoyed seeing the geese go out to feed, had fun following them
        and seeing them eating. Then came back to the campground and cooking dinner.
        Lots of Robins calling. Sun set and darkness came with more robins calling
        and lots of swan talk going on. Then around 9, the geese started coming back
        in, in yelling swarms. Next morning a very cold wake up. Caught up with
        Mike, and told him what I had found and we checked for more or any swans
        with neck bands-no luck. Then out to the fields to see the feeding geese.
        One snow goose that had a neckband and 2 Ross¹s Geese. Mike dropped me back
        off at my van, and I looked at more swans and much to my horror my scope
        mount broke tipping the scope out the van window-not good! Not a happy
        camper! I pulled out a really small one I have for hiking. Headed to Choteau
        and beyond. Eureka Reservoir, which still has most of its ice. Did see 16
        swans there and a few ducks. Then on up the road. Going up toward the hills
        did not see any Mountain bluebirds. Then in the narrow part of the road
        between the cliffs right after where they have been mining rocks now for a
        few years I saw a Mountain goat. Neat. Pulled out the little scope and saw
        this goat had a neck collard. The goat played the game of if I do not move
        this van will not see me. I will just stand here behind this little tree. I,
        out waited it, and it did move a bit. I took a number of photos. I had one
        small bird go pass, no clue as to who it was. Did hear then see Clark¹s
        Nutcrackers. No luck on up the road. The goat was much higher up the cliff
        when I came back down the road. Next stop was at the bridge going across the
        river, where I got to see a Northern shrike. Then up to Ear Mountain and
        beyond. Deer. And more Clark¹s Nutcrackers. On the way back down the road
        Mountain bluebirds 5, one more shrike a long way from where I saw the other
        one. Back to Freezout and more geese and swans. Lots and lots of the geese
        were headed north and very few looked to be going to the field to feed. Did
        see and hear one killdeer this trip. Last time there were a good number of
        them. I was surprised how far up in the mountains I saw one robin.
        Arla Eckert Great Falls
      • Arla Eckert
        I took a flying trip up to Freezout today. It is pouring up there and even the good roads are getting a little interesting. For the others who like me like to
        Message 3 of 3 , May 27 3:19 PM
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          I took a flying trip up to Freezout today. It is pouring up there and even
          the good roads are getting a little interesting. For the others who like me
          like to turn around near the rock pile on the neck-do not do so right now.
          The mud tried to eat my van! I got out on my own by using some dried weeds
          and rocks. Did not find the Ruddy Turnstones and I sure tried. Did see a few
          Spotted Sandpipers and one Long Billed Dowitcher who was off the turn off
          near the out house. Headed up to Priest Butte Road and got to the grove of
          trees just as the rain stopped for a bit! Major pay dirt. I am looking at a
          large very black Flycatcher with a very dark vest, white under the chin,
          white tufts on sides of tail-I have seen these birds before and my mind is
          saying Olive-sided Flycatcher. Then I see bright orange. Bright Orange
          chest, black heads, orange on tail, black wings with white-not one but 2.
          Then at least 2 more 1st spring birds or females. Baltimore Orioles. I will
          be posting some rather bad photos taken thru the windshield. I played with
          this group of birds for a while. They seemed to be moving around together.
          Then I lost them. Also had one Great horned Owlet and one American Redstart,
          Grey Catbird, Swainson's Thrush and robin. Tried for the Golden Eagle, the
          top of the butte was in the clouds. Then back to Freezout and that is when I
          found the mud hole. I did not see the Great Egret today but did see 5 Snow
          Geese. Got to see 2 American Bittern flying. There is water in places I have
          not seen it before at Freezout. Arla Eckert Great Falls
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