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Old 02-05-2020, 05:47 PM   #9981
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Every time I shop online and everything doesn't load to one page, or you have to choose from a drop down to make it happen, I think who on earth is still on dial up????
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Old 02-05-2020, 07:15 PM   #9982
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I work with DSL sometimes, torture but faster than 56K. ATT will upgrade these people for free if they just call. Again, torture.

That last set is beyond vibrant Doug !! HDR and sunshine and longhorns .... and cownet surfing ?
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Old 02-07-2020, 02:18 PM   #9983
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LiquidSilver View Post
So. Many. Questions.
Must be a bear to load.
Looks to be a very old Nissan pickup with a 3/4 ton truck rear. And of course a home built bracket. Who knew dirt biking was so big in Cambodia?
So old.....maybe a Datsun?
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Old 02-07-2020, 02:20 PM   #9984
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Thank you Okaugust for sharing those awesome pics!
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Old 02-07-2020, 06:19 PM   #9985
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That is an old Nissan pickup, and I can't help but think that is a Photoshop job. The huge leaf springs that don't look in proportion to the wheel or rest of the truck, along with the lack anything on the truck sagging. Even with stiffer springs, the tires would show a load, and the bed would probably show some distortion compared to the cab. It just doesn't add up!

Terrific pics Doug and Tina!
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Old 02-08-2020, 06:11 AM   #9986
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In other countries....if it fits, it ships.





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Old 02-09-2020, 12:45 PM   #9987
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There has been a rare Ivory Gull spotted at Blue Bay, Flathead Lake, Montana, so I convinced Mike to make a run for it. Friday after we got off work, Mike a little early, we headed out of town to Missoula, a seven hour drive through Montana during winter. The roads were generally good, though getting over the Continental Divide and Bozeman Pass was pretty sketchy. Around Butte, we found a fog there and westward that was just amazing. A light covering of a snow fog, mostly above us in the mountain tops, but sometimes we would drive into it, going from good visibility to nothing in a second. Thanks to the full moon, it lit up the fog so you could see the mountains at night.

Not a good shot, but this was driving into Butte, the orange is the fog below us lit up by city lights.



We stayed at the same Towne Place Suites as July 2017, but thankfully, no earthquake this time. Up early, it was still dark due to mountains now to the east of us, and clouds. The parking lot was black ice, and the ice on the windshield looked amazing.



The moon was setting into clouds on the western horizon



Going north toward Flathead Lake, we kept driving in snow, but it wasn't as snow packed as I expected.



The lake itself only freezes over every few years:

"The Lake's major tributaries are the Flathead and Swan Rivers. ... Due to its large volume and fetch (distance of water across which wind blows), Flathead Lake requires very cold and calm conditions to freeze entirely. Therefore, most winters it does not freeze over, although some bays and margins have ice cover.
flbs.umt.edu › newflbs › flathead-lake › lake-facts"

It only freezes over every 5-7 years, but has had periods of up to 18 years it doesn't. It did in 2019, according to reports, but not this year.



Due to the remote location, it's not like a big city where something like a Snowy Owl has people trampling all over each other to see it. There were about a dozen folks there when we arrived at 8:30. People came from Washington, Idaho, Montana mostly. One other birder said they were hoping to find people from all of the states that border Montana. Nice folks. Everyone was very respectful about where they set up and stood.



As much patience birding has taught me, I don't sit still well. Especially when it's in the high 20s and blustery. I walked around the closed camping area a couple of times. Saw some ravens, a flicker, and found a nice American Dipper



A Herring Gull flew over, getting us going a bit...



And a nice Bald Eagle, though it would eat a gull, so maybe not a good thing it's hanging around...



A flash of white flew in, and I was tempted to run, but I three decent sized "camp dogs" someone called them, either strays or belonging to someone that lived around there letting them roam, they were barking at folks and were almost aggressive to the point they would sort of nip at the back of your legs as you walked off, but as long as you were calm, they didn't bite.

I do a lot of research before I go out birding, especially farther from home. I map out where we are going, what we might see, what we might want to see. If there is a rare goose in a flock of 500 regular geese, I'm probably not going after it. This gull has been reported mostly solo, and continuing for almost two weeks. If I had to pick it out of a pack of 300 other gulls...well, lucky enough, we didn't. Oh, the gull, it should be here....

https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/...ull/maps-range



So when that flash of white happened at about 9:30, stop the presses!

Keeping an eye on the sky, the Ivory Gull....







Like most gulls, it was pretty gregarious and didn't show much fear of us all enjoying the moment of the sighting. It sat on the dock, swam in the bay and walked on the shore right in front of us.

Now the coloring...it's been noted on the facebook page North American Gulls that the poor bird has some type of lice. If you remember your grandma, like I do, admonishing me to put the little dead bird down because "IT'S GOT LICE!" that's not unusual. Most wild animals are carrying around all sorts of fleas, ticks, lice, and other parasites. However, given that this bird is so far out of it's range, there is concern it is ill, making it more susceptible and thus will begin a downward spiral. But for now it looks fat and happy and quite well, so we'll see.

The lice, I believe, are the black spots around its eyes, though the other darker areas are also normal coloring, so it's a bit hard to flush out which is which.



