AmeriCanada 2015

NOTE:  When Sharon adds comments, they will be in {curly brackets}. 

Day 17. Monday, August 10, 2015. Chasing the Cuckoo.

We are up very early and we head for Crex Meadows the fast, highway way. We arrive long before opening time at the visitors center, so we explore on our own, hoping to spot the long-desired Black-billed Cuckoo to simply show himself so we can enjoy the view, then check him off our list.

Here are a trio of sunrise shots that greet us.

We make a loop, playing the song of the cuckoo but to no avail. We do, however run across this baby and adult Sandhill Crane, running in the ditch beside us. These situations are interesting beause the baby hasn't learned to fly yet so can't fly away, which is what the adult would do. But the bond to stay with the chick is so strong, that the adult just lopes along with the chick following. Dedication.

When the time finally arrives that we know the visitor center is open, we head there, and meet the lady working behind the desk. She is a birder, and after checking this month's bird list, tells us that the bird has been seen, and draws a circle around an area of the map. We were just there, but will try again.

We head out again, but this we go straight to the intersection the ranger said that the bird had been seen several days ago, as I recall. After travelling 2 of the four "legs" of the area she has pin-pointed, we play the song of the bird and ZOOM, a large brown bird flies across the front of our car and disappears into the brush. We both think, Wow, a bird that responded that strongly surely is our bird. So we play the song again, and I see the bird zing across the road behind us, in the rear view mirrors, but this time he lands in the open, curious that an automobile-thing could make a cuckoo sound. We get just fantastic views of our life bird as he is perched in a field right next to our truck. {Black-billed Cuckoo, Yea!}

Jazzed to pieces, we stop in at the visitor center and show our photos to the lady {Kristie as I remember. She leads bird walks here at the reserve so we were very lucky whe was here today. As we go up to the desk I see that she is not working the desk but I see her in a back area. "Can I help you?" the lady at the desk says and I say "I want to see that woman, right there " and point to Kristie. She is impressed that we got the bird and loves Bob's pictures.} . I compare notes with her on Canon cameras and lenses, which she uses, then we're out of there. Sometime during the trip home, we encounter this sign. Uncle Terry says there are 3-4 places around the area that have these. Hard to exactly understand it, or BELIEVE it.


I get a nice shot of a Blue Jay on Terry's feeder wire, and then a little squirrel eating something on the ground.

Terry drives us out to his nephew Bobby's, and we sit out on a deck overlooking the lake he's on. {This was Uncle Bob and Aunt Mary's place. Matt, do you remember getting leeches on you when we were here? We had cautioned Matt and Pete when they went into the lake to stay away from the reedy area to avoid the leeches but when they got out of the water Matt had one on his leg. He wasn't very concerned about it because he didn't now what it was. I asked Aunt Mary for some salt to make it let go and she looked at his leg and said "Oh, you got a Blood Sucker on you" When Matt heard that, He started yelling until we got it off him. It's all in the name you see.}Here are the lake on the left, with brothers Terry and Stub??? on the right.

Bobby made this fantastic work of art using just feathers from Ring-necked Pheasants. It looks very American Indian to me.

We finish up our dinner, visit a bit, then Terry drives us home. Tomorrow morning we will head out of here, aiming for another location in Wisconsin, whre our friend, Texan and travelling companion, Nancy is waiting for us at her cousin's house near a town called Gilbert, Wisconsin.

Began: Webster, Wisconsin
Pass Through: Grantsburg, Siren, back to Webster
End: Webster again
Miles Today: 50
Miles for Trip: 2711

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