Trumpeter Swans can be seen at Crex most of the year (except winter), so we felt fortunate to be able to see them this close before their migration to warmer climes.
Holly isn't much of a bird dog, but she kept my seat warm in the car while I was out taking pictures!
About an hour before sunset, the cranes started arriving. We were at the wrong part of the refuge for the first part of this, but after driving around a bit more and seeing where all the other cars were parked, we did manage to catch quite a few of the cranes still arriving before it was too dark.
Here's a nice shot of a large flock in silhouette against the twilight sky. It's magical so see and hear so many Sandhill Cranes at one time!
Sunday morning brought another chilly and cloudy day, but we did head back out to Crex before the rain moved in. We saw a few more cranes and some waterfowl, but the biggest thrill for me was this flyover of a first year Rough-Legged Hawk.
I felt privileged to be able to capture these shots of this beautiful raptor who had made its migration journey all the way south to Wisconsin after being hatched earlier this year somewhere near the Arctic Circle.
Be sure to add Crex Meadows Wildlife Area and to your birding "must see" list on your next visit to Wisconsin!