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Category Archives: Wildlife Photography

We made a late spring visit to Crex Meadows last week. Our first stop was a Bald Eagle nest on Phantom Lake Road. One of the adults was sitting by the nest and there were two young in the nest. It looked like they were just about ready to leave the nest.

When we reached Phantom Lake we found a number of pairs of Canada Geese with their young. This adult seemed to be upset with something and it kept chasing other geese.

There were a number of pairs of Trumpeter Swans with their young. The adults were furiously churning the water. I assume to free plants from the bottom so they would float to the surface and the Cygnets could feed on them.

One of the popular attractions this year has been Killdeer nesting in the roads around the flowage.

We also found this Leatherback Turtle laying eggs along the road.

The spring flowers were out in the meadows. Indian Paintbrush and Yellow Water Lilies were common.

We encountered a number of White-tailed Deer in our drive through the meadows.

The young ducks have also hatched and could be found on the flowages.

Currently the Wild Lupine and Prairie Smoke are blooming at Hoffman Hills Recreation Area.

When I first started photographing birds I had to do it from my basement window because I didn’t have the right lenses to photograph them at the feeders. The birds would go to the feeders to get seeds then fly to a lilac bush by the basement window to eat them. This made it easy to get some close shots. Over the years I acquired better lenses and started photographing from my large windows by the feeders. I recently went back to my roots and spent the better part of a day photographing from my basement window.

Dark-eyed Juncos were around in large numbers after being absent for part of the winter.

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Black-capped Chickadees were around in large numbers. This seemed to be their favorite perch for eating.

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There were also a few Northern Cardinals around but they were a little skittish and wouldn’t come near the window.

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At least what passes for a blizzard this year. It snowed all day and we had some strong winds but only about 6 inches of snow. When we do get a snow storm it seems to bring the Northern Cardinals out in good numbers. On this day I was lucky to get more than the the usually number of shots of female Cardinals.

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The Black-capped Chickadees like to hang out in an old Crab Apple Tree near the woods. On a nice warm sunny winter day I like to go out by the apple tree and photograph them. It is quite the tangled mess because the tree is covered in wild grape vines. It takes a lot of patience to wait for a bird to land on a perch with a clear photo.

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Last week we headed out on another trip to find Bald Eagles along the Mississippi River. Just before we reached Durand, Wisconsin I noticed one sitting in a tree along the road. We turned around and went back for some shots. This is probably the best Bald Eagle shot I’ve gotten. He was right near the road and was not obstructed by any branches.

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As we drove over the Bridge At Wabasha  we noticed an eagle sitting in a tree next to a nest just north of the bridge. Unfortunately it was too far away for a shot. We then headed up to Reads Landing. There were a few Eagles sitting on the sand on the other side of the river but too far away for any shots. We did see a pair of Mature eagles flying around. It looked like they might be getting ready to mate. About that time a train came along and I could see that the eagles had gotten close enough to photograph but by the time the train passed they were gone. We had lunch at the Reads Landing Brewing Company. Apparently it is in the process of changing hands.

We then drove north toward Red Wing, Minnesota. There are several pull offs just north of Reads Landing so we stopped to watch the eagles fishing on the open water. One of them caught a large fish before it flew off to have lunch.

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We then drove to the next turn off where another photographer was already photographing eagles. He hadn’t had much luck but just then one landed a short distance away. Unfortunately it was partially hidden by the trees.

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While we were looking at the eagle another bird flew into a patch of Sumac. Turned out to be a Piliated Woodpecker.

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A little further up the road we found a bunch of Mallard Ducks on a partially frozen pond.

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When we reached Red Wing there were no birds around so we headed home.

 

A few more bird photos from Canadian Hill Farm. Unfortunately a male Red-bellied Woodpecker hit the window last week and was killed. The female is still coming to the feeders.

Red-bellied Woodpecker

Red-bellied Woodpecker

Northern Cardinal

Northern Cardinal

Downy Woodpecker

Downy Woodpecker

We see White-tailed Deer walking through the yard every so often. I managed to get these photos of what appears to be an adult and a younger deer eating Canadian Goldenrod plants. They have also been checking out my Kale. I planted Kale in the garden but didn’t get to harvest much because the deer really seem to like it.

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More bird photos from Canadian Hill Farm. Since we really haven’t had much of a winter I’ve spend more time than usual photographing birds. I managed to capture this photo late in the day when the sun was shining on some pine trees in the background.

Downy Woodpecker

Downy Woodpecker

Black-capped Chickadee

Black-capped Chickadee

I managed to capture this photo just as a Dark-eyed Junco cleared the snow off of her back.

Dark-eyed Junco

Dark-eyed Junco

Red-bellied Woodpecker

Red-bellied Woodpecker

White-breasted Nuthatch

White-breasted Nuthatch

When ever we have a snowy day the Northern Cardinals flock to the feeders. These are from a recent snowfall.

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