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Tag Archives: Canada Geese

On our last visit to Crex Meadows we were able to spot a wide range of wildlife.

Bull Snake

Spotted Gopher

Painted Turtle

White-tailed Deer

Trumpeter Swan

Canada Geese

Canada Geese

As we were driving past one of the flowages we noticed a couple of White-tailed Deer on the far shore. One is hidden in the grass to the left of the one on the shoreline.

White-tailed Deer

Lots of Sunflowers were out around the Meadows.

Sunflower

This Easter Phoebe was sitting on a sign next to the stop sign.

Eastern Phoebe

We mainly saw Monarch Butterflies but I did photograph one Fritillary.

Fritillary

There was a flock of Cedar Wax Wing hunting for insects on the Lilly pads.

Cedar Wax Wings

Canada Geese were feeding on the grass on Phantom Lake.

Canada Geese

This past week we drove through Crex Meadows on the way to Duluth, Minnesota. We saw quite a bit of wildlife and the DNR staging for a controlled burn. Unfortunately the burn didn’t happen. More photos from Crex Meadows can be found on my website.

 

Northern Harrier

Yellowlegs

Blue-winged Teal

Ring-necked Duck

Canada Geese

Pied-billed Grebes

Sandhill Cranes

Trumpeter Swan

 

I had been wanting to make a trip to Crex Meadows but was down with a bug so we hadn’t been able to make the trip. Also the weather had not been cooperating. We finally found a beautiful warm day so we decided to drive up the Crex for the day. I wasn’t expecting to see much but we were pleasantly surprised.

We counted over twenty Trumpeter Swans as we drove around the dike roads. I was able to get a few action shots because the swans were moving around.

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We also saw quite a few Canada Geese. This pair was right along the road and didn’t want to be disturbed.

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We  saw a large number of Sandhill Cranes in fairly large groups. They were attracting a crowd in the area just west of Phantom Lake.

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We also ran into a Ruffled Grouse walking across the road. I was able to exit the car and get some shots before it moved off into the woods.

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In the same area as the Ruffled Grouse I managed to get some nice reflections shots in a birch grove.

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I took this shot of the marsh grass in an area that I have a history. I love the beautiful grass in this area. Several years ago I stopped to take a photo and was so excited that when I walked off of the road into the grass I didn’t realize that the marsh was filled with water. Fortunately when I hit the water I was able to keep my camera dry although it took quite a while for me to dry out.

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Walking through the Hoffman Hills Wetlands we found that most of the Pussy Willows were past peak.

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A pair of Canada Geese have started nesting on one of the ponds.

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The frogs are out in great numbers and making a lot of noise.

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More spring photographs from Hoffman Hills can be found on my website.

It’s been an unusual spring for photography at Hoffman Hills. Over a foot of snow the first week in May slowed things down. This past week we have had rain every day. In between I was able to get out and take a few photographs.

The Canada Geese were finally able to start nesting on the first pond. One of the signs of spring is the return of the Canada Geese to nest at Hoffman Hills. The late start makes me think the second week of June the hatch will occur.

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Hoffman Hills is generally where I photograph Pussy Willows. This year between the snow storms and the sudden onslaught of warm weather the Pussy Willows were here and gone before I had much of a chance to photograph them.

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The Tree Swallows and the Eastern Bluebirds are fighting over housing out in the prairie area. This year the tree swallows seemed to have the upper hand although this bluebird was defending its chosen house.

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Things are finally starting to ramp up at Hoffman Hills Recreation Area. We were out last week and saw very few birds, the ponds were covered in ice and the Pussy Willows were just thinking about blooming. Things are way behind where they were last year. Last year the trees were budding, the birds were nesting and the first of the spring flowers were out. Last year was abnormal this year appears to be a bit behind normal.

Canada Geese

Canada Geese

Yesterday we visited again and there was quite a bit of activity. A pair of Canada Geese have returned to claim their nesting area. At the end of last year there was almost no water in the first pond. Things have improved a bit but the pond needs quite a bit more water. The pond is still covered in ice and snow but the geese had found about a three foot section that was slushy water. We noticed on the pond where one of the geese had landed when it flew in. there was a long skid mark where it slid across the ice before coming to a stop.

 

Skid Marks

Skid Marks

 

The Pussy Willows are showing more blooms now although they are probably more than a week away given the weather we are expecting.

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We heard Sandhill Cranes calling, saw a Bald Eagle and saw about a half dozen Eastern Bluebirds. For the most part the Prairie is covered with snow. There were lots of American Robbins around. We also noticed three students working on some kind of film. Lots of running but I have no idea what the film was about.

 

American Robin

American Robin

More spring photos from Hoffman Hills Recreation Area can be found on my website.

Canada Geese

There is a lot happening in the wetlands this weekend. Yesterday we saw the first of the Canada Geese goslings in the large pond. Overnight the geese also hatched in the first pond and the parents took goslings over to the large pond. This morning all of the geese were in the large pond with both pair of Geese starting out with six goslings each.

Canadian Tiger Swallowtail

The frogs are abundant in the wetlands. We also saw some Canadian Swallowtail Butterflies along the dikes. This morning we noticed a Woodchuck on he dikes. When we approached he ran up into a willow tree.

More spring shots at my website

It was another beautiful day at Hoffman Hills. The view from the tower keeps improving. Red buds are still predominating but the greens are starting to show through.

Swallows

It is a sellers market for birdhouses with the Bluebirds and Swallows competing for the limited number of houses in the prairie and wetlands. It looks like a number of them have setup housekeeping.

The Canadian Geese are on the nest in the first wetland pond. The nest is more visible this year than in past years. The water levels in the ponds are the lowest I’ve seen.

The frogs in the wetlands are making lots of noise. Quite a few butterflies are out and the birds are singing.

Hoffman Hills Pond

The painted turtles are out in force in the second pond. The willow trees at the second pond are really showing their bright colors and offer a nice contrast to the green pine trees and red maple buds in the background.

The prairie flowers are starting to emerge with Prairie Smoke likely to be the first flower to bloom.

More spring photos on my website.

Spring is starting at Hoffman Hills. There are an increasing number of birds in the wetlands area. In the past week I’ve seen bluebirds, cardinals, geese, ducks, hawks and a number of songbirds.

I was happy to see that the two geese that nest in the first of the two ponds in the wetlands area have returned and are now on the nest. The young should be hatching by the end of April. The nest is located on a small island in the first pond. One of them is usually on the nest and the other in the water.

I also saw a Muskrat in the first pond. He was along the shore and headed for the water when I approached. He also went out to the island in the pond.

The water levels in the ponds are the lowest I’ve seen them for this time of year.

The pussy willows are in full bloom throughout the wetlands areas although some of them are already past their peak.

The warm weather this week should really bring out the buds in the trees. You should be able to see some nice spring colors from the tower. I almost prefer the colors of spring to those of the fall.

More photos of Hoffman Hills.