Date: 2/17/18 6:00 pm From: Mark McShane <mcshanebirder...> Subject: [GABO-L] Sandhill Crane Gwinnett County Magic - 2/17/2018
With the many reports of Sandhill Cranes over Gwinnett County this week I was fairly envious having never seen or heard these magnificent birds in my home county of Gwinnett. I had resolved, by the work week's end, to try to look for my life Gwinnett Sandhill Cranes today. Just before 1pm I had just left a shopping center in Lawrenceville, gone not even a few hundred feet (carefully and safely driving while checking the skies as much as the traffic conditions allowed), and was about 30 seconds into my search when a good-sized group of Sandhills came by going from SE to NW, wonderfully vocalizing as they went. I immediately pulled into a parking lot, stopped, and watched as these cranes continued NW and eventually even flew right over my subdivision a few blocks away. I was pretty perplexed... amazing, a 30-second Gwinnett County Sandhill Crane search, and my first ever, after all these years!
I poked around a few sites in Gwinnett afterwards and ended the day up at Lake Lanier on the easternmost point of the Corps of Engineers West Bank day use park in Forsyth County. From this vantage point the Gwinnett/Forsyth County border snakes its way very closely past you following the original path of the Chattahoochee River up from Buford Dam, and you can see the cove over on the east side of the lake that the Gwinnett/Hall County border comes out of heading west and easily follow it out to where it hits the Forsyth County border just southeast of the island out to your left. It's one of the best spots from which to observe Lake Lanier Gwinnett County waters as long as you know and keep straight where the Forsyth/Gwinnett/Hall County borders run. After a short time at about 5:20pm a group of 78 Sandhill Cranes came out of the southeast, out of Gwinnett, over Buford Dam Park, and then crossed the lake right in front of me heading NW and on into Forsyth!
Now I was, and still am, a bit double-perplexed/delighted and more amazed than ever to see Gwinnett County Sandhill Cranes during the first and last minutes of my first day searching for them!
Good Birding All!
Lawrenceville, Gwinnett County, Georgia