Skip navigation

Category Archives: Wisconsin

We have seen quite a few Bald Eagles at Crex Meadows.

 

Advertisements

This past weekend was the Annual Midwest Crane Count for my area. It was originally scheduled for April 13th but was postponed one week because of a blizzard. Probably a good thing it was because there were not many birds around the day after the blizzard. When we headed out early in the morning we were greeted with a full moon. Our counting area was Gilbert Creek Fishery and Wildlife Area about seven miles west of Menomonie, Wisconsin.

 


The goal was to count Sandhill Cranes. We saw four cranes and heard another pair calling. This tied for the most cranes we have counted during the crane count

 

In addition we counted other birds in the area. The highest count was for Red-winged Blackbirds. We stopped counting at thirty five. All but one of them were male birds. The second photo is of the only female that we saw.

There were a few Buffleheads in the pond and they seemed to be chasing one another around the pond.

 

For the first time since I started counting I found Trumpeter Swans in the area. I noticed them a couple of times this spring so maybe they will stay for the season.

 

There were several Canadian Geese on their nests.

My first Northern Flicker turned up late in the summer but it was almost five months before I was able to get my first shot of it. In the last month I’ve been able to get quite a few shots of it at my feeder.

 

It’s the spring doldrums. The weather is nice but there is still lots snow around so I can’t get out to do any yard work. I decided to make another trip up to Crex Meadows on Thursday. My wife decided to come along. It’s always a good idea to have a driver. Turned out to be a good decision because I saw quite a few new birds that have arrived at Crex Meadows. The Sandhill Cranes are back in large numbers. In the first photo the crane is preening itself with mud. The Iron in the mud stains the feathers giving the crane the reddish color. Notice that in the last photos these cranes are still the lighter color.

We also encountered a Great Blue Heron right along the road. Normally they take off when we drive up but this one stood its ground. When it did fly it only few a short distance and stayed along the road. We followed it for about 50 yards as it moved from place to place. It was a great chance to get a variety of poses.

There were a large number of Hooded Mergansers in the meadows. They were a bit shy but I was able to get a few photos.

 

There were more Trumpeter Swans around than there were a couple of weeks ago.

Once again we saw over a dozen Bald Eagles. The first photo shows one near the nest. The mate was sitting on the side of the nest. I don’t think there were any eggs yet.

There were quite a few Canadian Geese around.

We saw a couple of Muskrats. This one was right beside the road and seemed totally oblivious to our presence.

Still quite a bit of ice around the meadows and some of the roads were quite muddy.

With the warmer weather I’ve started to see Wild Turkeys wandering around the farm. These were a group of 12 that I noticed walking along the edge of the woods. They are easily spooked, even when I’m in the house, so I felt lucky to get some photos.

 

With the heavy snows in February and early March the deer have had a difficult time finding food. With the arrival of spring a few bare spots have appeared along the driveway exposing the grass in the yard. I’ve had a deer feeding on it the last few days.

 

My wife and I drove around Crex Meadows on the last day of winter. We managed to see over a dozen Bald Eagles during our two hours in the Meadows. The first photo shows a pair of Eagles sitting by their nest of Phantom Lake Road.

There were lots of Trumpeter Swans around staking out their territory for the summer breeding season.

We saw quite a few Rough-legged Hawks flying around but they were not interested in posing for the camera.

This is the first Racoon that I’ve seen at Crex Meadows.

We also saw a White-tailed Deer.

A few recent shots of Downy Woodpeckers.

 

With record snowfall in February it has been difficult to get the Red Cedar Trail groomed for skiing. It has also been very cold out. Yesterday was a beautiful sunny day with temperatures above zero so we drove down to the trail for some cross country skiing. It was the best day of skiing we have had this year. The trail had just been groomed and the skiing was excellent.

 

I was photographing a Northern Flicker when a Red-bellied Woodpecker turned up. It wasn’t long before a fight ensued. The flicker lost and soon left the feeder.