2012 Sandhill Crane Counts

2012 Crane Counts

For  2012SANDHILL CRANES
COUNTED  AT FRUITGROWERS RESERVOIR
THE  EVENING  OF
:

April 9  Monday


47

April 8  Sunday


43

April 7  Saturday


68

April 6  Friday


52 – 100
(reports vary tonight)

April 5  Thursday


300

April 4  Wednesday


22

April 3  Tuesday


50

April 2  Monday


100 

April 1  Sunday


400 

March 31  Saturday

500 

March 30  Friday

200 – Evelyn’s estimate based on sight and sound.

March 29  Thursday

12

March 28  Wednesday

300

March 27  Tuesday

1,600

[This count was posted at 11:10 a.m. Wednesday when I stepped out of the house heard and saw a bunch of cranes overhead and realized I did not post this number last night.  Given the number I offer my apologies for not getting this out in a timely way.  –  Jim]

March 26  Monday

200
About

March 25  Sunday

2,000
Or so the estimate goes.  Another great morning  in the Basin awaits.

March 24  Saturday

500  (at least)

Poor opportunity for an accurate count tonight

March 23  Friday

2,000 to 3,000 according to Evelyn -sounds like she didn’t time to study the masses for a more precise count, either.

Either way, tomorrow morning should be a good show.

     * * * * * * * * * *
My 6:00 p.m.  post:  Thousands – at least two thou (determined by my 10 minute drive by at 5:40 – 5:50 pm)  — Will post Evelyn’s count later in the evening.  My guess, for what it’s worth, is this will be the largest group of the year. (I hope I’m wrong but that’s the way I’m betting.)

– Jim

March 22  Thursday

0

Two things:  First is I am posting this at 8:45 am Friday.  Sorry, I was too  involved with lots of things last night to go to the reservoir and to check Evelyn’s hotline for the number after dark.

Second is I almost predicted big numbers of cranes arriving last (Thursday) night because the weather had been so bad starting Saturday night.  And I was suprised there were so few birds when the weather started to clear for Wedsneday afternoon.  But zero last night was a paradigm buster.  I don’t know what is going on, so with that, I WILL NOT predict a big group landing tonight.

March 21  Wednesday

22   (the same birds?)

March 20  Tuesday

22

March 19  Monday


0
(none detected)

March 18  Sunday

18 cranes hunkered in the vegetation avoiding the wind was the evening’s best guess.

March 17  Saturday

46

March 16  Friday

1,100  – Evelyn’s count

(I left at 5:45 or so and was sure there were about 400 or more.  I don’t know if they came in later or a whole bunch were over at Velas’ – I didn’t check there.)

March 15  Thursday

700  (“At least!” said Evelyn)

March 14  Wednesday

600 – late count so this is an approximation.

March 13 Tuesday

1,000 Reports Evie

The ice is gone and the cranes are back.  Come for the cranes, stay for all the other waterfowl!

March 12  Monday

500 (at least)
from Evelyn’s late count

March 11, 2012

8 (eight)
So sayeth Evelyn

March 10, 2012 – Saturday
(Posted March 11th)

500 (sunset count from Evie Horn)

In my self-demotion to a crane counting dilettante, I heard cranes at distance to the south in numbers too big to ignore.  I drove the mile and a half east from the house to Fruitgrowers to see if this is the FIRST BIG DAY.  It was.  I saw about 400 at about 4:00 p.m. (old time).
All the birds I saw were north of North Road west of the cottonwood trees along the channel.

There is still a lot of ice on the reservoir itself.  The edges are starting to melt away along the windward west and north shores.  The water on the north side of the causeway section is clear of the hard stuff.

A brief chat with Evie this evening revealed that she has tallied a total of about 270 cranes over the prior five days, which seemed to be the cranes that winter over elsewhere along the Gunnison River here in Delta County.  This has become typical behavior the past several years.  I share her belief that this evening’s cranes are the real deals on their migration from the San Luis Valley.

There was a nice assortment of waterfowl, even if the numbers were not large.  When I go to the reservoir I tend to look for water species of birds. Little brown flits of feathers within the unleafed brown brush just don’t interest me like a bufflehead or canvasback.   That’s my bird bias.

After I get my big bird list fuller I’ll start sweating the small stuff.

No question about it, it’s Spring!

– Jim Durr

PARKING:  PLEASE find a place to park that is off the pavement and PLEASE do not set up your tripods on the pavement!    The Sheriff’s Department join many of us with concern about safety from less than responsible behavior on the county road (drivers and bird watchers) while crane watching is going on.  Thanks.

 

OTHER BIRD SPECIES SIGHTED 2012
at, or adjacent to,
THE RESERVOIR March 10
Canvasback
Bufflehead
American Coot
American Bald Eagle

Great Blue Heron
Mallard
Canada Goose
Pintail
Green-winged Teal
Gadwall
Western Meadowlark
Mourning Dove
Harrier
Common Merganser

Double-crested Cormorant
American Widgeon


A good on-line bird ID guide:
http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/search