Mid June at Crex Meadows 2015

Spring is a great time to visit Crex Meadows or any other wildlife area for that matter. The weather is usually mild, there are not many irritating bugs and insects about and a lot of birds are still in their bright mating colors. Such was the case when we visited Crex Meadows last week. I had high hopes of spotting some Pied-billed Grebe chicks and other young wildlife to photograph but you don't always get what you want when it comes to wildlife.

We started our spring adventure with a  lunch of chicken wings at the casino in Turtle Lake with Marjorie and Denny Doering. Marjorie is working on her newest and fourth novel and had a few technical questions which we quickly resolved. After our visit and a little gambling, we headed to Siren, Wisconsin to check into our hotel and then headed to the Crex Meadows Wildlife Area to see what we could find.

The friendly staff at the Visitor's Center filled us in on what was happening with the wildlife and where some of the birds have been recently spotted. It was overcast when we headed out to check some of our favorite spots but the forecast was for sunny and warm conditions the next day. Our mid-week visits give us the advantage of not being disturbed by a lot of visitors and hopefully the wildlife would be settled down and calmer.

Although we did not spot any Pied-billed Grebe chicks it was apparent they probably had not or had only recently hatched out. The was evidenced by spotting only one adult Grebe during our visit. We did not get a chance to stew about the lack of Grebe chicks however as many other sightings and photo opportunities presented themselves to us. I was also surprised when we ran into another wildlife photographer from the Lacrosse, Wisconsin area near the end of our trip and had a nice chat with him and his wife. It had been a couple of years since we had run into each other while out photographing wildlife in the Winona area.

I hope you enjoy the photographs that we captured.

A Spotted Sandpiper at the Upper North Fork Flowage in the draw down area.
A duck family. One of many in the area.
This majestic Bald Eagle surprised us when we made a turn
on one of the wildlife area roads.
We spotted a couple of feeding Loons but did not see any chicks.
This Blanding's Turtle was headed into a ditch but hesitated long enough for
me to get this close-up shot.
A pair of Sandhill Cranes and 2 colts in the north refuge area.
Dancing Sandhill Cranes will always bring a smile to your face. These two
were part of a small group in another part of the area.
A Yellow Warbler. One of my favorite song birds.
A Sharp-tailed Grouse taking in the warm morning sun.
A White-tail Deer striking a pose while feeding in the marsh.
A Scarlett Tanager showing off his catch.
A colorful Eastern Towhee.
Brown Thrasher.
A Green Heron waiting for his dinner to swim past.
A successful catch. This Heron ate three fish before flying off.
An Eastern Meadowlark with an early morning song.
A Green Heron feeding in the draw down area.
4 Wood ducks and a stick.


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