Monday, March 30, 2015

Clark’s Nutcrackers on Snowbank Mountain

In mid-August we took a trip up to Valley County for our anniversary, and kicked things off with a trip up Snowbank Mountain. We checked out this area for the first time a month earlier in July, and were a little underwhelmed by the birding. We were hoping to prove that it was just bad timing, and were optimistic that with the weather cooling off a bit that we might have better luck on a repeat trip.

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Blue Lake, Valley County. August 18, 2015.

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Snowbank Mountain, Valley County. August 18, 2014.

The scenery was just as amazing as on our earlier trip, but we were pleased to find quite a few more birds. The main highlight was the hordes of Clark’s Nutcrackers rabblerousing between the tree tops. We saw groups of 10 or 20 at a time that were zipping around, gathering pine nuts, and hustling off to cache their find.

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Clark’s Nutcracker at Snowbank Mountain, Valley County. August 18, 2014.

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Clark’s Nutcracker at Snowbank Mountain, Valley County. August 18, 2014.

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Clark’s Nutcrackers at Snowbank Mountain, Valley County. August 18, 2014.

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Clark’s Nutcracker at Snowbank Mountain, Valley County. August 18, 2014.

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Clark’s Nutcracker at Snowbank Mountain, Valley County. August 18, 2014.

We also had a handful of Mountain Bluebirds and Cassin’s Finches.

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Mountain Bluebird at Snowbank Mountain, Valley County. August 18, 2014.

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Mountain Bluebird at Snowbank Mountain, Valley County. August 18, 2014.

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Cassin’s Finch at Snowbank Mountain, Valley County. August 18, 2014.

On our way back down we had a Red-tailed Hawk overlooking the mountainside.

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Red-tailed Hawk at Snowbank Mountain, Valley County. August 18, 2014.

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Wildflowers on Snowbank Mountain, Valley County. August 18, 2014.

In total we had 11 species during our time around the peak, click here to check out our full checklist on eBird.

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