Rocky Mountain National Park has a good number of owl species but they are very elusive. Over the last few days I’ve been able to observe a Great Horned Owl sitting on a nest. I can’t wait for the chicks to show themselves.
Yesterday I took out Kyle Wagner, Travel Editor for the Denver Post and her friend for a photo safari. As soon as they pulled in the snow started to fly but we still had a great time taking photos and discussing photography technique.
Also Sunset Magazine did a short piece on Yellow Wood Guiding Photo Safaris which can be found on Page 34 of the May edition.
Here’s a shot from yesterday at the Alluvial Fan.
Today Kaiyote Snow from Kaiyote Tours and I did a birding loop from Estes Park, Longmont, Loveland and back. We saw a ton of birds over 11 hours, hitting foothills, wetlands, prairie, and mountain habitats and found 83 species. It was a great day of birding, the highlight being a Great Horned Owl with 3 fluffy chicks.
Being a full time nature guide has many perks, but one of my favorites is getting to know the animals of Estes Park and Rocky Mountain National Park intimately. Last evening I headed down to a great Beaver lodge to see how much activity there was. At least 3 of the beavers were out at one time, both adults looked healthy. I’ve visited these furry folks for 2 years now so they are like old friends.
On May 15th I’m leading a seminar for the Rocky Mountain Nature Association called Nature’s Enginers: Beavers. We will follow the footsteps of Enos Mills as he described in his great book, Into Beaver World. For more info or to sign up visit RMNA.org
Here is a shot of one of the younger beavers still living at home with mom and dad. This was a fresh cut log, and you can see if you look close the orange front teeth of this happy beaver. Visit YWGuiding.com for more images and tour information.
I headed into the park hoping to get the party cloudy part of the forecast with the clouds in the right spot. Like usual they were farther east than hoped but it was still a nice sunrise. Those magic mornings where everything goes right are very rare. So I made the best of what we got. Later in the morning I found the moraine park coyote pack lounging in the morning, along with about 300+ elk.
Generally every year around April 5th the Early Buttercups start to bloom. This year thy were budding on the 5th but no flowers were open. Today just this one was shining in the sun. Lower in Estes Park other flowers are showing up but I always count spring being the day I find the first flower blooming in the park. The question is who pollinates the first flowers, well I saw a ton of them today… and its not bees. Flies are one of the top pollinators of the world.
With warming temps spring is on the way. The ground squirrels are making their first appearance after a long winters nap. The tree squirrels however never took a break. Here’s a Pine Squirrel checking me out. Pine Squirrels are very important for other mammals like Weasel’s to access the subnivean world under the snow.