After the dense fog this morning at Cheyenne Bottoms, KDWPT staff were able to count 11 Whooping Cranes present in the Pool 5 Refuge Area of Cheyenne Bottoms Wildlife Area. Again, this area is inaccessible to the public and, unfortunately, there is no place open to the public from which the whoopers in this area are visible.
This afternoon, there also has been a report of 7 whooping cranes mixed in with a large flock of sandhill cranes on or near Nature Conservancy property in the northwest area of the Cheyenne Bottoms basin. These cranes are visible from Highway 4, about 1.5 miles West of the unincorporated town of Redwing. Highway 4 can be have a fair amount of traffic, and there are not wide shoulders, so please be very careful if you try to stop here to view the birds. Alternatively, these also may be visible from the observation tower that is on Nature Conservancy property on Homestead Rd (or the road many locals call Crooked Road) which is located 1 mile South of Highway 4 on NE 20 Ave. Nature Conservancy property is private property, so it is trespassing to venture off the public roads by foot or car.
Any additional questions, feel free to let us know.
Director, Ks Wetlands Education Center
Cheyenne Bottoms, Great Bend, KS
Fort Hays State University