Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Day eleven: Last chance Clark's Nutcrackers

Yesterday, Monday, June 15th, my nephew and I went to Roman Nose Lakes.  My goal was Clark's Nutcracker; our goal was hiking.  Ahhh, sweet success.  I could not believe it.  Everything pointed to me dipping on this bird.
Clark's Nutcracker (Nucifraga columbiana) above and below.
We crested a hill and came upon a newly logged area. Suddenly there were several flashes of white and black.  SSTTOOPP!  I couldn't believe it - Clark's Nutcrackers - there they were.  We stopped to enjoy these and so that I could take these distant photos. 
Continuing on because we also wanted to hike and it is known that Three-toed Woodpeckers are here as well.  Dean's car has four wheel drive and it's a good thing.  The road became muddier and muddier and it began to rain - first just a little, then more.
We had to park the car on the road below the trailhead secondary to snow blocking the road.  From there we hiked to Roman Nose Lake #3. Dressed completely inappropriately, as you can see in the above photo, and pretty darn wet we made it to this frozen lake.  The roman nose is blocked by fog and low hanging clouds.
Dean Schillinger.

In all the time I was here, I never did see a moose or bear.  Dean saw a bear with two cubs on his road, Upper Pack River Road, and his friends reported seeing a baby moose in their yard the day before.  I had to settle for tracks and scat.  Not as much fun.
The experts agreed, this was bear scat with a coyote track.
Moose track.
Elk track.

We did not see the Clark's Nutcrackers again on the way down.  We did see Pine Grosbeaks and a Red-naped Sapsucker gave me a brief scare hoping it to be a Three-toed Woodpecker.  
We stopped at a bridge to photograph this beautiful rushing stream.
Dean's mud splattered car at the end of the day.

This pretty much ends it for me in Sandpoint and environs.  After my nephew, Clark's Nutcrackers were the stars of my time here.  Tomorrow it's the open road again. 

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