The birding and botany on the trail to Red Eagle Lake is pretty hard to beat in Glacier National Park. Mid-July is a wonderful time for the trip and I struck out on the trail for an overnighter. My goal was the lake to do a Common Loon survey and a Mountain Goat survey while I was there.
I started out behind the 1913 Ranger Station to head out to the Beaver Pond. Wildflowers were everywhere including geraniums, asters, and indian paintbrushes. Three woodpecker species, many waterfowl (with chicks) and a nice mix of warblers, sparrows, wrens, and finches made for a wonderful hike. White-winged Crossbills topped the list and the many other species of birds and flowers would make for a ridiculous list.
A major contributor to the varied array of birds and flowers is the fire that swept through. A cursory glance feels saddened by the gray skeletons of trees long gone, but a closer look finds a perfect place for nesting cavities and feeding grounds for birds of all stripes. The removing of a lot of the vegetation makes room for flowers that, otherwise, would be choked out by shrubs. This all makes up for a toasty walk.
On the way in, a 10% chance of rain turned into a 100% chance of rain, but abated by the time I was near camp and ready to set it up. Overall, a really nice trip in the St. Mary area.