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Monday, April 30, 2007

Sandhill Crane surprise

I drove past Quakertown Swamp, a local wetland area with an active Great Blue Heron rookery (birds were on at least eight nests this evening), with my two kids this evening. At about 6pm, I saw what I thought were two Great Blue Herons flying over the swamp--but one had its neck extended. I thought it might be doing some kind of display to the other bird, but my five year old said it didn't look right for a Great Blue Heron--too light. Sure enough, in binoculars I could see it was a Sandhill Crane--a rare migrant through these parts. I watched it circle down towards the swamp, then circle higher, and moving off to the east. After a few minutes I turned around and parked, but by then the bird was gone. I'm used to seeing these guys in huge flocks in Texas--or in pairs on their mating ground. I don't know if I've ever just seen one lone crane by itself. A surprise all around! (photo:

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