Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Fish Lake II

I was anxious to get to the Fish Lake Wildlife Area before dawn for two reasons:
First, Sandhill Cranes begin to move out of their roosting area at or just before sunrise.
Second, I had read on Crex Meadow's web site that, as of the previous Sunday, several Whooping Cranes had been sighted at Fish Lake, specifically near the Dueholm Flowage.
I knew that my odds of seeing Whoopers were slim to none -- but, perhaps better than winning the lottery. I won't keep you in suspense -- I did not find any Whoopers. That doesn't mean they weren't there; it is just difficult to see what is there. (I could also blame the duck hunters which I'm sure encouraged the Cranes to disburse early with their shooting.) I approached the Dueholm Flowage from the North on Hickerson Road. However, there is no overlook to see a large area from the East. Having discovered that, I drove around to the West side and Stolte Road. It is from the parking spot on the East side of the road that these pictures were taken. Another good vantage point might be the dike just South of the flowage. It is accessible only by foot and I didn't have time to attempt that since sunrise was imminent.

before sunrise

at sunrise

shortly after sunrise

coming & going

on the ground the remaining cranes were restless as the fog lifted

the elapsed time between the first and last photos in this series was about 30 minutes
more to follow