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A fine feathered day

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

I was ‘up and at em’ getting ready for another crane tour this morning.

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I took my camera with me for Emma’s first outs hoping to get an extraordinary sunrise photo like I got last year with the early morning rays streaming through the foggy savannah.  It was a nice sunrise, but not exactly  gorgeous.  It is better to view any sunrise, however, rather than the alternative.  Disappointed smile

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The fog and heavy dew did make all of the thousands of spider webs more visible though.  The work involved in creating these webs never ceases to amaze me.

We had a pretty good group of folks for the tour this morning.  As usual, two people didn’t show up or call to cancel.  Frustrating, once again, as we had four people on the waiting list for the tour. 

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As I’ve explained before, it’s getting harder and harder to find cranes as we near the breeding season.  I’m afraid seeing as many as 32 cranes in a day is history for this year.  We did see a group of five cranes flying away, and this small group that didn’t immediately take flight.  I included this picture tonight to demonstrate the difference between Mississippi Sandhill Cranes and the visiting migratory Greater Sandhill Cranes that are common in places like Michigan and Wisconsin.

The three cranes on the right are the Mississippi’s.  If you look closely, you can see three things about them that are different from the Greater Sandhill.  They are slightly smaller, are a darker gray color, and they all have colored leg bands on them. 

_MG_6339 _MG_6343Of course, we had to check on the bald eagle nest, and today, both adults were perched on a dead tree behind the nest.  We also got to see both heads of the young ones peeking out of the nest.  It’s always a thrill to see these magnificent birds.

Later, Diana and I took a drive over to our sister refuge, Grand Bay NWR, so Diana would know what we are talking about when we recommend that our visitors take a drive over there.

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While out at the boat launch on this refuge, we found a great blue heron having a bit of a bad hair day on the fishing pier.  He was rather stoic about the brisk winds.

It’s getting late, so I’ll leave for tomorrow how I got a beautiful bouquet of flowers, and was taken out for a scrumptious seafood dinner…

Thanks for stopping by… talk to you tomorrow,  Judy

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