This is a trumpeter swan. Ever since Kristin read The Trumpet of the Swan she has wanted to see one in the wild. They are fairly rare so I thought we would not be so blessed. Then we found these in the river, and have since seen them hanging out in this spot on several other occasions.
Bison are perhaps the most plentiful of the big game in the park, but seeing them frequently did not take away the "wow factor" for us. They are fun to watch. The calves run about and charge each other, the bulls gurgle a deep, frightening noise and seeing them cross the river then shake off and roll in the dust is quite entertaining.
That ill-fated (as in, we got ill and bailed out) wolf hunt we had planned only got postponed. We did get a chance the next day to head for the sweet spot in the late afternoon hours. Upon arrival we found dozens of people perched on the hilltop with cameras and scopes aimed off into the distance. We learned there were indeed a few wolves about a mile off. A WHOLE MILE. So although we got to glimpse them through the telescope, I have no photos at all because I don't own a lens with that sort of fire power. Even through the telescope, the critter I saw could just as easily have been someone's stray Doberman Pincer. So instead of "that pin point is a wolf" photo, I offer you tourist photos!
Finally, there are the elk. They might outnumber the bison - I really don't know. They are easy to spot near Mammoth Hot Springs and they seem docile enough, but they are huge and really cause more problems than bears or bison, mainly because people think they are just big deer and fail to give them their space.
I can't go without including this gem: a raven in flight. I shot this while standing in a parking lot, looking down a hill waiting for a bear to arrange itself in a more photogenic pose. That did not happen, and I like ravens. I could do a whole coffee table book, assuming I can ever get a better shot than the likes of this.
We have several more days here in the park and in that time we score some more wildlife images to share. It might just be a lot of bison. I hope you like them as much as we do!