Date: 2/9/17 5:53 am
From: Brent Ortego <brentortego...>
Subject: [texbirds] Whooping Cranes and Falcon Point Ranch

Made another trip to Falcon Point Ranch yesterday afternoon.

I have visited this ranch 3 other times in the morning and have a general idea of location of Whooping Crane foraging territories. I wanted to check out late afternoon usage on this trip.

Falcon Point Ranch is one of three private ranches which borders the Welder Flats Coastal Preserve south of Seadrift in Calhoun County. Welder Falts has been known to winter Whooping Cranes for decades. Last winter while conducting Piping Plover surveys and also during a tour for the San Antonio Bay Partnership, we counted a maximum of 27 Whooping Cranes on the Welder Flats complex.

We had at least 9 during this trip. One pair with young was in the SW corner, one single was by itself and 5 others were near the property line during the heat of the day. At about 5 pm, several cranes left the border with the neighbors and spread out over the tidal marsh portion of the ranch to forage before roosting. I could view this activity from on top of the high spoil compartment levee on the ranch.

Also spent about 1/2 hour trying to solicit call back from Black Rails from 4:30 to 5:00 pm. I did not get any response but it is a little early in the year and somewhat early in the day to be trying. The ranch has extensive areas of Gulf Cord Grass flats which look very suitable for Black and Yellow Rails.

Did not spend any time working passerines and the checklist attached documents this.

Brent Ortego

Victoria, TX

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