Date: 3/14/17 9:22 am From: KevyGudGuy via Colorado Birds <cobirds...> Subject: [cobirds] Monte Vista Crane Festival last weekend
The Sandhill Crane migration is in full swing in the San Luis Valley. I was there during the official festival weekend and saw the expected thousands of feeding, loafing and flying cranes, geese and ducks. Always an amazing spectacle. Four unexpected sightings were: - Seeing a dozen Bald Eagles congregate into a thermal just north of Home Lake late Friday morning, ride the air up and head north. - A very leucistic Red-tailed Hawk hanging around near the intersection of Roads 8S & 5E, reported by others later as being harassed by a Rough-legged Hawk. The bird had a few random dark feathers and an orangey bill. A friend got pictures that I'll share with anyone who's interested. - A lone Tundra Swan seen Friday evening in the ponds along Colo 15 just south of the old Refuge HQ, seen again flying the next morning. - An extended flow of cranes from the south Sunday morning, apparently they'd flown up overnight from the Bosque del Apache region. Line after line (do we call them skeins when they're cranes?) of birds appearing as dust flecks in binoculars trained on San Antonio Mountain, a new line appearing every few seconds for the two hours I watched, getting closer and closer till visible with the naked eye. I've seen the feeding flocks and flyouts many times over the years, but this is the first time I've experienced a massive influx of cranes migrating up from the south. It was something to behold.
Keep Smilin', Kevin Corwin
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