April in Yellowstone 2018

Saturday April 21, Yellowstone

This was opening day for the West entrance into the park and the first day the road to Old Faithful was clear. The park still has people, but not nearly the numbers that we see later in the summer.

I rented a 12 passenger van for this day trip into Yellowstone. There are so many people that I want to bring with me on adventures that I thought I’d try making it happen.  There were 9 of us who ventured forth early in the morning. Bill did most of the driving though I was happy to take over on the way home.

The Van
_JLS9559

We always stop at three spots on our way through Island Park. The first is at a pond where there are usually swans. The second is at an Osprey nesting platform. And the third is a roadway along the Henry’s Fork of the Snake River. Today, the soon to be parents were beginning construction on their nest Osprey _JLS9578b

It was chilly but sunny and there was still snow on the ground. This isn’t unexpected for April in Yellowstone. We all wore layers and while some of the roads are open very few of the facilities are.

Nature’s abstract sculpture with Trumpeter swan
_JLS9596

Cinnamon teal _JLS9654b

The bison are very thin at this point in the year. Luckily they survived the winter and the grass was greening up all over the park.
_JLS9683b

We had six sightings of coyotes on this trip. Our first one was along the Madison river.  _JLS9712

Blonde coyote, she had a cluster of ravens following her around.
_JLS9854b

Of course there were lovely, shiny ravens _JLS9917

Some of us
_JLS0025

Rainbow of hot mineral pool and steam _JLS0113

Snakes in a warm spot with sun and steam
_JLS0197

This opening weekend is my favorite time to visit Old Faithful. Fewer people, easier parking and with the chill air, the geyser becomes truly stupendous.

Old Faithful at the beginning of his activity.  _JLS0284

Raven ready for his closeup
_JLS0331bc Coyote looking for food.  We counted this coyote twice since we saw it on the way to Old Faithful and on the way back. _JLS0416

We saw
1. Trumpeter swans
2. Red breasted merganswers
3. Osprey (lots of them)
4. Mallards
5. Cinnamon teals
6. Sandhill cranes
7. Mountain bluebirds
8. Common ravens
9. Bald eagle
10. Common mergansers

Bison and coyotes!

We had a great time, laughing, talking, and enjoying the wilderness.  I’ve never seen so many coyotes nor so many osprey ~8 or more.

— Jenny


One thought on “April in Yellowstone 2018

  1. Nostalgia

    On Wed, Sep 5, 2018 at 10:26 AM BlueRavenBirders wrote:

    > blueravenbirding posted: “Saturday April 21, Yellowstone This was opening > day for the West entrance into the park and the first day the road to Old > Faithful was clear. The park still has people, but not nearly the numbers > that we see later in the summer. I rented a 12 passenger ” >

    Like

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