Before heading to Lamar Valley this morning, I stopped at Calcite and spent about two minutes with a nice looking black bear boar. He seemed to be on a mission, with places to go, but stopped to scratch his back on a tree.
Once in Lamar Valley, by the sounds of the wolf radio, there were wolves everywhere. One black reported at a bison carcass south of the ranch turned out to be Starlight. She is still hanging around the area.
And then there was a report of 3 blacks in Soda Butte Valley, traveling east after chasing some bison. Photos revealed that those were Mollies wolves. Another black was reported coming out of the Lamar den area early in the morning and a photo of that revealed yet another Mollie.
Meanwhile, signals on 926 were way to the west of the den area. Seems that the Lamars stayed west all day, and were possibly there yesterday, but were headed towards home this evening. We saw 965 and Dark Black, while someone else saw three blacks traveling together. They must have gotten separated. Unless the females were making trips back to the den during the day, this does not sound good for any surviving pups. Only time will tell but if the wolves quit staying in the den area, we will know. I still have fingers crossed, as always. The males still looked very rough with the mange but seemed to be eating well.
We had one storm after another all day long – mostly snow that did not stick, though I heard that there was more down in Hayden. Dunraven remained closed all day. And, it does not sound as though Quad Mom was out today. Had a report of a new pronghorn fawn born in Little America – first of the season! Also, the elk calves are beginning to drop. Meanwhile, more bison babies being born everyday.
I actually worked very hard to find photo ops today but they were few, unless in the right place at the right time. The Picnic sow and her two cinnamon babies were down at the Yellowstone Bridge and I arrived to find a big crowd below the picnic area, where the bears had just based through. Saw their butts! Checked up at Calcite a few times but did not see any of the sows and cubs.
The peregrine nest is moved this year, to the road side of the river, but at an awkward angle way down below. If you get just right you can see mama sitting on her eggs. I did not see the eggs but am told there are two. There is an owl nest in Lamar Canyon east, but a distance away. The osprey are still on their nest and drawing a crowd.
The sow with two cubs was around Specimen and a sow with one cub was north of Soda Butte Valley.
My big plan for the day was to hike to Trout Lake, carrying my heavy camera gear for extra fitness. But, those storms kept on coming through. I napped in the pullout for 1.5 hours before giving up. But, then the weather cleared some and I went back for the hike. The gear was heavy but I made it up there and around the lake.
The big surprise for the day was the goose couple. I was watching them and thought that perhaps there were some yellow feathers under mom’s but wasn’t sure until a head poked out. How delightfully cute! Have never seen that before and so another first in Yellowstone.
It was also fun to watch the family go for a swim.
As I was leaving there were frogs! Tough to capture because of all of the grass but managed a couple of shots.
Was hoping for some good sightings on the way home but only saw distant wolves and more bison.