Thursday, October 17, 2013
The Cranes Have Arrived!!
It's the middle of October and still the government is shut down. But the birds don't know. I stopped at the viewing kiosk on the north end of the bosque which is not closed off to the public like all the trails inside the area. There was water in the field beyond the kiosk which is normally dry. We haven't had any rain so obviously the rangers had to have flooded the field. Of course the Canada Geese were there and lots of mallards and susies. I saw a big spot of white which with my binoculars I was able to identify as the first snow geese of the fall. Thinking I was done I started to leave until I noticed some movement near the back of the field. Yep, there they were. The first Sandhill Cranes of the year. One pair feeding along the back of the field. Talked with another birder who had stopped to see the snow geese and also hadn't noticed the cranes at first. Finally I went home wondering if the canes will continue to come since the rangers aren't allowed to work in the refuge knocking down the corn fields that the cranes feed on. Then yesterday I stopped at the same spot on my way home and watched as wave after wave of cranes flew in. By dusk there were at least 200-300 cranes in the field. OK Washington. Get your act together so we can feed the birds!