Half a million visitors

gandle(4 NE)March 1, 2012

I'm speaking of sand hill cranes of course. They hve been here for almost a month and i expect they will be here for another month at least.

Seems like there are a half million bird watchers too. All the motels are full and if you want to eat out there probably is a long wait.

Some very expensive looking cameras and binoculars are hanging around their necks.

Jane Goodall, the primatologist is probably in the bunch. She is here yearly, usually at the Rowe Sanctuary. Says it is one of the most amazing and thrilling sights of nature.

Oddly, there is a common crane wwith a group of sand hills. That happened 2 years ago too. They are a bird of Eurasia and normal area would be in Siberia. Would sure like to know how that bird got mixed up with the others.

There is another group of birders that go out of Mullen NE, they are called Chickens and Stars. Groups go out in the sandhills to watch the mating dances of the prairie chickens and greater sharp tail grouse. It is really unique in nature. The stars part comes at night when the best night viewing area in the country is in the sand hills. Almost no light pollution from any land lights. Tjhe nighttime sandhill sky is amazing, you never realized there were so many stars.

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lilosophie

This is so interesting, it must be toatlly thrilling to see all those large birds in one place, so much movement and life and sound.
All I get is some ducks, mallards and sometimes mergansers, they come and rest and try to catch a bite to eat and then move on, but even that is thrilling.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2012 at 1:00AM
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anneliese_32(6)

Some sand hill cranes overwinter about 30 miles from here most years. This year they went toward home 3 weeks ago.
The night sky is what I envy. Have not seen a decent night sky in years. Every time the power goes out, we have clouds.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2012 at 5:54AM
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mawheel

Gee, George, I get thrilled when I see a flock of geese flying overhead. I would be ecstatic to see the sandhill cranes. :>)

    Bookmark   March 2, 2012 at 7:36AM
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oscarthecat(z7MD)

Two yrs ago I spotted a solitary sandhill crane where the highway crosses the Judith. Late April.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2012 at 8:17AM
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rob333

So with all the oil drillilng talk, do you think that the numbers of people visiting are greater this year? That is, since awareness of the possible plight that BETTER NOT HAPPEN, do you think more stopped into see what might hot be seen later on? If bad choices are made, that is.

You are so wonderfully lucky. You and Leone found each other, enjoy every day, and look where you get to enjoy? Wonderful!

    Bookmark   March 2, 2012 at 10:58AM
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don_socal

Thanks George and Leone for the report on one of the country's magical wonders. Wish I had the means to come visit and enjoy your area with you.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2012 at 12:41PM
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west_gardener

How exciting it must be to see the flocks of birds in their habitat, the sand hills of NE.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2012 at 7:12PM
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tibs(5/6 OH)

I was planning on going on my first bird hike at a nearby nature preserve. They were going to identify birds by songs, and since I only know the basic birds (robin, bluejay, cardinal, etc) and I am always trying to see a bird I hear in the backyard and then try to identify it from my "Birds of Ohio" book withoug much luck, I thought cool, this is for me. The weather is not cooperating. Very windy cold, and on and off rain/snow. I think any sensible bird would stay home. I know I am. When I told my coworker what I was planning on doing this Saturday there was this long silence, then, well, if that is what you really want to do.....

But Sandhill cranes. Oh my. I would brave the weather for that.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2012 at 7:15AM
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pamven(z5neastindiana)

Seeing the Sandhill cranes ranked right up there with seeing whales...an experience i will never forget.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2012 at 1:33PM
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