Sunday, November 24, 2013
November 23, 2013 Sandhill Cranes at Jasper-Pulaski Fish & Wildlife Area
So last week's Social Club Event to Jasper -Pulaski was canceled due to the area getting hit by a storm that created about thirty tornados. Yet on this past Tuesday, the crane count was over 15,000 birds. So I decided to check out the cranes today. Thanks to Cindy and Jack for joining me and to Ken for meeting us there. It was a cold but sunny day in Illinois, unfortunately it was much worse in Indiana. As we drove east there was a massive black cloud over the entire northern part of Indiana. By the time we got to Jasper-Pulaski, the temperature seemed to be in the teens with wind gusting to about 40 MPH. We even had snow every few minutes. There were fewer sand hill cranes than on my previous visits but we did see quite a few flocks landing in the viewing area field but most quickly took off for a more protected area in the nearby woods. Most people stayed for a few minutes. We stayed about an hour and even though I was bundled up, the wind made it impossible to stay any longer. It was difficult to get good pictures because of the dark clouds but the sun broke through right before sunset and put some great colors in the sky.
I still believe this is worth the drive to witness in person. Being able to witness a stopping point along a great migration of birds is something very special. As on previous trips we did see the cranes feeding in the farm fields of Indiana on our way to the viewing area. Then we witnessed the birds struggle with the wind as they congregated in the field. Of course the wind dampened the sounds of the cranes socializing but you could still hear them. Afterwards, we stopped at Marti's Place at Ramsey's Landing on the Kankakee River to have dinner and warm up.
Despite today being the coldest day this fall, I still enjoyed being here. I love that something this cool happens close to where I live. There truly is natural beauty everywhere...please go outside and enjoy it.