Away we went on a 4 day journey to see as many grouse as possible. Our first stop took us up to the Rocky Mountains to try to see White-tailed Ptarmigans. We found these Bighorn Sheep beside the highway.
Up and up we drove the winding road until we were above the tree line at almost 12,000 feet in search of the Ptarmigan. I bought a new wide angle lens to try to capture the views.
First of all, look at the landscape photo above again. This is the top of the Rocky Mountains and a vast open space where we thought we could find a few birds the size of softballs. Good luck. We parked the car and started to scan the landscape.
|Looking for Ptarmigan|
|Softball on the hill|
We decided to try to get closer so we hiked down, around and back up the slope giving the birds a wide berth. Remember, this is 12,000 feet up and a really steep slope - with snow! I was huffing and puffing from the thin air. Trying to keep my balance and not end up at the bottom of the mountain. All of this with adrenaline pumping with excitement. We found a spot on the slope about 50 feet from the birds. They never seemed to mind our presence.
|Ptarmigans on the slope|
|Checking us out|
|P-Todd and his almost girlfriend|
Although we didn't want to leave, we had to get going. My butt was freezing off and we had a long drive to our next destination in Gunnison. Todd couldn't resist snapping this photo of me with the Ptarmigans as a souvenir.
|Reluctantly leaving our friends|
What an incredible experience.