Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Sandhill Cranes...But No Common Crane.

Yesterday we arrived in Alda, NE dropped our trailer at a little truck stop and headed over to the Nebraska Nature and Visitor Center. The lady told us where to look for the Common Crane saying it would be among a flock of Sandhill Cranes and we headed out in search of a ABA code 4 bird. We went the five miles she directed us to and there was no flock of cranes. So we went a little further and nothing so we turned around and went down a few more roads but still came up with nothing. We started heading back when we saw a flock of what looked like Canada Geese and something that seemed to be white. This flock was right behind a elderly man's house so Simon went and talked to him and he let us go back there and check out the flock. Then we soon realized that they weren't moving....yup all decoys. That was disappointing. Went we got back to the man's house we had a good laugh and he stated that he wasn't sure if the decoys were still there or not since he was on an oxygen tube. But no harm we got a good walk and that's always good! Always important to look on the sunny side of things! As we were walking back we could need the flock of cranes. We were to busy paying attention to the "geese" that we didn't even notice the noise of the Sandhill Cranes.

After leaving the man's home we went over to when the flock of cranes were. We pulled into an abandoned farm parked the semi walked through the trees and saw all the cranes! This is our first time seeing cranes and what a sight! They were everywhere in this field, truly an amazing sight! We walked up this little road trying not to scare the flock away but also trying to get close enough to get a good picture. We don't have an expensive camera or lens so for us to get a good picture we have to be fairly close to the birds.

There was some other birders down the road a little bit from us. There had to be up to 2000 Sandhill Cranes there and we had to find the one Common Crane out of the bunch. Unfortunately that did not happen for us. We took 550 pictures and only 55 turned out. It was so beautiful to see so many cranes in one spot its a little bummer that we didn't get to see the Common Crane. We realized later on once we were back on the road that we should have gone down to where the other birders were. That must have been the side of the flock where the Common Crane was. But we still got a lifer for the day and we are now up to 118 for the year and 222 for our lifer list (birds we've seen since starting birding). Those numbers are pretty and we are quiet happy with them.

We expect to hit a dry patch until spring migration starts in late February early March, but as always I will be posting about our day to day birding. We hope to continue our great streak of birds and we are keeping a positive attitude about finding birds. Happy Birding!!!

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