Saturday, October 19, 2013

A Few Birds at West Thumb

1. West Thumb Geyser Basin-kab A view of Yellowstone Lake from West Thumb Geyser Basin

In all my prior visits to Yellowstone National Park Gus and I have never stopped to explore the West Thumb Geyser Basin. So, as we came around the south end of the park we decided to stop here and explore someplace new. The juxtaposition of hot springs and cold, clear blue water is striking. We walked the boardwalks wide-eyed and full of wonder.

2. Raven-kab Common Ravens were the most common bird I saw!

3. blue pools-kab I could not believe the shades of blue in these springs!

4. milky water-kab Some were crystal clear, and some chalky blue or white.

5. colors-kab Bacterial mats and algae paint rainbows along the edges.

6. edge of lake-kab This water looked so refreshing as the day heated up.

7. whitecaps on water-kab But the wind was whipping the water into white-capped waves!

8. common merganser-kab And in those waves I found a Common Merganser!

9. boardwalk-kab We were surprised to learn there were not boardwalks here until the 1990’s! People used to run freely over this ground endangering the hot springs and themselves!

10. hotspring-kab This spring looks so tempting it makes you want to take a swim, but this water is so hot it will scald the flesh right off your bones!

11. bacterial mat-kab Bacterial mats and algae form as the water cools as it flows away from the springs towards the lake.

12. hot spring-kab That white crust surrounding this clear spring is thin and will collapse beneath your feet if you step on it! Stay on the boardwalks!

13. view across the lake-kab After living in the dry and dusty brown and gray-green desert these cool blues and greens are so refreshing to my eyes!

Birds Seen at West Thumb Geyser Basin:

  1. Common Merganser
  2. gull species (immatures flying around)
  3. Common Raven

Trip to Yellowstone and Utah 2013 


  1. Yellowstone is such a land of contrasts and colors.

  2. HI Kathie Thanks for sharing these wonderful photos and text. The colours are stunning.I am not surprised there are not many birds around.

    1. Margaret, it's because fall migration is well underway and most have left the area.

  3. Thermal areas are fascinating with the colours, steam etc. At one we visited in New Zealand, there were swallows flying through the steam capturing the small insects which were abundant because of the warmth.

    1. happy wanderer, I saw the same thing happening with the ravens and the blackbirds!


Welcome to my nest! I hope you will enjoy spending time here with me and the birds. Thank you for your comments. I will try to get back to you as soon as I get back from counting more birds.