A couple of unusual migration patterns are happening this fall, and every year, for that matter. The Townsend's Solitaire (photo above) migrates in elevation and is drawn to its favorite winter food - juniper berries. The gray bird is always found by the junipers in the valley. In the warmer months, it breeds up in the mountains.

Then, there's the dabbling ducks. Bob Danley of the Bitterroot Outdoor Journal says the duck migrates north to the insect-rich wetlands where they eat insects and replace their flight feathers - a process known as molting. The second molt replaces their body feathers and that's happening now, a bit farther south - right here at the Lee Metcalf Wildlife Refuge is one of the places.

dabbling ducks molting
Green-winged dabbling ducks. (Bob Danley Photo)

Bob saw some late season butterflies - again at the Metcalf Refuge. He spotted the Purplish Copper butterfly. It's fairly small - a little bigger than an inch. And they're out there because of the high temperatures. That's the reason Bob saw three varieties of dragonflies, too. He saw the Black Meadowhawk, the Band-winged and Saffron-winged Meadhawks, too. If you want to take a photo, creep up on them from behind and you have a better chance of not spooking them. You should be able to get within 4 to 5 feet for a good picture.

October dragonflies. (Bob Danley Photo)

Now with Halloween coming up, an orange fungi can be seen. It's the Scaly Vase Chanterelle with vase-like appearance and a wrinkled stem. It can be 8 inches tall and is in conifer forests. And, it's yellow-orange. Creepy-looking. The Bitterroot Outdoor Journal is heard Wednesday mornings at 7:45 a.m. during the Bitterroot Morning newscast on 1240 KLYQ Radio and at www.klyq.com.

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butterfly in october
Purplish-Copper butterfly. (Bob Danley photo)
scaly fungi
Scaly Vase Chanterelle. Bob Danley photo)

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