Platte River Valley, Kearney, Nebraska
Word went out yesterday when I was painting my new office that a common crane had appeared in Nebraska with a bunch of sandhills. The common crane and I have a bit of a relationship. This is the sacred bird of Frejya the Norse Goddess of the land of my forefathers in Falun, Sweden. The last common crane I saw was in Nortalje Sweden, was actually also on April 6, when I was fishing, and one was alone on a Swedish field.
Rarely seen in North America, occasionally one of these cranes finds itself mixed in with the wrong crew, probably in the high arctic and then they appear here in central Nebraska or elsewhere flying with their new buddies. Cranes are rather particular with dancing and I suspect that this crane may have a bit of a lonely spring as his dance isn’t the same dance as everyone else’s.
This bird wasn’t so easy to find, a lone crane with a black neck in a sea of gray ones. There were two other searchers, one a rather odd dude from Minnesota driving a loaded Prius, he was free of binoculars and camera, appeared to be in too much of a hurry, spooked thousands of sandhills and luckily had to pass a local guy parked. My best guess would be to describe him as a Big Year Cretan. He drove past the local guy and had to slow down, saw the bird and left and then the local guy drove over so that I knew where the bird was. For that I am appreciative.
I saw, photographed and headed back…ABA Life bird #624. I started out today at 2am and still had 7 hours to drive back home.
North central Nebraska is underrated and under appreciated and quite interesting with all the rolling Sand Hills and such, It is a lonely road between Butte and Miller Nebraska. Lots of ducks, and I saw three greater prairie chicken hens sitting in trees/fences, and one in a tree. All the boys were at a lek somewhere booming and the hens couldn’t so much as be even coaxed from watching me drive by.
A long day but a mini adventure successful with a neat bird.