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Last week we made our first summer visit to Crex Meadows since returning from Iceland. Things have really changed since our last visit. The large amount rain we received in May and June has raised the water levels in the ponds and really made the vegetation grow. In some places it is difficult to photograph from the car because the grass is so high along the road.

We found some Wood Ducks sitting on a log. On our second pass around the Meadows this one was still sitting there and posed for me. It’s the first Wood Duck I’ve been able to photograph up close and my first one at Crex.

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The ducklings were all over the place. It was fun to watch them making their way through the lily pads.

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This Red-winged Blackbird landed next to the road. I had my wife drive up to it and it didn’t move. I was able to get some great shots before moving on.

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We found this fledgling sitting in the road. When we stopped it hopped into the foliage along the road and sat there while I took its picture. I think it was a young Red-winged Blackbird.

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There were lots of Trumpeter Swans around with their young. They looked to be teenagers now.

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We drove past a Bald Eagle nest on the north side of the refuge. It had one eagle in it. The wind was blowing and it seemed to be testing its wings into the wind. I will probably be gone from the nest very soon.

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A short time later we encountered two Sandhill Cranes walking through the Prairie.

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I’ve photographed Great Blue Herons before at Crex but this is probably the best photo of them that I’ve gotten.

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It was a great day for bird photography.

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