Friday, July 7, 2017 - Whitefish River - 8 miles
Mid-way through our journey, we approached a curve and immediately noticed a dramatic increase in bird traffic. And then we saw the cliff wall and the birds flying to and from it. As I learned later, the Bank Swallow is usually seen in flocks, flying low over ponds and rivers with quick, fluttery wingbeats. It nests in dense colonies, in hole in dirt or sand banks. Some of these colonies are quite large, and a tall cut bank may be pockmarked with several hundred holes. Despite their small size, tiny bills and small feet, these swallows generally dig their own nesting burrows, sometimes up to five feet long.
While Man with Hat didn't hook any fish that day, we watched birds on the wing snagging dragonflies and other winged insects that flitted about the river's surface. At one point, a bald eagle flapped serenely over the river, and unseen hawks called to each other from the thick stands of trees. A deer near the river's edge lifted a dripping, shiny nose to assess our threat, and then slowly retreated to the woods.
Two pairs of kayakers each shared the waterway that day, exchanging only a nod in our direction as they glided downriver. It seemed no one wanted to break the peace of the summer day, punctuated by nothing louder than the buzz of insect wings and the twitter of the birds.
Saturday, July 8, 2017 - Middle Fork, Flathead River - 8 miles
Yes, we went kayaking two days in a row. You might as well, when you have all your gear together, but it probably had more to do with our son's work schedule accommodating another shuttle!
We put in around 11 am at Cascadilla Creek, an apparently good time for entry given that we saw very little traffic ahead of us throughout the 4-hour journey (we stopped three times for Man with Hat to fish). The take-out at Moccasin Creek at 3 pm was a different story - clearly it was a key launching time for the rafting companies - at least a dozen craft hovered creekside while loading up tourists lathered in sun cream and bug repellent!
A picturesque wilderness whitewater river offers many opportunities to the boater. Splendid views.
|This Pike Minnow was a feisty fellow|
|Upper Middle: Oxeye Daisy; Lower Middle: Harebell; Lower Right: Pearly Everlasting|
|Upper Right: Nodding Onion; Lower Right: St. Johnswort|
Such beautiful scenery. The information about the bank swallows and how they build their nests was fascinating. The Pike Minnow certainly put up a fight by the looks of things. Enjoy your visit with family and friends. Thanks for making time to visit my blog before hand.ReplyDelete
Hello, beautiful scenery along the river. It would be neat to see all the Bank Swallows. Great video and photos. Your hubby caught a nice size fish. Happy 4th of July to you! Thank you for linking up and sharing your post. I appreciate the comment and visit. Happy Saturday, enjoy your weekend!ReplyDelete
A Bank Swallow colony of that size is becoming harder and harder to find, Angie, and I very much appreciate your sharing it with us. This species, along with all other aerial insectivores, is in serious trouble and it’s numbers are plummeting. You obviously spent a wonderful couple of days on the water, and enjoyed the wildlife. Your lyrical, beautiful prose enabled all of us to ride along with you and savour the moment.ReplyDelete
When I leave comments using my iPad I have to be eternally vigilant and obviously I was not vigilant enough in the comment above - it’s should be its!ReplyDelete
...you sure see some mighty nice sights along the way.ReplyDelete
Wonderful nature shots ~ swallows and all ~ What a fish!ReplyDelete
Happy Day to you,
A ShutterBug Explores,
aka (A Creative Harbor)
So much beauty for you to discover. Those Bank Swallows are so interesting.ReplyDelete
Beautiful peaceful post. I like kayaking and have rented them while on vacation and would like to have my own but I am trying to figure out the mechanics of storing them in our garage, transporting them, etc. Your post gives me encouragement!ReplyDelete
You do live in the most beautiful countryside. How wonderful to hike and kayak through this nature's wonderland. The bird life is captivating and the swallows building their nests in the banks would be a most splendid thing to see in real life. A most beautiful and peaceful post....thank you for sharing.ReplyDelete
Wow, incredible scenery and great photos. Makes me want to get in a raft and float down the river!!ReplyDelete
