MARCH NATURE NOTES

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March 1

  • 2016: Wapiti | Jim Mountain – The first Mountain Bluebird was reported to be back. (MW)
  • 2016: Gardiner – Report came in of a first Mountain Bluebird seen (MAB)

March 2

  • 2014: Gardiner – Brad Orstead of Horsefeathers Photography posted on Facebook he spotted some Mountain Bluebirds – so they are returning to the Gardiner area.
  • 2017: Raccons got into the suet and seed bird feeders for the first time this year. Friends went to check on the ice at Newton Lakes – strong enough to hold them still, but they said the ice was really singing.

March 3

  • 2014: Cody | North Fork – Sandi Sisti of Wild at Heart Images reported her first sighting of a Mountain Bluebird up the North Fork of the Shoshone on Facebook.
  • 2017: Friends went back to Newton Lakes with the intention of fishing only to find lots of open water and not much ice left. The chinook winds did their work overnight.

March 4

  • 2014: Yellowstone | Hayden Valley – A Grizzly Bear  was reported to park officials by visitor Kevin Fitzsimonds.

March 6

  • 2015: Cody | Wapiti – A report came in from closer to the valley floor that Grizzly Bear scat was deposited in the middle of a road there. (SP)
  • 2016: Hyattville | Three pairs of Sandhill Cranes were reported in the fields around Hyattville, WY.

March 7

  • 2014: Cody | South Fork – We saw a small flock of Wild Turkeys (3-4) a few miles up South Fork – one Tom was strutting. (JW)

March 9

  • 2013: Yellowstone | Black Sand Basin – Yellowstone Tour Guides reported seeing Grizzly Bear tracks at Black Sand Basin. (YTG)
  • 2015: Cody | Wapiti – A Raven pair was seen dancing together on the wind. Also, the Mule Deer are now in smaller groups and seem to be more restless. Wolf tracks seen in the area may be the cause, or they may be getting ready to start migrating to summer fields. Most of the bucks have lost their antlers, but a couple have been seen – one 2×2 and one 4×4. (JW)

March 10

  • 2015: Gardiner MT – The first report of Mountain Bluebirds in the Gardiner, MT area were posted on Facebook (MAB)
  • 2015: Cody|Wapiti – The first report of Mountain Bluebirds came in from a neighbor in Wapiti, WY. (JW)
  • 2015: Cody | South Fork – A report came in on WYOBirds of the first sighting of a Sandhill Crane near the Dust Abatement Dike pond.
  • 2016: Cody | In Town – A pair of White-tailed Jackrabbits were seen leaping high into the air as well as racing and chasing each other across the golf course.
  • 2017: Cody | Wapiti – The first report of Mountain Bluebirds came in. A pair arrived at their nesting area.
  • 2017: Gardiner MT – First Mountain Bluebird report came in.

March 11

  • 2016: Cody | In Town – Got the first report of Sandhill Cranes being heard today. (RH) And Magpies were heard in some pine trees, but never located, so probably are nesting.
  • 2017: Cody | North Fork and South Fork – Drove up North Fork this afternoon. Ice very thin on Buffalo Bill Reservoir. No wind let the pools of open water look like oval mirrors. Two Bison near the houses in Wapiti. Haven’t seen them down that far before. Flies out at the pullout just beyond Trail Shop. One Bison used the gate post at Big Game Campground as a scratching post. Went up as far as checking the Bald Eagle nest that’s apparently active this year. Saw one chick and one adult in the nest. Went up South Fork to check on the Ishawooa Horse’s Head – not showing at all yet. Saw three ice fishermen on the Lower South Fork portion of Buffalo Bill Reservoir. Friends went all the way down South Fork to look for Mountain Bluebirds and didn’t see any (neither did I). Blog Post – Saturday Phenology Drive

March 12

  • 2013: Yellowstone | Midway Geyser Basin – Yellowstone Tour Guides saw their first Grizzly Bear of the year at Midway Geyser Basin. (May have been the first reported sighting in YNP for the year). (YTG)
  • 2016: Cody | South Fork – An American Kestrel (FOY) was seen as well as Red-winged Blackbirds (FOY for me). A Red-Tailed Hawk was on its nest along Marquette Creek. (JW)
  • 2016: Cody | In Town – Forsythia bushes are blooming and the leaf buds have burst on many of the shrubs and trees today. Spotted a Canadian Goose on a nest at Alkali Lake. (JW)
  • 2017: Cody | In Town – Saw the first aspen catkins popping out (though the sneezing from them has been going on for a week or more – so likely out somewhere a bit sooner). We also had the first crocuses blooming in the garden today.

