The Whooping Cranes at Lake Lewisville seem to have worked out their group dynamic to one degree or another. All seven stayed together the entire time I was on site (about 2 hours). There was still some tendency toward the 5-2 split (sometimes a 4-3 split), but it was more subtle than in has been on other visits.
When I first arrived at the lake the cranes were wading near the water’s edge. After about 30-40 minutes the entire group took to the air for no apparent reason. They flew to the west, then turned south along the treeline and over a group of people fishing by the lakeside. Far to the south, they made a sharp turn turn to the east and then back north flying just above the water. After a long, low flight over the lake, they landed back pretty much where they began.
This flight was the most interesting aspect of this visit. I had not seen the cranes venture out to the west and south before. Their flight just above the surface of the water took a little over a minute to complete because of the great distance they had to cover.
After returning to their starting point, the cranes foraged and interacted with one another for about another 30-40 minutes. At this point the cranes again took to the air and moved as a group out onto the flood plain far to the east.
This location is another one of the cranes favorite spots. The land form here is hidden by the tall vegetation on the floodplain. It would be interesting to see what makes this area so attractive to the cranes.