Friday, April 14, 2023

Sandhill Crane Follow-up

 Note:  If you haven't read my previous blog, "Platt River Magic:  Sandhill Cranes", you probably should read that one first.  

I continue to enjoy watching the cranes on the Platt river, especially the feature where I can scroll back and see earlier hours.  On April 5, full moon day, I scrolled back through nighttime and caught the full moon soon to sink beneath the horizon.  All was dark and moody -- hundreds of cranes resting the flat Platt River.  I didn't think about whether the webcam was in night mode, which is black and white; or daytime mode, which is full color

Suddenly the webcam switched to daytime.  The setting moon glowed orange and the sky was full of color -- glorious, glorious color.  Cranes were starting to fly.  It is beautiful to see the many moods of the river. 

I've been checking in for a few minutes most days and quickly scrolling back a few hours.  During most of the blackness of night, the cranes sleep with their heads tucked and only an occasional restless crane.  About 1:20 AM, Platt River time, I realized something very different was going on....

The cranes are awake!  Lots of calling;  necks staring.  All the cranes I can see are standing in the water.  And then I see a coyote trotting on a distant sandbar.  With the night cam, coyote and cranes look like ghosts.  Suddenly the coyote gets too near a group.  With a loud clatter, the cranes take to the air ... not for far.  They'll land in a safer spot.

That was the 9th.  I got busy and didn't log on again until today, April 14.  I scrolled back to dawn when I expected to see hundred of cranes ready for their morning flight.... but the river was empty.  No cranes.  Nada.  Nothing.  I scrolled back farther into the night.  The camera was slowing panning the river.  Not a crane to be seen, only two raccoons inspecting one of the sandbars.  The cranes are on their way North, and I'm going to have to wait about 11 months to see them again ... unless they come in the fall???  What a treat it has been!

1 comment:

  1. Took a second look to see that the cranes watching the coyote was your drawing from the vid. Very nice...ghostie birds and sneaky canine.