Date: 3/14/19 11:40 am From: <mvjohnski...> Subject: [cobirds] Crane Festival Results Plus More
Well the Crane Festival has passed and thought I would bring you up to date on things in case you are still considering a visit. First of all, it was amazing that Saturday and Sunday were ideal for being outdoors, but that was sandwiched by horrendous winds on Friday and 3 days of snow since Sunday! March weather go figure.
Wished the cranes had cooperated a bit more. All was going well and 5,000 birds were feeding at the 8S just 2 days ahead of crane festival. Then, with warm temps, other fields melted their snows and became available and cranes vanished from the refuge overnight. I had never seen such an abrupt change. That left the bus tours having to scramble a bit to show what cranes they could. They made it work the best they could and I hope you all got to see cranes in some manner. I cruised the Refuge again this morning and a few cranes on the 7S road is your best bet. Otherwise, drive the various county roads like 2S, 1S, and go to San Luis Lake (2,000 birds). As I type this, cranes are spiraling over my house and moving out so enjoy them while you can.
With warmer temps, some of the local lakes have some open water. Yesterday at Smith Reservoir there was a good assortment of ducks including Gadwall, Am Wigeon, Les Scaup, Ruddy, Mallard, Common Goldeneye, GW Teal, Common Mergansers and some gulls. San Luis Lake is opening up as well and is worth a look. Sagebrush Sparrows....might find them along county roads around the San Luis Hills, but beware of mud and crud.
Home Lake is also worth a look. Yesterday 2 Bald Eagles were terrorizing the ducks there at mid day.