Hello! I hope you're having another great summer here. There is always so much to see and do here in Montana. Though right now I am in Oregon, I can't wait to get back. Enjoy! KitReplyDelete
Beautiful pictures. Love to see the turtles all sitting on the log.ReplyDelete
I'm looking forward to going kayaking this year. We have a few reservoirs around here where we go. Nice and calm. : )
Exquisite! I hardly know where to start, so I'll just say all those birds nesting in a cliff is amazing!ReplyDelete
An Unfittie's Guide to Adventurous Travel
When we kayaked down the Skagit River in Washington we came across a section filled with bank swallow nest holes. We have three kinds of swallows at our cabin: tree, violet-green and barn. I love to watch their antics. - MargyReplyDelete
Sounds like a couple of magical days! Beautiful photos.ReplyDelete
A day on the water, fresh air, exercise and dinner caught all look like a wonderful time to me! It is absolutely stunning out your way, Your video is great with the busy swallows and the regal fly past at the end!ReplyDelete
Gorgeous! Those swallow nests are amazing!ReplyDelete
Oh Angie, how glorious! Loved all your wonderful photos. And the video of the Bank Swallows! What an incredible trip! Now, let me explain something...I was loving all your wonderful comments on my posts, but every time I tried to get on your blog, it said I'd have to re-join Google+ which I have no desire to do! I knew I had seen your posts and couldn't figure out which linky you had been on in the past. I needed to be able to see your post on a linky so I could copy and paste your url to my Fave's List! But today is the first day I have been able to do that. Let me say, I really enjoy your comments and am hoping now my problem is fixed so I can also comment again on your blog. Have a great day!ReplyDelete
You're in Heaven. Yup, that's where you are, Angie. I love these posts of yours. They remind me of when I've gone on similar jaunts and what I can do again once I get my knees to be almost normal again. Until then, I live vicariously through your adventures. Thanks you, Angie.ReplyDelete
you are very active! And have found your paradise!ReplyDelete
It really is spectacular! And how nice to get out on the water so often. We've been talking about when we loved to fish...we miss it! Enjoy your week! Hugs!ReplyDelete
Given the tiny bills on the bank swallow, it's amazing that they can dig those holes in the banks for their nests. What a beautiful and peaceful day on the water. The scenery is spectacular. What bird flew across in the video at the end? Was it an eagle? It was hard to identify.ReplyDelete
It was a heron.Delete
So much beauty there. I had a bird fly into me a couple of weeks ago while walking the dogs, then it followed me home.ReplyDelete
Beautiful days on the water Angie!! Bank swallows are fascinating ... loved the way you described the quiet ... perfect way to spend summer days! Thank you for sharing them with us.ReplyDelete
PS: Enjoy the time with your family! What a beautiful time of year for you to entertain company.
Stunning location for your kayaking adventures, the scenery, flora and fauna are so interesting and something I would never see myself in real life. Thank you so much for sharing the serenity and beauty of the Whitefish River and it's surrounding countryside.ReplyDelete
What an adventure! To my landlubber eyes that kayak looks a bit "dodgy". My only trip ina kayak was in 2ft of water and that was scary enough.I kid you not.ReplyDelete
By coincidence I have been out this morning catching Bank Swallows (we call them Sand Martins but it is the same species). Waht tremendous distances these little things migrate each year - same for you.
Beautiful place. I have never seen cliff walls like that before. How interesting and so amazing!!ReplyDelete
Looks like a fantastic trip! Thanks or sharing it with all of us!ReplyDelete
What a great adventure! Thanks for taking us along. The scenery is so stunning!ReplyDelete
What a great trip!!!ReplyDelete
What a wonderful trip to share with Nature Notes... I loved all the photos but was really taken with the video of the swallows. We have barn swallows here, but none that I have seen in my area...MichelleReplyDelete
Was that a blue heron that flew by at the end of the video? There were so many swallows there! What a delightful sound they made!ReplyDelete
Really beautiful scenery, and great photos of it.ReplyDelete