Trip Report What's Not To Lek? 2018 (not FF)

ScottP

Active Member
#1
Close out of the sage grouse project has left an empty spot in the spring schedule. Got the call to tag along on a trip to check out some sharptail leks for a potential upcoming study. Had just enough time to do a couple loads of laundry, get some groceries, gas up the truck, reload the trailer and head back across the divide. Driving the Deuce



Flathead still looking good but warmer weather ahead will change that






Glacier's Southern exposure






Bob's Eastern flank




Touchdown



Base camp established




Campground crapper; this could be a problem. I donate a few rolls to the cause




Poking around a bit until the rest of the crew arrives




An ex-coot




The gang shows up; one of the few times Rock's motor isn't redlining

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The consequences of open (jerky) carry; I give birth to a fully formed shorthair




Nice evening




Next morning it's out to scout for sharpies on some Block Management ground






Only 2 birds sighted, neither on a lek; they're around but this isn't a meeting place




Plenty of curlews






Afternoons are time to explore the countryside
Taking advantage of a plentiful resource



Ferruginous nest




One pissed off parent






Duck central; ended up counting 11 varieties, plus various and sundry grebe, merganser, etc. Hard to get any close ups; all the spent shotgun shells may provide a clue










House band




Backup singers




Next morning, on to another site. Pay dirt; a prairie pick-up bar. Birds are vocal and active; 23 total, including 3 hens. Apologies for pic quality; terrain and land ownership preclude any more favorable camera angles, they're in that stubble just beyond the puddle





A curious curlew seems more interested in the dance moves than the hen standing to the right




Last night out




Closing up camp the next morning. Mushroom season; proximity to ICBM sites always increases pucker factor but it's just the last few days of open burn.




Good grub




Pronghorns




Open spaces




Heading back to the trees; cue the Immigrant Song




The last few warm days have added a good bit of color; 5 rafts were putting in at Moccasin Creek for an adrenaline rush




Dropping in to Stumptown; I already miss the snipe winnowing




Regards,
Scott
 
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