Remember the dry warm spring of a year ago? Sandhill cranes did not stop at “the burn” near Winter Wood because the lowland was dry. This year we’ve received enough rain to make muck. Yesterday, rainy and dark, was my day to drive over. I didn’t get stuck but the car was a mess after my second visit.
Perhaps 300 or 400 cranes have stopped for a rest. Most were on the north side of the road on soil that has supposedly been drained. They were just waking on my first trip. A few were jumping, getting ready to dance.
While I was able to get closer this year than last. the rain and darkness and distance didn’t make for good photography. Nonetheless they were a delight to watch. (The high resolution offered by the camera allows me to pull the photos closer.)
Cranes were accompanied by many ducks, surely of multiple varieties. It was much too dark to see markings. Birds were on the lane when I arrived on my second visit; I wished I could have crept to their side.
I hope that the wind farms do not swirl in their way as they head toward Wisconsin, Minnesota and Manitoba. Perhaps one of these crane couples will veer off to Friedenswald where I watched two cranes several years ago.