24 August 2015

Glacier & Waterton Lakes

After visiting my brother's family in Billings, we continued north, getting an early start to visit the grasslands of Musselshell County. A well known spot for Mountain Plover, we cruised the open expanses in vain, but were able to enjoy a host of other plains species: McCown's Longspurs were everywhere, and multiple Chestnut-collared Longspurs could be found in their midst. We were mobbed by a territorial pair of Marbled Godwits as we walked one section of the plains, and songs of the Western Meadowlarks were our constant companions.

Limosa fedoa (Marbled Godwit)

A Marbled Godwit in Musselshell County, Montana.

From here, we continued winding our way across the plains, visiting Giant Spring before heading northwest to our final destination: Glacier National Park.

Glacier National Park is a place that I have dreamed of visiting for years, and one that Caroline was blown away by. From the sheer rock faces to the dense cedar rainforests beauty abounded, and Caroline subtly tried to convince me that I should look into jobs in the Pacific northwest. Chestnut-backed Chickadees and Varied Thrushes, birds that I had not seen since my field work in Idaho, made appearances on the shadowy trails of the park, and we even found Caroline's first Black Bear ever.

Anthus rubescens alticola (American Pipit)

An American Pipit trying to figure out why I'm staring at in at Logan Pass, Glacier National Park, Montana

Avalanche Creek, Glacier National Park, Montana

Avalanche Creek, Glacier National Park, Montana

After two days in the stunning canyons of northern Montana, we headed even further north, crossing into Alberta, Canada and Waterton Lakes National Park. Here, I worked on my Canadian bird list and Caroline and I soaked in the views of the equally spectacular Canadian Rockies.

Cameron Lake

Cameron Lake, Waterton Lakes National Park, Alberta

From here, we headed even further north still to Banff and Jasper National Parks, impatiently awaiting the glaciers that lay before us.

To be continued!

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