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Monthly Archives: April 2015

A walk through Hoffman Hills Recreation Area gave me an opportunity to photograph some spring, blooms, buds and leaves. For most of the shots taken in the wetlands area I used my 500mm lens. This allowed me to get some close-ups while avoiding walking in the wetlands.

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After photographing in the wetlands we hike up to the Tower at Hoffman Hills. I took a few shots of some backlit spring leaves, with my 300mm lens, on the way to the tower.

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More spring photographs from Hoffman Hills can be found on my website.

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Walking through the wetlands I spotted this dry grass so I tried to capture the patterns.

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There was a little wildlife out. This Goose has been nesting for a couple of weeks.The mate was in another small pond well away from the nest.

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The Painted Turtles were out sunning themselves and the frogs were croaking.

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More spring photographs from Hoffman Hills can be found on my website.

I have very few American Goldfinches around this spring. The few that are around are in the process of moulting and should have their summer colors within a few weeks.

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This is one of my favorite locations to photograph the spring colors. It was a bit early to get any green but the maples were starting to flower creating some beautiful reds. I find photographing the spring colors almost as much fun as photographing the leaves turning in the fall. These were taken from the top of the tower at Hoffman Hills Recreation Area.

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More spring photographs from Hoffman Hills can be found on my website.

I had been wanting to make a trip to Crex Meadows but was down with a bug so we hadn’t been able to make the trip. Also the weather had not been cooperating. We finally found a beautiful warm day so we decided to drive up the Crex for the day. I wasn’t expecting to see much but we were pleasantly surprised.

We counted over twenty Trumpeter Swans as we drove around the dike roads. I was able to get a few action shots because the swans were moving around.

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We also saw quite a few Canada Geese. This pair was right along the road and didn’t want to be disturbed.

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We  saw a large number of Sandhill Cranes in fairly large groups. They were attracting a crowd in the area just west of Phantom Lake.

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We also ran into a Ruffled Grouse walking across the road. I was able to exit the car and get some shots before it moved off into the woods.

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In the same area as the Ruffled Grouse I managed to get some nice reflections shots in a birch grove.

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I took this shot of the marsh grass in an area that I have a history. I love the beautiful grass in this area. Several years ago I stopped to take a photo and was so excited that when I walked off of the road into the grass I didn’t realize that the marsh was filled with water. Fortunately when I hit the water I was able to keep my camera dry although it took quite a while for me to dry out.

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I have a large number of Purple Finches at my feeder. I occasionally have a few around but the numbers are much higher than normal. On the other hand I usually have a large number of American Finches around but only have a few of them.

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The female was perched first but when the male came he didn’t like the company.

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It was a beautiful but unseasonably warm day when we decided to drive over to Willow River State Park. Our first stop was Willow Falls. There was a lot of water coming over the falls, a bit surprising considering the dry winter and spring. Unfortunately most of the falls was covered in bright sunlight so I decided to concentrate on some intimate photos of the portions of the falls that was in the shade.

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While was photographing a small portion of the falls I noticed something sticking up out of the water. At first it looked like a leaf but the more I looked the more it looked like a fish tail. I kept watching it and sure enough it was a fish attempting to navigate up the falls. As I watched I noticed even more fish attempting to make it up the falls. It was strange because there a number of other folks viewing the falls and none of them had noticed the fish.

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We then continued on, what turned out to be, an eight mile hike. For the most part there was not a lot of color and we didn’t see any spring flowers.

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More photographs from Willow Falls State Park can be found on my website.

A couple of days ago this Migrating White-throated Sparrow turned up at my feeder. I usually get a few at my feeders during the migration season.

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Last Saturday was the annual Sandhill Crane Count which I’ve participated in for a number of years. My count area is a small area call Gilbert Creek Wildlife Area. Counting means being at the count area by 5:30am so it was an early start to the day.

I didn’t see or hear any cranes while it was dark out but I could hear some Canada Geese taking off. Once the sun was up I found a couple of cranes walking in a pasture and later heard them calling. Later in the morning I found this lone crane out on a walkabout. As I mentioned in an earlier blog I had seen a couple of cranes mating in the area so it’s possible one was on the nest.

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There were some other birds around. I found the Pied-billed Grebe all alone in a small pond.

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As I mentioned I had heard some Canada Geese take off early in the morning. There were still a few around but none of them appeared to be on nests.

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I managed to get a rare shot of an American Robin. Given the large number of robins around I’m not sure why I not have a lot more photos of them.

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More photographs from Gilbert Creek can be found on my website.

Most of the birds have been around for most of the winter. There are a few exceptions. A Brown Thrasher turned up for a couple of days. This is the first one that I’ve seen on the farm and the only one I’ve photographed.

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The Eastern Bluebirds are back and occasionally stop at my feeding station. They mainly use it as a perch to look for insects and as a stopping off point on their way to the bird bath.

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The Song Sparrows are back and are getting ready to nest in the pine trees by the house.

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I’m amazed that the Dark-eyed Juncos are still around. Normally they have left by this time of year.

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The Black-capped Chickadees are around although the numbers thin in the summer.

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The Hairy Woodpeckers are around as long as I keep feeding them peanut butter suit.

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