March 14

  • 2017: Cody | edge of town – Heard my first Sandhill Cranes today. Their distinctive calls came from the direction of Beck Lake/Alkali Lake.

March 15

  • 2012: Yellowstone | Midway Geyser Basin Yellowstone Tour Guides saw their first Grizzly Bear in Yellowstone: “This bear was sighted not far from the Fairy Falls Trailhead near the Firehole River. The grizzly bear eventually made his way over Rabbit Creek way.” (YTG)
  • 2017: Yellowstone – The first Grizzly Bear of the year was spotted between Mammoth and Tower-Roosevelt.
  • 2017: Cody | In Town – The Northern Flickers were calling territorial calls throughout the day.

March 16

  • 2015: Cody|Wapiti – We saw our first American Kestrels of the year today flying over our house. Overcast most of the day with weather moving in by evening. A Raven flew by with a branch in its beak. Mountain Bluebirds were battling over the nest box and territory – one pair against three other males. Elk were seen higher up on the mountain.
  • 2015: Cody | In Town – Voles are a problem this spring – everyone is overrun with them.

March 17

  • 2015: Wapiti WY – Waking to fog and about 1″ of snow on the ground. Elk were farther down on the mountain today. Watched a Mule Deer buck rubbing his newly emerging antlers on a on a sagebrush bush. Three Bald Eagles were soaring on the thermals near the house.

March 18

  • 2015: Wapiti WY – A flock of American Robins returned to their summer grounds at a neighbor’s house.

March 20

  • 2015: Wapiti WY – A Golden Eagle hunted around the house this morning. Mule Deer were seen gathering nearby in numbers larger than normally seen in winter.

March 21

  • 2015: Cody | North Fork  – Aspens have their catkins out all along the North Fork, as well as Willows at Pahaska. The Cottonwood tree buds are swollen all along the North Fork. (JW)
  • 2015: Cody | In Town – Crocus and Daffodils blooming. Lilac bushes have leaves emerging. (JW)
  • 2015: Cody | South Fork – Sandhill Cranes in the fields and flying overhead. The Ishawooa Horse’s Head is showing the reins clearly – but they haven’t broken yet. (JW)

March 23

  • 2013: Yellowstone | Upper Geyser Basin – First Grizzly Bear seen on the live streaming webcam pointed at Old Faithful and the Upper Geyser Basin.
  • 2014: Cody | South Fork – First report of a pair of Sandhill Cranes came in – they were spotted mid day in a field. (RH)
  • 2015: Wapiti WY – Found the first tick of the season. Warm this morning but clouds moved in. Snowing and blowing by bedtime.

March 24

  • 2015: Wapiti WY – About 1/2″ of snow on the ground at the higher elevations. A neighbor called to report his first sighting of Red-winged Blackbirds this year at his place. (KB)

March 25

  • 2015: Wapiti WY – Elk hung out near the house most of the day.

March 26

  • 2015: Wapiti WY – Windy today. Gusts in the 60 mph range. Then rain and dust mixed to create a mud storm that covered everything.

March 29

  • 2014: Cody |North Fork of the Shoshone – A photographer reported seeing eight different moose between Pahaska and Wapiti.
  • 2015: Wapiti WY -Still windy. Ticks are thick this year. Heard a report of a moose napping on the North Fork dust abatement dike at Buffalo Bill Reservoir sometime earlier this week.

March 30

March 31

  • 2015: Wapiti WY – An American Kestrel stopped momentarily this morning. Incredibly warm – in the low 70s. This is the first day the fields seem to have a touch of green to them. Saw my first butterfly of the year while on a walk.

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