The Daily Bucket is a nature refuge. We amicably discuss animals, weather, climate, soil, plants, waters and note life’s patterns.
We invite you to note what you are seeing around you in your own part of the world, and to share your observations in the comments below.
Each note is a record that we can refer to in the future as we try to understand the phenological patterns that are quietly unwinding around us. To have the Daily Bucket in your Activity Stream,visit Backyard Science’s profile page and click on follow.
In 1975 (by authority of the Endangered Species Act) The Mississippi Sandhill Crane National Wildlife Refuge was established. In those early days there were as few as 30 individual birds existing in the wild. The massive effort then has resulted in as many as 550 of these majestic waders existing in a sustained environment today. Unfortunately, this sub-species of Sandhill Crane is still on the critically endangered list.
I have thoroughly enjoyed the photos and descriptions of other Bucketeers that have had Cranes enter your areas. Thank you all for each and every submission. It drove me to action to observe the unique resident that lives a mere 6 hours away from my home and possibly bring their story and images to you.
As you can see (from the state map) I have an easy route to follow. Each highway segment is labelled because I still like “hard copy” maps. Hwy 6 (Oxford to Okolona) is a 1 hour drive. This will let you (as I will) gauge the trip for travel time and planned stops (mostly fuel).
Having spent most of my life traveling for work as a land Surveyor (I include walking job sites as travel) 6 hours by vehicle is usually an overnight trip. That is my intention with this adventure.
I hope to leave in the morning, arrive early afternoon and secure my accommodations for the following day’s activity. The next map will give you an idea of how easy my final goal should be met.
The black circle is where I leave Highway 57 and enter Highway 10. I’ll use a hotel within the blue circle as my “base of operations”. I will spend the bulk and majority of my time within the red circle.
Below is the satellite view of the main station of the Refuge. This is where I hope to talk with the Rangers and caretakers of the site. November to February are busy months with the breeding and nesting activities of the Cranes. I hope to be able to see adults making or sitting on nests while I am there.
The personal at the site schedule their annual bird count (including all species within the area) on Dec. 30th. I hate to miss that event but timing thwarted my participation.
Having now seen (for the brief encounter that hay seed and I had) Cranes in the wild, I can’t wait to observe them in their breeding habitat. On the wildest of hopes, I would rejoice that an errant Whopping Crane or two might show up. There have been reports that Whopping Cranes are expanding into the area since the Texas site has had successful years with their program.
This diary is a prelude to any excitement I will encounter.
Consider this an open thread to discuss any plans for trips or plans you may have for the new year.