The Whooping Cranes were exploring when I arrived today. They had wandered several hundred yards/meters away from their usual location, and were now near the northeast end of this part of the lake. This change in position allowed me my best look yet at the large white birds. Although they were much closer than on any of my previous visits, they were still well outside the 2000ft(610m) viewing distance dictated by the legal guidelines in the State of Texas. This observation marks four weeks for the cranes at Lake Ray Hubbard in Rowlett, Texas.
A few things have changed since my last visit, which may be why the cranes are feeling inspired to move into new areas. We had some significant rain last week and the lake level has risen yet again. The base of the transmission tower (my favorite viewing spot) is now surrounded by approximately 8 inches (0.2 meters) of water. A little wading was required today, but it wasn’t a problem. The water was clear and the base was firm. Of course waterproof boots are a real plus in a situation like this.
One interesting sidebar about the shallow flooding is that the recently inundated areas are now teeming with gar and carp. In most places the water is only just deep enough to allow the fish to be able to swim through it. The Spotted Gar were surprisingly tolerant, and would only bolt if I really surprised them. A slow, methodical approach would allow me to close the distance to just a few feet/decimeters in most cases.