Monday, March 8, 2010

Lots of Sandhill Cranes

One very big highlight over the past four or five days would have to be the Sandhill Cranes.

It seems like every time I’ve been outside I’ve heard them. Quite often they are faintly in the distance, heard but not seen. But sometimes they are overhead, where I can clearly see and hear them. I don’t remember having the good fortune to encounter so many Sandhills before in the spring. I feel blessed this year.

Today I could hear three flocks overhead at one time. I could see the closest two flocks, each about 15-20 birds. They approached each other and spent some time circling around in a disorganized fashion for a few minutes. After getting acquainted, they reformed into a “v” of 30-40 birds and headed off to the NNW.

But my favorite Sandhill highlight was today on the Indiana University cross country course. It was the smallest, quietest, lowest-flying flock of Sandhills I’ve ever seen. Three birds came in at a height of about 50 feet, flying slowly past me. They were in a “v” formation...technically the fewest birds possible to form a “v”. :-) For a couple of seconds they looked like they were coming in for a landing on the XC course. But I think I spooked them. They continued on over the treetops in the general direction of Griffy Lake.

Got some very nice close up views with my binoculars. I really love these birds! It was very cool to get such a close view...

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