Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Carlos Avery Wildlife Management Area

This morning was my first visit to Carlos Avery this year; the roads were opened only last Friday. I got there about 7 a.m., shortly after sun rise. In some ways it doesn't seem like spring, because there is very little green stuff around. But the birds that have arrived so far are active. I was especially excited by all the Sandhill Cranes with their distinctive cries. Many of them seemed to be paired off; it is my understanding that quite a few of them nest at Carlos Avery, particularly around Pool 26.
To help you get oriented, if you haven't been to Carlos Avery, I've marked a Google map with the Pools I'm mentioning in this post. I suggest you view the "Hybrid" version. Your best prevention from getting lost is to pick up a map near the entrance on Zodiac Street as pictured above.
The Google map covers only a portion of the total area of more than 6,000 acres, 46 miles of roads, and 23 miles of firebreaks. I have explored only a portion of it. Although there is obviously plenty of room for walking, a car is really a necessity to get about. The effort is worth it, however. You may see more species of birds here than in any one other location near the Twin Cities. Most of them are due to arrive yet; I'll be posting pictures of some of the species I shot today sometime tomorrow.