Crex Meadows

Wisconsin!  It’s not all cow pastures and cheese making.  I’m up in northwest Wisconsin to spend a few days at Crex Meadows state wildlife area.

Image

Some people call this area the “pine barrens” – which is a rather unfortunate term.  It’s far from a barren landscape – the area is filled with shallow ponds, wet meadows, marshes, and stands of trees.  Marsh birds love it!  I counted over 60 Wood Ducks and over a dozen Trumpeter Swans today.

Image

The weather has been unsettled, with clouds, showers, and thunderstorms.  It has made for some dramatic lighting, though.

Image

I met the little guy below on the side of the road.  He’s a Thirteen-lined Ground Squirrel, and he was munching on some grass seed.

Image

This area is called Crex Meadows, and it gets its name from a type of native wire grass (Carex stricta).  In fact, in the early part of the 20th Century, there was a huge carpet-making factory here that used this wire grass to make carpets.

Swans are a real highlight of summer on the refuge.  Here are a couple of them floating on one of the many shallow lakes.  The black and white smear on the left of the picture near the top is a Black Tern on fly-by just as I snapped the photo.

Image

On the way back to my hotel (in downtown Siren, WI – population 187), I passed this Bald Eagle perched on an old sign in a field.  It was a bit of an odd sight for someone who is used to Bald Eagles perching in 100-ft Western Hemlocks, snagging fish out of Puget Sound, and soaring past Mt. Rainier.  This fella was just chillin’ in the middle of this marshy swamp.

Image

More from Crex tomorrow!

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Birding

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s