Wednesday, May 4, 2011

A Saturday Trip to Necedah NWR

I'm getting way behind in my blogging (again!) so I'm going to try and get caught up in the next few days because my files are full of pictures that need to be shared and I need to do it soon while I still remember all the details.

I took my Sissy over to Wisconsin to visit the Necedah National Wildlife Refuge on the Saturday before Easter (since we were both lucky enough to have that day off). The weather was clear and sunny when we left Rochester, but by the time we got to the refuge the weather had gotten overcast with occasional rain showers (but at least we didn't see any snow flurries!)

Due to the over abundance of rain in recent weeks, most of the roads inside the refuge were closed due to high water, so without a four-wheel drive, we were limited in the areas we were able to visit. Fortunately, we were able to get to the viewing tower at the edge of the Rynearson Pool #1 where we were lucky enough to see WHOOPING CRANES! I had only gotten a brief glimpse of one on a previous visit to NNWR and this was my Sissy's first sighting. What beautiful birds! We actually saw 4 on this day and it was definitely worth getting wet & cold for.

After talking to another guy in the parking lot, he told me how far I'd be able to get with the car before the roads became impassable, so we took off down the road in search of other birds. We hadn't gone far when we spotted this single Sandhill Crane in the water-filled ditch to the right. We had been hearing them since our arrival and my Sissy was thrilled to see one so close.

While we were watching the crane off to the right, we heard more in flight and coming closer to us. On the left side of the road was a larger pond and that's where this pair of Sandhill Cranes was headed. Wow! We were so excited to see them in flight and so close!

They strolled around for a while and finally found this patch of higher, dry ground where they were able to spend some time resting, preening their feathers, and enjoying the few minutes of sunshine on this otherwise dreary day.

I hope all of you get the chance to visit Necedah National Wildlife Refuge some day. Their beautiful new visitor's center is now open and if you check their website, they have lots of great programs open to the public throughout the year. I hope to get another chance to visit later this summer -- I'm sure the water levels will have gone down by then!


Gaelyn said...

Sounds like a great trip. Been to many NWR and always enjoyed the birds.

Kelly said...

Whooping Cranes!! Yeah!! Glad you were able to see them despite the impassable roads. (You made me chuckle a bit too...I don't think I'll ever catch up with my photos! I still have photos from Pinckney last June!!)

Anonymous said...

What a great trip for you and Anna, Dad and I always wanted to stop there going back and forth to Grandma's house (never got there). The crane pictures were so nice to see they are such graceful birds. Hope you both get to go back sometime and soon.


RuthieJ said...

That's true Gaelyn. I need to do some investigating, because I think there are probably some NWR's here in Minnesota that I should visit too in my remaining weeks of unemployment.

So you feel my frustration Kelly! It always amazes me how fast the days go by and even with a list I don't get half the stuff done that I wanted to.

It was a good trip Mom, wish it would have been a little bit warmer, but at least it gives us a reason to go back again some day.