[CT Birds] Stonington Sandhill Pix, 1-22-15

Mntncougar at aol.com Mntncougar at aol.com
Thu Jan 22 20:15:01 EST 2015

After spending an hour trying to find Wheeler Rd, then Lambert  Cove, I 
finally caught up with the Crane off St. Mary's Cemetery around  noon. (I'm 
taking it on faith that's the name - didn't see any sign; only a high  white 
picket fence along US Rt 1, just west of a Shell station on the corner of  Rts 
1 and 1A.) The bird was standing near the edge of the ice shelf as many 
have  mentioned, in the company of but not associating with, 40 or so Canada  
Geese and about 150 Hooded Mergansers. It walked a bit, stood on 1 leg then 
2,  but overall was not very active. 
About 1 PM it very suddenly took off, circled the cove once and  flew off 
to the northeast, in the direction of Wheeler Rd. Sure enough, when I  got 
there about 15 minutes later it was far out in the southernmost corn field.  
Too far and over the ridge to make seeing more than half the bird possible, 
and  it eventually wandered farther back until it was completely out of 
FYI, I used my GPS to find Wheeler Rd. I put 100 Wheeler Rd in  the GPS and 
it got me on the road. The Corn Field is about 1.5 miles north of  that 
point, on the left.
If you look at the Cove area on Google Maps, the cemetery shows  up as a 
green area along Rt 1, and it says"Stony Brook" on the left  side.
I have concerns about the health of this bird. It was on the  ice at noon 
when It would seem it should be foraging. When in the corn field it  spent 
most of it's time just standing, only occasionally lowering it's head to  the 
ground. It appeared to me there is little if anything for it to eat there.  
The field is littered with corn cobs but there isn't a kernel on any of 
them.  Since the ground is frozen I don't think it could be probing for insects, 
if  Cranes do that. I can't see how it's getting enough nutrition to 
survive for  long. 
Anyway, it's an impressive bird and gave a good show when it  took off and 
flew fairly close on its way north. The light was too poor for good  
pictures, but what I got are here:
Don Morgan, Coventry, Ct  
mntncougar at aol.com

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