I left work later than normal this afternoon, and pulled over to watch hundreds of sandhill cranes pouring into the refuge between 4:40 and 4:50. I was sitting at the corner of CRs 3 and 5 (info kiosk there) quite a bit farther east than where we've seen large number of birds earlier in the fall. They were flying in from NE of the refuge as well - I have no idea what fields they may be using during the day, but they've obviously shifted east, as visitors have told me numbers of birds in the fields along CRs 3 and 70 are fewer than they have been. I know there are still people coming up to look at cranes, so wanted to share this information. Go EAST, my friends! Since there are still many birds around, we'll do another crane count on Thursday morning. With the weather going downhill, I expect numbers of cranes to do the same, but I said that last week too, and we had the biggest count ever, so ...
Also there were 13 rusty blackbirds in the yard at Sherburne HQ this afternoon, along with a few more red-winged blackbirds. There were also purple and American goldfinches at the feeders today, sporadically, along with a single eastern towhee.
Cindy, where are you?
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