Here is a post on iNaturalist identifying the lice, for anyone inclined.

https://www.inaturalist.org/observat...HHneXi60o4JxSM

It's not only a rare bird vagrant, but a bit of a rare lice migrant as well. There, you scienced today!

After about an hour of staring gaga at the bird, we headed out, as we planned on getting home Saturday, so another 8-9 hour drive.

We stopped at a fishing access area on the south end of the lake first though...



where we found swans, ducks, mergansers and wait, what, a singing male Red-winged Blackbird in early February on the marsh?



At a rest area near Anaconda MT where a Common Raven was making the most interesting burp noises.





Back through Bozeman, where we walked Sourdough Trail, hoping, without success, to find Pileated Woodpeckers.





On to Bobcat Burgers for our first hot meal in two days...



And then we headed home. Bozeman Pass was still bad, but at least it was light. We made good time getting to Billings, but from Hardin on it was blowing snow, semis going either 80 or 10, left lane buried in snow, visibility was often just a few yards out, and not a snow plow to be seen until we got into Wyoming. Took about an hour longer than it usually does, but we made it home about 9:40 pm.

The bird is a "lifer" for us. More so than usual. A lifer is usually a bird seen for the first time. One to add to a "life list" for a birder, the list of all of the birds you've seen. Not everyone keeps a proper list or attends to it if they do. I was lucky enough to start this hobby and having new and developing tools to help me start and keep a list. But for me a lifer is usually more than just the first time, it's a bird that the odds of me seeing it ever or again are so low, that when you do see one, it's magical and stays with you forever.

Cheers!
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Old 02-09-2020, 02:20 PM   #9988
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Epic photos and a great story. Thank you.
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Old 03-01-2020, 07:58 PM   #9989
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A few birds from the last couple of weeks or so...

Pygmy Nuthatch, when the winter gets deep, I go to Story, WY to get my little bird fix.



Over to Medicine Lodge State Park and Archeological Site



Apparently we were created by aliens after all.



Or devils and bunnies





Meanwhile, on the Ice Planet Hoth...



You can get a good burger at the Sleepy Coyote in Ten Sleep, WY



I snapped this guy at the same time I got a text about an eagle hit by a truck. Game and fish beat me to it, and put the eagle down. I would've taken it to a rescue. Made four a lousy week.




So to continue the Ivory and Snowy trend....

Last weekend we went south for a change, and found about 8500 Snow Geese and a few hundred Ross' Geese.



And this weekend we went north to Glasgow, MT. We stayed in the historic Rundle Suites. Note: must love trains, they whistle through town about 4-6 times a night.



The owners have down a great job picking some really cool materials and photos for the refurb. Still a bit of a work in progress, but I'd go back.

This wall sized photo was in the entry. You can see the hotel in the back left top of the picture.



The town is about 3300 people. Railroad and ranching and farming are the major ways of life. It's definitely a shadow of itself, but we had a great coffee and buns at The Loaded Toad, homemade bread sammiches at Soma-dis Deli at lunch, and hand tossed pizza at Eugene's for dinner. One of the fun things about birding all over is spending money in small towns that aren't on anyone's tourist checklist.

They have some great old signs around town.







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Old 03-01-2020, 08:13 PM   #9990
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Yesterday we were out and about for one thing, so I programmed a route for the morning with potential stops based on recent sightings, and a couple for the afternoon if we didn't have any luck in the morning. Knowing this is all just sort of random luck and being able to spot something that perfectly blends into its surroundings at 65 mph...anyway....

As my dad was fond of saying, nothing between us and Canada but a barbed wire fence...





But success!











We also found a second, after we diverted down a side road vs following a two lane wide tractor at 5 mph, but it was about a quarter mile into the field so harder to photograph.



After that it was south to Ft Peck Dam and Power Station.









There are two different dams.







Living on the east of mountains, it's always something to see a sunset without mountains in the way.







Then just a couple of others from today. Going south off I-94 toward Coalstrip is a line of 14.5 miles of sidelined auto transport rail cars. 14.5 miles....anyway, some marked with amazing graffiti I didn't have time to stop for, alas.



Coalstrip looking very industrial deco



And almost home eventually...

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Old 03-01-2020, 10:53 PM   #9991
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Very nice Tina! As usual.
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Old 03-02-2020, 06:21 AM   #9992
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Thanks!
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Old 03-02-2020, 03:48 PM   #9993
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Just when I thought your pictures could no get any better.... Wow!
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Old 03-02-2020, 04:24 PM   #9994
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Pshaw!

But thanks! Mostly I just love sharing a little something purdy with the world. There is enough nastiness, share beauty instead.
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Old 03-02-2020, 04:45 PM   #9995
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Going along with that sentiment, I still have your Xmas card on my desk at work
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Old 03-02-2020, 04:49 PM   #9996
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That's a whole lot of awesome!
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Old 03-02-2020, 04:51 PM   #9997
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Beautiful pic!
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Old 03-02-2020, 05:49 PM   #9998
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Beautiful photographs Tina.
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Old 03-02-2020, 06:00 PM   #9999
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Thanks!
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Old 03-03-2020, 11:55 AM   #10000
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Dooooood..........like, amazin shots 'eh............
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