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sandhill crane migration: Phyllis Haehnle Memorial Sanctuary

  • Nov 16, 2013 · 3:30 PM
  • This location is shown only to members

**The date has changed: It is now Sat., 11/16, 3:30pm. Sunset is 5:12pm.**

This is an airshow of sorts-- sandhill cranes flying by, wave after wave, in "V" formations!

http://sandhillcranesgather.com/

http://www.haehnlesanctuary.org/

I saw this for the last time last year when I heard that[masked] sandhill cranes were stopping by this sanctuary every day on their way to their winter homes (more than they counted in previous years). I shot there one night as the sun was setting with a full moon hanging high in the horizon (I wished we might have another full moon before sunset in the cards for this year, but it doesn't appear to be the case). I came back another time and shot them as they approached over a lake in another part of the sanctuary. I will be happy to show folks both locations (the best one is obvious).

We won't have a clear shot of then actually landing or congregating for their nightly sandhill parties-- they're a noisy, rowdy bunch-- but they fly quickly + low past a viewing hill and path that is very close to the parking lot. Many birders, families, and photographers hang out to see this unique Michigan "air show."

I'm putting it out there for folks to check out online and put on their radar. Enjoy the spring and summer in "The Mitten." When the fall weather rolls through, we'll do this meetup before the snow and ice take their grip again across our state. Well, that's what I'm hoping, anyway. Frank [4/23/13]

 

Things I brought last year that worked: Tripod, warm clothes (hat, gloves)

This year: Might bring a folding chair and hot coffee...

GPS coordinates, detailed directions and maps can be found here:

http://www.haehnlesanctuary.org/directions.htm

 

 

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  • Susan Vaughn G.

    Saw many cranes. It was wonderful. Would like to have connected with others from this group, but met some very nice people.

    2 · November 16, 2013

    • Mark Bolen/DigiSharp P.

      I didn't know if I was going to be able to attend or not so I did not RSVP in advance. I was not able to get their until 4pm and once there was told to go to another location where the birds were (near prison).

      1 · November 17, 2013

    • Frank K.

      Very good! Our little group received the same tip. Everyone got out of their cars and most of the birds flew out of the fields fairly quickly. If I go back this year, I'll try shooting out of the car. Fantastic images-- thanks for sharing!

      November 18, 2013

  • Susan Vaughn G.

    We're here, waiting for the cranes.

    November 16, 2013

    • Frank K.

      Did you go early? Strange that we didn't see you. I was there early, and then we moved on to another location near the end... I posted the change in real time. Anyway, thanks for showing up!

      November 17, 2013

  • Frank K.

    Thanks to those of you who did show up to this meetup. Great photos, Mark. And thanks, as always, Bill, for sharing your knowledge and images with the group.

    November 17, 2013

  • Frank K.

    Leaving the Sanctuary, going rt. on Seymour, rt. on Trumball, then rt. on Hawkins... Dalton Rd. on the right. Don't get out and explore, Correctional facilities land. 2 miles from Sanctuary

    November 16, 2013

  • Frank K.

    Just heard from the naturalist here... he said there may only be[masked] birds here tonight. He said the best spot, with 1000 birds, is along Dalton Rd. This is due to high water levels this year... the Sandhill don't like this area as much and prefer lower water levels (last year the water levels were low and this was the best spot).

    November 16, 2013

  • Gary L.

    Is anyone interested in car pooling from Ypsi or Ann Arbor? Seems kind of silly for to take 40 cars to the Jackson area.

    November 15, 2013

    • Nishant B.

      I thought so. Yes I am on my way.. It takes 50min from my place. Thanks for the prompt reply. See you there.

      November 16, 2013

    • Nishant B.

      Guys, I am sorry I caught up into something in the middle and had to drive back home. You guys have fun....

      November 16, 2013

  • lisa

    Hi, I am at the haehnle sanctuary parking lot. Is this the right location? Thanks!

    1 · November 16, 2013

    • Patrick H.

      Yes just walk down the path a 100 ft

      1 · November 16, 2013

  • Nishant B.

    Can anyone tell me the gears required for this photography. I had photographed birds just once or twice at most. So it would be great if I know about it.

    Thanks

    November 15, 2013

    • Frank K.

      My advice is always: dress for the conditions (warmth, stay dry, layer, etc.) and bring the best camera and longest lens you have. If you have a zoom kit lens that came with your camera, and that's the best you have, you can work with it. If you have a[masked]mm zoom, bring that... a 500mm zoom, better yet (I don't have one, but I know people who do). Shutterbug Bill Curtindale prefers to shoot Birds In Flight handheld, no tripod. But you can bring your tripod or monopod if you wish-- whatever works best. Increase your ISO, turn on image stabilization (if you're not using a tripod), open-up your aperture. For more specifics, we can talk about your gear at the beginning of the meetup (bring your longest lens). For some more general info. about big birds from another meetup, check out the comments here... http://www.meetup.com...­

      1 · November 15, 2013

    • Nishant B.

