In spite of the fact that it is a national wildlife refuge I rarely manage to photograph any wildlife at Trempealeau. This trip was different. As we drove through I noticed a large number of Gulls flying around a backwater. When I went over to see what they were doing I found they were fishing. I watched for a while and managed to capture a few of them.
I also noticed a number of immature Bald Eagles watching the activity. On the trip we probably saw in excess of 30 Bald Eagles.
I was surprised to find the Painted Turtles out sunning themselves. It wasn’t all that warm out.
We noticed quite a few ducks in one of the backwaters so we stopped to watch. I managed to get a photo of this Northern Shoveler as it swam by.
While we were watching the ducks a Muskrat also swam by.
After hiking at Banning State Park we headed for Grantsburg, Wisconsin. We were debating whether to stop at Crex Meadows. When we reached Grantsburg it was high noon and we figured we wouldn’t see any wildlife at that time of day. We finally decided to drive around the dikes and look around. Turned out to be one of the best wildlife days we have had at Crex.
We hadn’t gone far when we encountered several Sandhill Cranes in the grass.
A little further along my wife notice a Bull Snake crossing the road. I had trouble getting a photo of it because I was using my birding lens and the snake kept getting too close to me.
We had stopped along the road to look for birds and noticed this friendly Snow Bunting right by the car. Normally they are skittish but this one just hung around the car and let me take photos of it. When we returned later in the afternoon it was still in the same place.
It was a beautiful warm day and the Painted Turtles were out sunning themselves.
There were a pair of Blue-winged Teal in the water near the road. They seemed oblivious to the fact that we were right next to them.
We noticed American Coots at various small ponds around the Meadows.
As we were driving along I noticed a Muskrat swimming next to the car. As I watched it seemed to be frantically swimming around. Soon we noticed a second one. We then realized that they were mating.
We saw a number of Canada Geese nesting in the Meadows.
There were a number of Pied-billed Grebes to be found throughout the Meadows.
The most common bird in the Meadows on this day were the Trumpeter Swans.
Walking through the wetlands I spotted this dry grass so I tried to capture the patterns.
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.
The Painted Turtles were out sunning themselves and the frogs were croaking.
More spring photographs from Hoffman Hills can be found on my website.
On a late spring trip to Crex Meadows we encountered more turtles than we saw on all of our previous trips put together.
The Blanding’s Turtle is on the endangered species list but seem to be doing well at Crex Meadows. Late in the evening we had to drive with great care because there were so many of them in the road laying eggs. The next morning when we drove the same road they were all gone.
The Snapping Turtles were also out in the roads laying eggs. Needless to say this is one turtle that I didn’t help across the road. I took this photo with my birding lens so I wasn’t all that close to him.
There were also a lot of Painted Turtles out in the water sunning themselves.