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High Plains Drifter

disclaimer:  "The meteorological views/forecast thinking expressed are those solely of the author of this blog
and do not necessarily represent those of official National Weather Service forecast products,
therefore read and enjoy at your own risk and edification!"

February 27, 2007

Quivira short-trip on Feb 26th

Filed under: Photography — Mike U @ 10:29 am

A sandhill crane displaying out in the field just north of Quivira NWR80,000 Sandhill Cranes.  It was one of my days off Monday, and I decided to head out to Quivira to do some photography… since I haven’t done any shooting since the 2nd of January.  With it being late February, I was hoping to photograph some Sandhill Cranes that are staying on the refuge temporarily on their journey north.  While the large majority of these cranes stay along the Platte River about 175 miles north of here, there are a number of family groups that use Quivira.  I think some stop at Quivira shortly anyway before continuing to the Platte.  When I arrived Monday around midday I was greeted to a large conglomeration of cranes on a farm field roughly 3 miles north of the Big Salt Marsh. I photographed from here for about an hour to hour and a half.  In the late afternoon, I drove through the rest of the refuge to try and find any other action, but I didn’t find much — although I did spot 5 Tundra Swans.  I was anticipating the cranes flying back to the Big Salt Marsh just prior to sunset, but that wasn’t happening — they were all still in that one location, frolicking in two different fields separated by an east-west farm road.  I was fortunate enough to have a big row of trees to help use as a blind allowing me to get a bit closer to the cranes than I otherwise would.  Anyway, I stayed here until sunset to photograph them as they were not in any hurry to fly back to the marsh.  I ran into a local photographer and volunteer at Quivira NWR, and we struck up a conversation for a bit… and he told me that the large percentage of these cranes actually stayed the whole winter!  I found that hard to believe given how cold it got during January.  Really interesting.  I wonder how much last winter’s warmth had to do with that, and they figured it would be just as warm this winter and decided to stay after migrating down in late October.

1 Comment »

  1. What about the rare bird find…the Southwestern Sippican?

    Comment by Fritz — February 27, 2007 @ 2:31 pm

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