Skip navigation

Tag Archives: trumpeter swans

During the winter Trumpeter Swans gather in Hudson, Wisconsin. I typically make a couple of trips over to spend time watching them. They don’t seem to be bothered by people.

 

At last weeks visit to Crex Meadows we encountered quite a few White-tailed Deer. This faun was right along the road and we didn’t see any adult around. Many of the deer were standing in ponds eating. There quite a few insects around so maybe they were trying to fend them off. The last photo caught one in an embarrassing moment.

 

 

There were quite a few Trumpeter Swans around including a pair with Cignets.

We saw a few Sandhill Cranes but no young.

There were quite a few Painted Turtles around and we encountered one Blanding’s Turtle crossing the road.

There was a large family of Mergansers in Phantom Lake.

We encountered a number of Canadian Tiger Swallowtail Butterflies enjoying the flowers.

An adult Bald Eagle was sitting by the nest on Phantom Lake Road.

During my last visit to Crex Meadows I was able to photograph a wide range of wildlife.

Red Squirrel

Blanding Turtle

Trumpeter Swans

Tree Swallow

Sandhill Crane

Ring-necked Pheasant

Muskrats

Bull Snake

Blue-winged Teal

We made a late season trip through Crex Meadows the last week of summer. Things were relatively quiet. We did see a number of hawks and eagles, there were quite a few ducks around. Most of the flowers were gone as well as the butterflies.
There were a lot of Wood Ducks around, far more than I’ve seen before. It was a little difficult to photograph birds because the ducks were very skittish and the grass was so high along the road it was difficult to use the car as a blind.

Wood-Duck-Crex-Meadows-16-6-_8372
The Trumpeter Swans are around. This year’s batch of young are almost adults now.

trumpeter-swans-crex-meadows-16-9-0894
Grebes can be found on the various flowages.

grebe-16-9-0906
Smartweed is blooming.

16-9-0904
There was some color in the trees but it looks like most of the Aspen and Birch trees are turning brown. We noticed this same phenomenon as we drove through Northern Wisconsin.

We were driving along one of the dike roads and as we came around a corner I noticed a large animal in the road. It looked like a seal. It turned around and went back into the water. I jumped out and walked over to the edge of the pond and waited. Sure enough it wasn’t long before it poked its head out of the water. Turned out to be a North American River Otter.

North-American-River-Otter-Crex-Meadows--15-6-_4736

A little while later we were driving along and I noticed a Black Bear poking it head out of the woods. I yelled for my wife to stop and I nearly went into the windshield. I tried to get a photo but the bear moved back into the woods. We slowly drove up to where it came out and we could see it back in the woods. Unfortunately the cover was thick but we could see it was a sow and two cubs. The cubs went up the tree.

Black-Bear-Crex-Meadows-15-6-_4755

Black-Bear-Crex-Meadows-15-6-_4762

There were a number of Trumpeter Swans with their signets at various locations along the road. This batch was close enough to get some shots.

Trumpeter-Swans-and-cygnets-Crex-Meadows--15-6-_4574

At one stop we encountered a couple of birds. The hawk was flying overhead and about the same time a Great Blue Heron flew by.

Hawk-Crex-Meadows-15-6-_4657

Great-Blue-Heron-Crex-Meadows--15-6-_4663

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.

Trumpeter-Swan-15-5-_0538

Trumpeter-Swan-15-5-_0374

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

Canada-Geese-15-5-_0561

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.

Sandhill-Crane-15-5-_0357

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.

Ruffed-Grouse-15-5-_0571

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

Forest-Reflections-15-5-_0595

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.

Marsh-Grass-15-5-_0758

After our visit to the Nelson’s Ice Sculptures we drove over to Hudson, Wisconsin to check on the Trumpeter Swans. There were quite a few of them around on a very cold day. Unfortunately what had been a beautiful day had turned overcast so I wasn’t able to photograph the birds at sunset.

Trumpeter-Swans-Hudson-Wisconsin-15-2-_2946

When I first arrived there were some swans that didn’t seem to be getting along. The ducks were unconcerned.

Trumpeter-Swans-Hudson-Wisconsin-15-2-_2975

Trumpeter-Swans-Hudson-Wisconsin-15-2-_2952

We were in Hudson, Wisconsin on business and decided to stop and check on the Trumpeter Swan population. It was late in the day. When we left home is was cloudy but by the time we reached Hudson the sun was out and it was a beautiful, relatively warm late afternoon.

Trumpeter-Swans-Hudson-Wisconsin-15-1-_2857

When we arrived we were the only ones there. Before long a crowd had gathered. Apparently the swans fly off late in the afternoon and folks wanted to watch the evening flight out. Trumpeter-Swans-Hudson-Wisconsin-15-1-_2891

There were also several people feeding the swans. Everyone was lined up to get some food.

Trumpeter-Swans-Hudson-Wisconsin-15-1-_3002

I started talking with another photographer who was working with a long lens and tripod. Turned out to be Art Juchno who I had worked with at Stout. I didn’t recognize him all bundled up in his winter gear but he recognized me. I’m not sure what that says about my sartorial efforts.

Trumpeter-Swans-Hudson-Wisconsin-15-1-_2947

I spent about an hour watching the birds. There were a lot of ducks and geese but only about fifty swans. Last time I was photographing there were over three hundred. Apparently colder weather brings them into the area.

Trumpeter-Swans-Hudson-Wisconsin-15-1-_2932

More Trumpeter Swan photos can be found on my website.

I made a second visit to watch the Trumpeter Swans along the Saint Croix River in Hudson, Wisconsin. On the first visit the weather was relatively warm and the swans and other birds were really active. There were so many of them it the water that it was difficult to get photos of single birds.Trumpeter-Swans-Hudson-Wisconsin-15-1-_0648

On this visit it was well below zero and I was the only one dumb enough to stand out along the river to photograph birds. My wife stayed in the car and said a number of cars came by and people either watched from their car or jumped out to take a quick photo.

Trumpeter-Swans-Hudson-Wisconsin-15-1-_0790

Because it was so cold the birds were not very active. The smaller number of birds in the water made it much easier to photograph individual birds or smaller groups of birds. Most of the swans, geese and ducks were on shore trying to keep warm. In all I counted in excess of 250 Trumpeter Swans in an area about half the size of a football field.

Trumpeter-Swans-Hudson-Wisconsin-15-1-_0651

There were also a number of ducks around. This one just came in from the water.Mallard-Duck-15-1-_0653

Right behind the duck this Trumpeter Swan walked onto the ice to take a nap.

Trumpeter-Swans-Hudson-Wisconsin-15-1-_0686

It looks like these two Trumpeter Swans are harassing the duck but they were just interacting and the duck seemed undisturbed.

Trumpeter-Swans-Hudson-Wisconsin-15-1-_0690

After swimming around for about an hour this swan returned to the ice to take a nap in the cold weather.

Trumpeter-Swan-Hudson-Wisconsin-15-1-_0748

The Trumpeter Swans seemed to have paired up already and are staking out their nesting sites. We saw over two dozen swans which was a large number for this early in the season.

Trumpeter-Swans-14-4-_0862

 

Trumpeter-Swans-14-4-_0856

Trumpeter-Swan-14-4-_0444