Monday, February 1, 2010

Rieck's Lake Park

On the western border of Wisconsin, located right off of the Mississippi River north of the town of Alma, WI sits Rieck's Lake Park.
For many years Rieck's Lake Park was "the" location to go and see tundra swans during the fall migration. Thousands of swans would converge on the lake each fall to feed on wild celery and arrowhead tubers. This made the lake popular with birders and so a deck was built to accommodate all of the visitors coming to see the swans.
Unfortunately near the end of the 1990's the lake changed. Large amounts of silt filled the lake bottom making the lake more shallow. The emergence of burreed has also changed the habbitat of the lake. Burreed grows rapidly in shallow water. It grows in large beds that do not die down during the fall and winter so it filled up much of the open water areas of the lake.
Work has been done, including dredging, to try and make the lake habitat more suitable so that the swans will again return in large numbers. At this point though there are usually less then one hundred birds that use the lake during the migration. However many of the birds that do use Rieck's Lake are with in close view making it one of the best places to view migrating tundra swans.

10 comments:

Mama Zen said...

How sad! I hope that they come back!

troutbirder said...

Good explanation Eco. A sad demise indeed. I knew about the silt but the weed infestation I wasn't aware of.

Stine in Ontario said...

A place where tundra swans can be easily viewed sounds wonderful to me!

Sylvia K said...

I agree with Stine, a place like that sounds wonderful! Terrific captures, lovely fall colors, beautiful place! Thanks, too, for the information, always makes posts even more interesting! Enjoy your week!

Sylvia

Vicky said...

Great information, and the photos are very nice too. Thanks for sharing

Carolyn Ford said...

Tundra swans...how I would love to see them and experience my own excitement with camera in hand! Stunning captures...to say the least!

ksdoolittle said...

Hundreds of swans is a sight to behold. I think time stops for a few minutes! ~ks

Marites said...

oh, i do hope they'll all come back. It must have been a sight seeing thousands even hundreds of those beautiful swans.

LadyFi said...

A sad tale, but once the lake is fixed up, I hope the birds come back.

Lovely autumnal colours in those shots.

JOE TODD said...

Our changing world. Thanks for sharing