Saturday, April 14, 2018

MA - Sandhill Cranes in Gill!

Sandhill Cranes - Gill, Franklin Co., MA. April 14th, 2018.

A raw afternoon birding off Riverview Drive, Gill produced some nice sightings ahead of the forecast cold front promising freezing rain by dawn. A Bonaparte's Gull dropped in to join a small number of Ring-billed and Herring Gulls on the water, and nine Double-crested Cormorants headed south flying straight over the five cormorants already present on Barton Cove. Two Ospreys also arrived whilst I was there with at least 20 Tree Swallows and a couple of Northern Rough-winged Swallows foraging overhead.

Sandhill Cranes - Gill, Franklin Co., MA. April 14th, 2018. In flight  directly above Main Road.

On the drive home, Matan and I noticed two very large birds flying along the route of Main Road in Gill. They were relatively low and any thoughts of Canada Geese were quickly dismissed as we realized almost immediately that they were Sandhill Cranes! They continued north-east passing right over Gill town hall and were obviously looking for a place to land. After a couple of minutes they landed in Upinngil's agricultural fields just west of Main Road, but surprisingly lifted up almost immediately and continued heading north-east where we lost them about a mile up the road.

Sandhill Cranes - Upinngil Fields, Gill, Franklin Co., MA. April 14th, 2018.

This was just my second observation of Sandhill Crane in Gill (and Franklin County), the previous record being of one calling high above Barton Cove on April 13th, 2015.

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