Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Back on the Road

After a brief jaunt through the Carolina mountains to visit my cousin, John, and my friend, Jim, I am back in business tracking cranes.
Smokey Mountains from the Foothills Parkway in Tennessee, east of Gatlinburg

Since it rained so much in Southern Tennessee, Armstrong Bend was newly covered in pooled water. The cranes took the opportunity to forage around in new areas closer to me. I finally got a good shot of 37-07 and 28-08, the two male whoopers.

I packed up all my gear and said my farewells to Armstrong Bend and Hiwassee Wildlife Refuge. I am staying at Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge in Decatur, Alabama. Lisa, the Wildlife Biologist, promised to take me out tracking/ checking water levels tomorrow. (Note: If you ever have an opportunity to go around a refuge with an employee, DO IT!!! They can take you to all the back corners of the refuge where no one else can go. They also know all the sweet spots where the wildlife can be found.)

I'll be at the refuge for a few days. I'll stay long enough to know if one of our WCEP allies (Whooping Crane Eastern Partnership) will fly over the Tallahassee region. If they DO fly over, that means I don't have to drive over to Tallahassee on my way down to Chassahowitzka National Wildlife Refuge. If They DON'T fly over, this is my itinerary:

It should take me a few days to track through all those areas. I'll be in Chass next week, just in time to pack up ICF's gear and equipment for the end of the season, loading it on an empty jet flight on the 19th, and unloading it in Wisconsin.

I'm looking forward to a busy week, but I'll try to keep you updated with my findings.

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