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Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Sandhill Crane Migration!!

My sister-in-law called me one day out of the blue,
"Gotta pencil and paper? I have something you are going to want to attend!"

Being the adventurer I am (NOT so much with surprise ideas)
I quizzed her..
"What is it??"

Upon hearing the news, I did indeed run for a pencil and paper to get the details
to write down.

And then I made a reservation by calling the phone number given to me as fast as I could dial the phone.

What was it?

The local Audubon Society
was hosting
a trip out to the
near Arnheim, Michigan
the autumn
Sandhill Crane Migration!!!!

To say I was excited is an understatement.

I knew I probably wouldn't get any closeups
of these beautiful birds during the fly in,
but I had to go and watch it.

And, I had to TRY
and photograph it.

They said there weren't thousands of birds gathering at this site,
(like in someplaces in the U.S. during a migration), but that we'd see over a hundred fly in that night, around dusk.

I was so excited to go.
They only charged $5.00 to go, and a local shop agreed to "match" any money gathered
and donate it to the Audubon Society for this event.

That just sweetened the trip that much more.

So, my husband and I gathered both cameras that I own,
and off we went on the scheduled date (August 31, 2010).


Here is the group hiking out the the sloughs.  It was just about 1/2 mile from the parking lot:

About 30 people went with us.

We waited...

We spied some Bitterns, which are rare birds here (I will post their photos in another blogpost),
and we saw one blue heron fly in..
Sandhill Cranes.

We waited some more....

And then?

We heard them!!

They make noises like what you hear in Jurassic Park...almost sound like prehistoric dinosaurs!!
Click on THIS LINK to hear them!

And a group flew in!!!!:
Aren't they GORGEOUS??

One landing in a field:
(sorry about the unclear photo on this one..he was wayyyy far away and I had my lens at the strongest I could, with my image stabilization feature on..but still hard to capture!)

Another flying in over the treetops!:

Oh MY!:

Help me Rhonda! Help, help me Rhonda!!!!
Help me get them out of my heart...............

They kept coming in,
in groups of two,
then groups of 5,
then groups of eight or eleven:

We kept counting....and it was getting darker.
They were landing in tall grass for the night:

All in all, the group counted 156 (give or take four or five)...

We loved it!!!
I was so happy to be able to witness
this awesome ritual
of the U.P. Sandhill Crane Migration.

According to the group, they will continue to fly in to the same spot for a few weeks,
and then they will all fly south together
to join up with another group,
and another group
and so forth,
and continue on their trek down south.

So, for all my southern Blogger friends,
just a word to the wise....
get your cameras ready!!!

They are coming your way!!!

Say hi to them from Joan
when they fly in your area, ok????

Tell them I was the excited one
with the camera, clicking
it about a thousand times
trying to catch
them in midflight.....

Don't forget the FREE Monthly PHOTO CONTEST!!!

Submit ONE photo to me by Sept. 30, 2010
of the theme this month of:


(Now, you MAY use a photo that you already published on your blog, I removed that silly rule!)


Brian Miller said...

how very that was an interesting thing to hear...and how majestic as they all swoop me

DJan said...

Over the weekend I watched "Winged Migration" on my local PBS station, it was incredible, and showed all the different birds that migrate every year. To see them in person, though! Fabulous and what an experience it must have been.

Unknown said...

That must have been really a sight! Amazing!

Anonymous said...

Dan and I would love to go work at the Sandhill Crane refuge down south (I THINK it is in S Carolina but can't remember without looking it up!) You get to work with the baby birds as well as the adult birds. We may try to get into this place in the future. It appears they have plenty of volunteers lined up for the next several years!

Arti said...

The pics are amazing... Especially the flock of birds...
Have a nice day:)

Jeanette said...

That must have been something to see! I can see why you were excited.

CiCi said...

I listened to the link and I think their sound has been used in alien movies. No wonder you were excited to go with the group. I think I would have been able to get my hubby to go on that too. You did get some nice photos, but the best part was your telling how much fun it was.

Far Side of Fifty said...

I saw some overhead the other day..I should have known that they were headed your way! What fun! :)

Loree said...

What an experience. It must have been awesome.

Betsy Banks Adams said...

Oh Wow, Joan .... How gorgeous.. I'm so glad you got to see the Sandhill Cranes... I'm excited for you!!!! Wonder if they come anywhere near our area.????? I'll check it out...

Thanks for sharing... LOVE seeing them.

Linda Reeder said...

I love your enthusiasm.
And I find it amazing that they know where to meet up, and then meet up again and again as they fly south, all without telephone or email.!

faye said...

I can't wait for the cooler weather
and the bird migration.
Last year there were not as many as in previous

And you certainly can hear them long before
you see them...

I did get a few shots of the 'local'
non migratory cranes...

So come on down to Florida.. Paynes Prairie
is a favorite hangout for the Cranes.

J.J. in L.A. said...

How fun!

We have a migration (if you can call it that) of wild parakeets that fly at dawn and dusk. Rumor has it that they were released from a pet shop when a large building, next door, caught fire. Now, they hang out at a local arboretum.

Anywho, I've been wanting to get these babies on film (so to speak) for YEARS! Maybe I can now, once I get used to the new camera's settings.

Ryan said...

Fantastic day out for you, well done on capturing some great photos.

rainfield61 said...

I am saying hi to them. Will they come over to Malaysia?

anjanette/mommayoung said...

Beautiful pics as always.. someday i'll have a real camera. We have some beautiful birds in our area and coming through..

Pat Tillett said...

Very nice Joan!
I'd like to camp out there for most of a day or two and take a ton of pics!

jessica said...

Believe it or not -- sandhills hang out just outside "our" Texas Roadhouse restaurant on the north side of Tampa. The staff comes out and feeds 'em peanuts (which the restaurant has, in bulk, for folks to munch on). Until I read your blog stuff several entries ago, I had no idea that they migrated this far north. But I certainly do NOT blame them for goin' back already - I wish I was goin' already, too!

L. D. said...

I had monarch butterflies you had sandhil cranes. They also migrate through Nebraska. Great shots and I bet their sounds were wonderful.

SquirrelQueen said...

What a fantastic opportunity. I would love to witness their migration. Unless they are headed west I don't guess they will fly over our area.

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I retired in June 2008 and started my blog in November 2008. I worked at several jobs as a Registered Nurse prior to retirement. I LOVE being retired! Blogging has offered me a whole new venue to start writing again and to share new hobbies such as gardening, birdwatching and sharing my nature photography. If you like my blog, PLEASE click on "follow this blog". Having a lot of followers reading my blog gives me incentive to continue to do photography and to continue to write. I also LOVE comments, so I encourage you to leave me a comment after you read my posts. Thanks everyone, for taking the time to read me!!

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