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Spring is the time I like to drive over to Gilbert Creek Wildlife Area to view the birds. We had driven past last week and noticed that there were already a number of Sandhill Cranes in the area. I drove down just after sunrise and didn’t see much to photograph. Later in the morning we were in the area so we drove over to see if things had improved. Just as we arrived my wife noticed a couple of Sandhill Cranes calling. There was another pair in the wetlands but we couldn’t see them.

There were quite a few Red-winged Blackbirds around but we didn’t see any females.

Lots of Canada Geese in the pond.

There were also quite a few ducks around including  this pair that seemed to be staking out a nesting place. There were also a number of Wood Ducks around but they were a little skittish so no photos.

When things get a little dull I like to take photos of just about anything. This is last years Cattail.

We were out for a walk on this beautiful spring day and noticed a large number of flowers on the Red Cedar Trail.

Marsh Marigolds

Bloodroot

Common Blue Violet

Spring Beauty

As we were returning home one day my wife noticed a Bald Eagle on a deer carcass along the road. We turned around and went back hoping to get a photo. Unfortunately another car came along and the Eagle took off. I did manage to get a photo of it sitting on a dead tree along the road and a second photo when it flew up into a pine tree.

 

I’ve heard about people surfing in the winter in Duluth but had never seen it. As we were driving past Brighton Beach as we entered Duluth there was a big crowd along the beach with surfers in the water. There were also a couple of folks with Kayaks in the water. It was really cold with a 25 mph wind blowing and the temperatures hoovering just above freezing. I had a difficult time holding the camera steady because I was shivering so badly. I can just imagine how much fun it was being out in the lake. I only saw a couple of the surfers catch a wave and the ride was really short.

As we finished hiking the Split Rock River Loop Trail we could see some big waves down by the lake. We drove down for a closer look and did find some big waves crashing into the shore.

It was cold and Dreary this weekend in Duluth. I decided to walk down to Canal Park and see if anything was going on. Not much happening. I was a little surprised at the number of people wandering around given how cold and dreary it was. The shipping season was just getting underway and there wasn’t much activity.

Uncle Harvey’s Mausoleum

Duluth Harbor Lighthouses

Padlocks

 

The photo shown below was used by Travel Wisconsin for an article on the Apostle Islands Ice Caves.

I haven’t seen my Pileated Woodpecker around much lately but yesterday he turned up in the morning but flew quickly when he saw me. Later in the afternoon he returned and I managed to get some pictures of him.

 

 

Our pet Sharp-skinned Hawk has been absent for a while but last week he returned and spent quite some time flying around my bird feeders before flying at an arborvitae and flushing some birds. I don’t know if the caught any but he did flush a female Northern Cardinal who flew into a window in her panic to escape. This is the first time I’ve ever seen a hawk land on three different perches on a single visit.

For the past year I’ve had a female Northern Cardinal banging on my basement window. I posted a blog about it last spring.

Unfortunately she died in an accident last week. Tony Hawk seen here attempting to flush her out of her hiding place did managed to flush her and in her panic to escape she flew right into a window and was killed instantly. Normally Tony perches on the feeder for a while and then leaves. On this particular day he stayed around perching at three different locations before attempting to flush some birds from an arborvitae. I happened to be standing beside the window as Tony flew at an arborvitae where the female Cardinal hiding.

Since that time a Male Northern Cardinal who I assume was her mate has taken up the role of banging into my basement window.