A three-hour visit to Crex Meadows Wildlife Area just outside of Grantsburg, Wis., Thursday found mostly waterfowl, and two pairs of nesting Bald Eagles. Seen were hundreds of Canada Geese, 19 Trumpeter Swans, a couple of dozen Ring-necked Ducks, two pairs of Hooded Mergansers, and Mallards. Sandhill Cranes were present in small numbers. Best bird was a Belted Kingfisher. One lone songbird was seen, but not identified. The sand roads that offer excellent access to the 30,000-acre refuge were in good shape. Phantom Lake was 70 percent ice-free. That was true of other large impoundments as well. Potholes remained iced over. The present water level has created acres of excellent shorebird habitat. If only it stays in place until those birds migrate through the area.