April 8, 2006

Okay, life has been busy. Usually I have been out to the lek numerous times by April 8. However, this year, this date marks my first visit. Thus far, I have already missed at least one week of prime viewing.

I started out early this morning and arrived at the lek at about 6:00 a.m. (sunrise was at 7:10 a.m.). There were some clouds in the sky, and a cool southeast wind. The temperature was about 24 degrees. Unlike Wednesday, April 5, there were no northern lights in the sky (a good pre dawn display!).

I walked to the lek and waited for the sharptail grouse to arrive.

Soon after, I looked to the southwest. I saw an animal walking from the southeast to the northwest over the top of the hill. It was dark, and looked to be at least a couple feet in length. What was it? I'll never know. Maybe a badger or a porcupine. I don't care as it didn't bother me.

I waited for some time, and finally the sharptail grouse showed, at least 30 if not 40+ (it's impossible to count grouse on the downslope of the other slide of the hill). Activity was good even though I didn't see any females come through the lek. At one time, a predator bird flew near the lek and the sharptail grouse all scattered for a short time.

It was a good outing, maybe one that I can repeat in the near future.

Note: all photos taken below are in chronological order.





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