Prairie Chicken viewing in Crookston, Minnesota
I will be out photographing Prairie Chickens at Glacier Ridge National Wildlife Refuge this Sunday.
Here is a capture from last year at the same place.
After 7 hr drive, I safely arrived in Crookston, MN. The first thing I did was to locate the blind I reserved. It was in a middle of an old soy bean field. Getting there was not easy. The provided map was accurate. The most difficult part was crossing the muddy field without getting stuck. I arrived at the blind around 5PM. The blind was shorter and crampy compared to the one I had last year. Within minutes of my arrival I could hear the booming. I saw about 20 birds. The males were raising their head feathers straight up and inflating the yellow neck pouch to attract the females. It was an awesome sight. Worth the 7 hr drive just to see the display and hear the musical booming sounds.
Unfortunately all the birds were far away. No pictures were taken and I enjoyed just being out there.
the blind I had on PK Cty Rd 45 was in a much better location.
Tomorrows weather forecast- rain all day. Oh well.
I left the motel around 5PM. The day started with no rain but as soon as I was approaching my blind a heavy down pour started. Instead of getting my gear wet I decided to explore the area from my vehicle after the sunrise.
It rained non stop the rest of the day.
Blind #1 was located after several wrong turns. It was 7 feet tall and lot more specious. I flushed the chickens as I was approaching the blind. The blind was located in a different area than last year’s and it looks promising.
The day ended without taking a single picture. No rain is in the forecast for tomorrow but I am afraid that the whole area may be flooded by then.
The dawn sky was studded with stars. I was hoping the blind was dry and not flooded from overnight torrential rains. The minimum maintenance
road leading to the parking area was muddy. The parking area was full of water. Some of the reflectors leading to the blind were down from 20mph wind. I took a slightly different route to the blind to avoid large puddles . Needless to say I got lost in the vast open prairie. The sun was coming up quickly and I needed to find the blind soon. Then the chickens started booming and I started walking towards that direction and found the blind.
Prairie chickens put up a great show.