Crex Meadows Wildlife Area spring treasures

Pam and I headed to the Crex Meadows Wildlife Area last Tuesday for a long overdue visit. I was perhaps a little more anxious to get up there this year because of the cold and extended winter. I had also been reading about and hearing stories about the rare Garganey Duck that had been hanging around the refuge area. If  I had been a real serious "Birder" I am sure I would have made the trip a bit earlier. Alas, I am but a photographer with a strong interest in photographing beautiful birds, wildlife and landscapes. Along the way I am learning more and more about birds and wildlife but doubt I would ever be a serious threat for the "Big Year".

After a stop in Turtle Lake for a nice buffet lunch with our friends Marjorie and Dennis, we headed north to Siren and then Grantsburg and the Crex Meadows Wildlife Area. After a stop at the Visitor Center and a chat with the knowledgeable staff person Kristina, we learned that the Garganey Duck had not been sighted in several days. Kristina did however update us on the other bird activities and locations around the wildlife area. Armed with the new information and some very nice weather we eagerly headed out on our new quest.

As a photographer, I could not have been happier with the weather, the varied wildlife species we sighted, and the light vegetation that gave us a better view of the birds. It was also nice to see and chat with other visitors at Crex. They were all just as excited about the variety of birds as we were. Tuesday evening and Wednesday were filled with excitement for us as photo opportunities seemed to pop up with every turn. Late Wednesday afternoon we happened upon some Scarlet Tanagers that Pam has been seeking out since glimpsing one a couple years ago at Crex. Not only did these incredibly colorful birds sit still for us for a couple of photos in the trees, they actually perched on the observation area parking poles near our car. One of them was so intent on eating a bug he sat on a pole about 5 feet from the car and was too close to focus my camera on. Pam was thrilled seeing them so close.

I selected and have posted below some of the photographs we took on this trip.  If you are looking for a great place to photograph or view wildlife, this is a must visit location.

Please enjoy the photos and don't forget to click on them to enjoy a larger and more detailed view. As always, feel free to comment on or share this blog.

Palm Warbler

Common Loon
This Loon was diving either to feed or to escape the bugs it attracted.
Yellow Warbler

American Bittern

Ruffed Grouse feeding in a tree.
Nashville Warbler

Bald Eagle near Hildas Road.

Eastern Wood-Pewee

Yellow Warbler

Trumpeter Swan and nest.

Spotted Sandpiper

Myrtle Warbler

Red-winged Blackbird
Painted Turtle catching some spring sun rays.
Chestnut-sided Warbler

Low flying Great Blue Heron.

A feeding Sora.



Eastern Kingbird
Scarlet Tanager - double exposure

Scarlet Tanager

Looking so innocent!

Just off of Co. Rd. M near Hwy 70.


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