Less Smoke, More Rain Brings Birds Together
As a bird migrates, they have nightly stopovers. One of those places is the Bitterroot Valley's Lee Metcalf National Wildlife Refuge. As an example, Bob Danley spotted a Solitary Sandpiper (photo above) at the Wildlife Viewing Area of the refuge. This and other shorebirds are in the midst of their long flights.
In this week's Bitterroot Outdoor Journal, Bob has noticed groups of Black-capped Chickadees, looking for food and safety near the Bitterroot River. They and other songbirds are looking for insects - yum! He said hummingbirds and swallows are becoming scarce along with Lazuli Bunting and the Black-headed Grosbeak.
Not many butterflies around, either. But, Bob saw a great one - the Red Admiral. He hasn't seen one here in Western Montana since 2017. It will probably leave for the southern climes soon. It's about two and half inches in size and is dark with red bands on the trailing edge of the wings (photo below). It's looking for nectar, sap and fruit juices.
The Common Green Darner dragonfly (photo below) can be found here in the valley. Most of them will migrate out by late September. The male has a green thorax and blue abdomen and the female has a reddish purple abdomen. There will be groups of them heading south next month.
Wildflowers have gone to seed...or berries. Various local lilies have different types of berries. And some still have leaves. Below, we have photos (below) of the Rough-fruited Fairybells, Clasping twisted-stalk, False Solomon's Seal and Queencup Beadlily. Bob saw these at the Bass Creek trail. The Bitterroot Outdoor Journal is heard Wednesday mornings at 7:45 on 1240 KLYQ AM and www.klyq.com.