A couple days ago Ed Bowen sent some photos of sandhill cranes passing over on Sunday.
The regular e-mailer from the south suburbs said,
I had a small flock go over on Sunday. I think they are a little early going to Jasper Pulaski area?I suspected he was right, in part because of a few days ago. While driving south on Route 1, I saw a large bird in a ditch and assumed it was a great blue heron. Then it hit me, hey, that was a sandhill crane. And over the past week or so, I have heard their croaking several mornings.
Naturally, Bowen's note nudged me to check the status of the sandhills at Jasper-Pulaski Fish & Wildlife Area, south of Valparaiso, Ind.
If you have never visited Jasper-Pulaski when sandhills at their peak, I highly recommend you schedule a day in November, when their numbers can top 20,000.
Normally, updates are posted at http://www.in.gov/dnr/fishwild/3109.htm#updates. But it is early, and none were listed yet. So I called the site.
They expect to begin doing the formal counts next week, but Jason said, ``There are plenty here now,'' and they had a conservative rough estimate of two or three thousand already there.