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Category Archives: Wildlife Photography

After leaving Red Canyon and Moccasin Mountain Tracksite we drove to Page, Arizona. The next morning we retraced our route back toward Knab, Utah. We were looking for a ranger station to get updated information. The first one we stopped at was closed but were able to find someone at the Paria Contact Station. She was a retired volunteer who spends her summers working in national parks and was very knowledgeable about the area and current conditions. We then headed for the Toadstools which were just down the road from the Contact Station. I had been there an number of years ago and thought it would be a nice short hike.

In addition to the Toadstools we found a few early spring flowers blooming.

There was also a little wildlife to be found.

 

Last week we made a visit to the Vince Shute Wildlife Sanctuary. Vince was a lumberman in the area and loved to make pancakes. His loggers loved them, unfortunately, so did the local black bears. The bears  kept breaking into his cabins looking for food. The first solution was to shoot them but he found he couldn’t shoot enough of them. He then tried feeding them. That seemed to work. They quit breaking into his cabins. However, what started out as a few bears turned into many bears. When Vince could no longer feed them The American Bear Association took over the project. The bears are wild but there is a small area where they feed the bears. This year we were a little early and there were only a couple dozen bears around. At the peak feeding time, mid August to the end of August, there can be up to fifty bears in the area. If you want to see bears this is the place to do it.

Generally we visit Perrot State Park in the Spring and in the fall but we had some time and the need to finish a book we were listening to on the car CD so we drove down to  Perrot State Park for a hike to the overlook of the Mississippi River.

 

 

 

 

There were a lot of dragonflies around. I had my macro lens on the camera so it was a challenge to get close enough to them to get a photograph.

Common Whitetail

Common Pondhawk

There were also some butterflies around but I didn’t have much luck photographing them.

Aphrodite Fritillary

There were also a variety of wildflowers blooming.

Goat’s Beard

Butterfly Weed

Last week I noticed a White-tailed Deer in the yard. I watched it for a while as it moved around in the Yard. It finally noticed me.

After a while it made some strange sounds as it ran off.

About 10 minutes later it came running back making the same strange sounds. I thought she might have misplace her faun the way she was wandering around and calling.

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.