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Re: Yellowstone Winter 2018 Trip Report, Days 0-5 (1/21-26)

Posted: Fri Jan 26, 2018 9:58 pm
by lah
Great day! Nice otter shot. And I never get a shot of magpies, even though I see them all the time. The ones around here don't let me close enough. That's a wonderful picture.
Can't wait for those cougar shots. So exciting.

Re: Yellowstone Winter 2018 Trip Report, Days 0-5 (1/21-26)

Posted: Sat Jan 27, 2018 6:29 pm
by Kat
Your clients must have been thrilled with all the animals they observed on their first day! May the weather hold and the animals continue to reveal themselves. And please keep up the reports.

Re: Yellowstone Winter 2018 Trip Report, Days 6-8 (1/27-29)

Posted: Mon Jan 29, 2018 10:13 pm
by Max

January 27, 2018

Our second day of tour exploration started right on time again. Give these clients credit. They’re organized and punctual. I could not rely on Mother Nature as much today though. It was a gray day, with random bouts of wind and snow. The sun did its best to break through, but never quite made it.

Wildlife-wise, we concentrated largely on the northeast quadrant. Our first stop was for four very distant coyotes traversing the floor of the Lamar Valley. Yes, this is normally too far for detailed portraits, but in a snowy landscape, sometimes a row of animals in transit presents a simple but effective graphic image.

It was sort of the lesser, coyote version of when I saw Mollies wolves march across the Lamar while leading a tour two years ago.

Back in our familiar haunts at the Confluence, we searched for Friday’s otter, with no luck. Other wildlife entertained my clients while I patrolled the area on Otter Watch (in part due to a lack of parking). Moose grazed in the willows, a dipper dove into the creek below the road, and the Common redpolls were back.

More moose were seen again past Soda Butte, and even more moose out in Round Prairie. While we continue to search for smaller furry critters, at least there are other possibilities to keep us entertained...

Read more from the Days 6 - 8 trip report and see more photos in the blog.


(PS - thank you for the comments! I'm happy as always to share these stories.)

Re: Yellowstone Winter 2018 Trip Report, Days 0-8 (1/21-29)

Posted: Mon Jan 29, 2018 10:37 pm
by bridger1215
Thanks for sharing your trip! I've been wanting to drag the camper down to Mammoth for a weekend, hopefully soon.

Re: Yellowstone Winter 2018 Trip Report, Days 0-8 (1/21-29)

Posted: Tue Jan 30, 2018 2:16 pm
by obradallen
Thanks very much for taking the time to share your experiences with us. It’s great to live vicariously.

Re: Yellowstone Winter 2018 Trip Report, Days 9 & 10 (1/30-31)

Posted: Wed Jan 31, 2018 11:38 pm
by Max

January 30, 2018

Day Two in the interior was gray, windy and snowy. Really windy. We decided to avoid the east side of the park, since Hayden Valley and the road near the Lake have been closed recently at times due to snow drifts. Instead, it was a good opportunity to focus on the southwest corner (barring any dramatic wolf news, which never materialized).

The nice thing about staying in West Yellowstone in winter is that one gets to explore the Madison each morning and afternoon. When I planned the trip, I naturally hoped that we’d have some bobcat luck along the river, but even without that there are other possibilities. This morning we had our closest coyote encounter of the tour so far past the Seven Mile Bridge.

We also enjoyed an episode of CSI: Yellowstone. It started with a bald eagle sighting. Then another eagle flew by. Then, a little further downriver, we noticed several ravens flying around. And then we spotted the blood...

Read the full report from Days 9 & 10 and see more photos in the blog.


Re: Yellowstone Winter 2018 Trip Report, Days 11-14 (2/1-2/4)

Posted: Sun Feb 04, 2018 7:42 pm
by Max

February 1 & 2, 2018

I had a short break from the park, as I had to say goodbye to my first tour group on Thursday, and I picked up and met my next group on Friday.

February 3, 2018

For this tour, the order of our activities is reversed from last week. We headed straight into the interior on Saturday. With only two days of interior exploration this week, it was important to maximize our time. With a smaller group of folks who had experienced some of Yellowstone’s highlights already, it meant we could skip a few of the more popular stops and devote time elsewhere.

We left Mammoth at 7am on an unseasonably warm day. Our first stop along the western route was for a muskrat that occupied a small creek by the road. It’s always good to start things off with a small furry mammal in winter, as opposed to the ubiquitous bison (more from them later!).

We opted to skip Norris and headed east. With the last group only making it halfway through Hayden Valley and road conditions there in a constant state of flux, I wanted to make the first attempt on Day One, in case we couldn’t do it later. Following a stop at the Canyon Visitor Center (which included a search for their resident pine marten), we aimed for Hayden...

Read the latest report and see more photos from Days 13 and 14 in the blog.


Re: Yellowstone Winter 2018 Trip Report, Days 0-14 (1/21-2/4)

Posted: Mon Feb 05, 2018 11:25 am
by lah
Sorry you're not seeing a lot of what you're looking for, but I would sure enjoy being able to make the whole south loop in winter like you did, and even out to the bays. I enjoy those areas in the summer. In winter, I would guess it's great scenery, even if there aren't too many animals to photograph.
Good luck the rest of the trip.

Re: Yellowstone Winter 2018 Trip Report, Days 15-17 (2/5-2/7)

Posted: Wed Feb 07, 2018 9:28 pm
by Max

February 5, 2018


After the largely uneventful final day in the Yellowstone interior, our group was hopeful that a change of scenery would bring about more photo opportunities. The northern range did not disappoint in that regard on Monday.

It should have been a Three Dog Day. Our morning started with two coyotes walking roadside near Floating Island Lake. While my group was out shooting I heard that the Junction Butte wolf pack was visible from Hellroaring. We returned westward in hopes of finally seeing some wolves with this group (even if a scope was involved). Unfortunately, the Hellroaring Overlook was overflowing, so there was no way for us to catch a peek of the big dogs.

That was okay, since we had other, better canid luck. Entering Little America, we finally spied a fox. It was moving up the hill and away, so we were a tick too late for photos. All the way east in the end of the Lamar I spotted another fox, but it was too far out in the flats beyond the willows on the valley floor. It soon scrambled up the hill and out of sight.

No problem, because back in Little America (the east end this time), we had another fox. And this one was mousing closer to the road. The group happily clicked away with their first good winter fox photo session, and we were off and running...

Read the FINAL Winter 2018 trip report and see more photos in the blog.


Re: Yellowstone Winter 2018 Trip Report, Days 0-17 (1/21-2/7)

Posted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 8:14 am
by Loonphotog
Great trip report Max!