by Bruce Tannehill
Saturday, June 18th started with a beautiful sunrise, periodic rain showers and blue skies that resulted in a wonderful birding day for Flathead Audubon’s fourth annual bird-a-thon. Members of Jake’s Jays and Tannehill’s Tanagers searched the countryside from the Mission Valley to Freezout Lake and East Glacier to Tally Lake.
All had a good time and the birds were cooperative, many coming out to sing after a rain shower. Highlights for the Tanagers included elk in Glacier National Park at sunrise, a nest of a Cordilleran Flycatcher, and numerous members getting soaked in the downpours. Bruce Tannehill spent one rainstorm under a cliff with a Cordilleran Flycatcher for company.
Elk were also seen by some of the Jays. Ferruginous Hawks and McCown’s Longspurs topped the list of the Jays as they traipsed over to the east side of the mountains.
The Jays carried the day with 164 species while the Tanagers found 153 species. Both teams were amazed at the species diversity our area provides.