Plume Geyser - Yellowstone National Park


Grand Teton & Yellowstone National Parks 
26-30 August 2004
by Henry Detwiler

Suzanne, Becky, Adriana, Gaby, and I spent a wonderful week up in the Rockies, enjoying the scenery and wildlife.
species -- bird list is at the bottom of the page
Click on thumbnail pictures for full-sized shots.  

On Monday afternoon we made it up to Rendezvous Mountain, overlooking Teton Village and Jackson.  Mountain Bluebirds, American Pipits, & White-crowned Sparrows were enjoying the meadows, and a Golden Eagle soared over us.  Beautiful flowers were everywhere, and the girls had a snowball fight! 

Colorado Columbine

Western Tanager

When we first saw this bird we were thinking Black-backed Woodpecker, but the white flanks, white rump, and head pattern gave it away as an immature Williamson's Sapsucker.


Over the next two days we explored the Grand Teton National Park, enjoying the awesome mountains and forests, and spotting a great assortment of birds-- siskins, chickadees, Pine Grosbeak, and Western Tanager.

Williamson's Sapsucker

Heart Spring
Old Faithful Geyser Basin

We spent most of Wednesday and Thursday at Yellowstone, where the geothermal features and mammals reigned supreme. Along with hundreds of other tourists we watched Old Faithful erupt, and then set out to see lesser-know (but equally magnificent) sights like Heart Spring and Plume Geyser. 

Sparring Bison - Hayden Valley


Along Polecat Creek were several families of Barn Swallows.  We also heard and saw our only Gray Jays there.  Mornings were the best time for the small animals; that's when we saw our one American (Pine) Marten and my life Short-tailed Weasel (carrying a vole).

Mountain Bluebird

Barn Swallow

The bird on the left is a  young Mountain Bluebird; the only blue on her at all is at the base of the tail.  She was busily catching bugs along the Mud Volcano trail.



Elk at Yellowstone

The two most common large mammals in the park were elk and bison.  We saw one elk even larger than this one, but it was too dark for a picture.  In Hayden Valley, during our last evening, we were fortunate to see a grizzly sow and two tiny cubs. 

Close to Moran Junction we stopped in an area known for its moose.  We didn't see any moose, but did see a family of Ruffed Grouse.  The young were too fast for me, but I did get a partial shot of the watchful mama. 

Spotted Sandpiper

 Ruffed Grouse

Friday we drove back to Salt Lake City to catch our plane home, watching the scenery and birds along the way.  Not far south of Jackson, we stopped at a wetlands along the Snake River in Alpine where this Spotted Sandpiper was guarding its fledgling.  

Here we also saw more Ospreys, including this young individual glaring at me from its nest.  At Bear Lake NWR, Idaho, we were treated to a small flock of Trumpeter Swans.  We definitely plan to return!



Wyoming Rockies, 26-30 July 2004
# Species
1 Pied-billed Grebe
2 American White Pelican
3 Double-crested Cormorant
4 American Bittern
5 Great Blue Heron
6 Great Egret
7 Snowy Egret
8 Black-crowned Night Heron
9 White-faced Ibis
10 Sandhill Crane
11 Canada Goose
12 Trumpeter Swan
13 American Wigeon
14 Mallard
15 Northern Shoveler
16 Ring-necked Duck
17 Common Merganser
18 Ruddy Duck
19 Osprey
20 Bald Eagle
21 Northern Harrier
22 Cooper's Hawk
23 Swainson's Hawk
24 Red-tailed Hawk
25 Golden Eagle
26 American Kestrel
27 Ruffed Grouse
28 Sora
29 American Coot
30 Killdeer
31 Black-necked Stilt
32 American Avocet
33 Greater Yellowlegs
34 Lesser Yellowlegs
35 Willet
36 Spotted Sandpiper
37 Marbled Godwit
38 Least Sandpiper
39 Wilson's Phalarope
40 Turkey Vulture
41 Franklin's Gull
42 Ring-billed Gull
43 California Gull
44 Forster's Tern
45 Rock Pigeon
46 Mourning Dove
47 Broad-tailed Hummingbird
48 Belted Kingfisher
49 Williamson's Sapsucker
50 Red-naped Sapsucker
51 Hairy Woodpecker
52 Northern Flicker
# Species
53 Western Wood Pewee
54 Willow Flycatcher
55 Dusky Flycatcher
56 Cordilleran Flycatcher
57 Western Kingbird
58 Eastern Kingbird
59 Loggerhead Shrike
60 Gray Jay
61 Clark's Nutcracker
62 Black-billed Magpie
63 American Crow
64 Common Raven
65 Violet-green Swallow
66 Northern Rough-winged Swallow
67 Bank Swallow
68 Cliff Swallow
69 Barn Swallow
70 Black-capped Chickadee
71 Mountain Chickadee
72 Red-breasted Nuthatch
73 White-breasted Nuthatch
74 House Wren
75 American Dipper
76 Golden-crowned Kinglet
77 Ruby-crowned Kinglet
78 Mountain Bluebird
79 American Robin
80 Sage Thrasher
81 European Starling
82 Yellow Warbler
83 Yellow-rumped Warbler
84 Common Yellowthroat
85 Western Tanager
86 Green-tailed Towhee
87 Chipping Sparrow
88 Brewer's Sparrow
89 Vesper Sparrow
90 Lark Sparrow
91 Song Sparrow
92 Lincoln's Sparrow
93 White-crowned Sparrow
94 Dark-eyed Junco
95 Red-winged Blackbird
96 Western Meadowlark
97 Yellow-headed Blackbird
98 Brewer's Blackbird
99 Pine Grosbeak
100 Cassin's Finch
101 Red Crossbill
102 Pine Siskin
103 American Goldfinch
104 House Sparrow

Photos Henry D. Detwiler