Although all three cranes were spotted in the park the prior week, their numbers have steadily increased over the course of this week. To date, we have observed three pairs of Red-crowned cranes on the property. One pair has been a regular site near the nature center and will most likely nest near here as they have done in the previous years. The other two pairs arrived a bit later and were noted on the southern end of the park where they were feeding together. To the best of our knowledge, there are also approximately 24 white-naped cranes present. This was the largest flock size that has flown over the wetlands. Yesterday, I drove around the property to see what the crane population looks like and in total I have found 7 pairs that have begun to set up territories. A flock of roughly 48 hooded cranes have also been feeding in the nearby fields, and these birds have stayed in a more or less tight flock the whole week.
It appears as of to date, we may have five pairs of white storks that have staked out a nest in and around the park. One of these nests, includes a refurbished nest constructed by Sergei Smirenski after it was destroyed in a previous fire..... Lastly, I want to mention that butterflies have been emerging all over the park giving this week the true feeling of spring.