Saturday, October 4, 2008

Yellowstone Report - Day 3

Well, the weather turned for the worse today (Saturday). It was rainy or overcast most of the day. Maybe this would bring more wildlife out. Today, we decided to take the western route out of Gardiner towards Sheepeaters. No critters were scurrying around the rocks, but we did see a nice elk by Indian Creek. Since, I was driving, I made Karen take the picture. I think it is darn good considering she takes maybe one picture a year.

Karen's Elk

We headed over to Canyon from Norris and then down into the Hayden Valley. There were a bunch of cars pulled out and we learned that there was a kill with a bunch Grizzlies. We pulled out the scope but really couldn't get a good view. After some debate, we decided to walk closer. There were about 10 people on a hill about 3/4 from the road. So, we hiked out and spent a while watching 3 grizzlies. It was great. The weather made for average photos, but you get the idea:

Grizzlies on a kill

From there we went back to the Lake, Fishing Bridge, and Pelican Creek (looking for otters), but came up empty besides this young bison:


Back through the Hayden Valley, people had pulled over and were looking off into the hills. Turned out some wolves were in sight. So, out came the scope and we got to see 7 wolves in the tree line (6 greys and a black). No wolf experts were there to ID the pack but looking back on it, that was probably the Mollie Pack.

We continued on through the Hayden and there were now at least 30 people out looking at the Grizzlies on the kill and the rangers had moved the vantage point back a few hundred yards so our earlier decision to walk out there was a good one.

On the way back through canyon, we had our best coyote encounter of the trip. This coyote seemed to have its full winter coat already and knew how to blend into the surroundings:


The last major sighting of the day happened as we approached Elk Creek. A nice sized bull moose was about to cross the road and head up the valley past the exit to Blacktail Plateau.

Have you ever had one of the pictures that you thought that lighting was good, the composition was good, the background was good and the focus was good.

The only problem was that the animal was camera shy. Here is that photo:

The business end of a moose

He never did want to face the camera so that is the best shot I could get.

Anyway, it did seem that the cooler weather provided some better opportunities for us today. We saw everything that Yellowstone consistently has to offer in one day outside of a black bear.

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