Things continue to be in flux with the Whooping Cranes at Lake Lewisville. On this trip out, I found only a pair of Whooping Cranes present on the floodplain. These two are the same birds that we followed out at Lake Ray Hubbard earlier in the year.
The other five cranes—also know as the “Fenton Five”—were nowhere to be seen on this morning.
The Lake Ray Hubbard pair began the day by foraging by the water’s edge. This is one of their favorite spots and was behavior I expected to see.
But, within about 20 minutes or so of my arrival, the two cranes took to the air and headed west. They landed in an inlet there and were hidden behind the trees. The result was a floodplain completely free of Whooping Cranes. This was the first time I had seen it this way.
I had only seen the Whooping Cranes fly to the inlet one time before. This is relatively new behavior for them, but they seem to be developing a preference for that spot. I did a quick check of my maps and determined that there was a way to access that part of the lake through the woods, so I jumped back into my car and headed over.
A little bushwhacking was required, but I was able to reach the inlet without too much difficulty. There I found the two cranes patrolling the shallow water of the smaller than expected, but very isolated, cove.
I was well concealed in the brush along the water’s edge, and I was able to observe the cranes without disturbing them. I stayed for about five minutes before leaving the whoopers to their business.
As I was wrapping up that morning, the absence of the Fenton Five weighed heavily on my mind. I did not have the time to try and seek them out. Lake Lewisville is just too big.
A couple of days later I was relieved to receive word that the Fenton Five were still at Lake Lewisville. They have recently expanded their wandering and are now spending their time in several new spots around the lake. This new development will certainly make keeping dibs on them much more of a challenge!
I can’t wait to see what changes next week bring!