      Thanks Frank! I really appreciate it.

      1 · November 16, 2013

  • Joe B

    If anyone wants to carpool from the Royal Oak area on Saturday, please let me know. Thanks!

    2 · November 14, 2013

    • arpita

      Thanks Frank..well, if the lens is not a necessity, I feel I really wanna go for the sheer beauty of it, as u mentioned. Will change my RSVP...see you all there! Joe, I'll see u at 2:-)...sorry abt the confusion

      1 · November 16, 2013

    • Frank K.

      I think this migration and location are fun. The basic meetup spot is an interesting MI place. I'm not promising a five-star bird shooting location-- most of my shots were from under the Sandhill Cranes or of them from behind after they flew past. For more professional Bird In Flight opportunities, check out the DIY tour/map that I emailed and also Bill's tips for locations. The person I'm carpooling with might not even shoot. The calls of the sandhill cranes are unusual, if you've never heard them... something very primal or prehistoric about them (https://en.wikipedia.o­...­). Anyway, if you want a different adventure in MI than what you'd see in the N. Suburbs, A2/Ypsi, and most of the rest of SE Michigan, this might fit the bill. Thanks for reconsidering... see everyone later :)

      1 · November 16, 2013

  • Lisa

    Sorry to cancel so late but I finally got to do the driving tour today and just got home. The cranes were elusive until sunset when they flew into the sanctuary. Other folks found them earlier in the day around Cavanaugh Lake. I went back there around 4 pm but they were gone. It was cloudy today so the light went fast. Hope you all have a better sunset tomorrow. The sanctuary is beautiful.

    2 · November 15, 2013

  • DianeG

    I am sorry but I have been wrestling with this cold/flu for two weeks now and it is still pretty bad so I am withdrawing this time. Hope this change of RSVP gives someone else a chance.

    November 14, 2013

    • Frank K.

      I hope you feel better soon, Diane. Thanks for opening up your spot for someone else.

      November 15, 2013

  • Barbara Tomes M.

    I will have to back out...I was in a car accident last night..ok but very sore.

    November 14, 2013

    • Frank K.

      Oh, my gosh... I'm so sorry, Barbara! I'm glad that you're going to be OK... hope you heal quickly, completely... feel better soon.

      November 14, 2013

    • Barbara Tomes M.

      Thank you..

      November 14, 2013

  • Frank K.

    For people who have just signed-up recently-- I have a map for a DIY car tour for Sandhills in the area, around Waterloo... send me a message and I can email you my message with a link to the map. I will not be bringing the entire group along for that, and the directions suggest *not* getting out of the car for the optional driving tour. If you want the map and instructions, send me a message through Meetup or Facebook.

    See everyone at the Phyllis Haehnle Memorial Sanctuary parking lot at 3:30 Saturday! Frank

    November 14, 2013

  • Frank K.

    Anyone need a ride to this one? Reply to this thread and message one another if you want a ride or are looking for someone to drive down with. Also, I'm going to email attendees a DIY driving tour for seeing cranes in the area from a local naturalist (it was sent to another photography list in the area). Some folks might want to try the DIY tour before our meetup or another time, but I can't see caravanning w/ 50 folks for that. Anyway... ride share below :)

    November 10, 2013

    • Frank K.

      Rats, too bad you have to work, Pravin. Sure, I'll send the email and attachment out in a few. Hope to see you at another meetup soon.

      November 10, 2013

    • Pravin S.

      I was so looking forward to this meetup. But a launch (I am in IT) usually needs to be done on weekends when business customers are not working.

      November 10, 2013

  • Frank K.

    **The date has changed: It is now Sat., 11/16, 3:30pm. Sunset is 5:12pm.**

    1 · October 28, 2013

  • Frank K.

    Update: according to http://www.haehnlesanctuary.org/cranecount.htm

    mid-November appears to be much better in terms of[masked] cranes appearing each night. I'm going to look at the UM football schedule to make sure I don't schedule something that would conflict w/ football traffic. I am going to change to a different date, mid-November, for this meetup. Hope to see you all then. I may go on a few weekends just for fun also, so if that date doesn't work, feel free to post your personal, alternative date here, and maybe some of our thousand Shutterbugs will want to join you (but, again, please only rate this if you go with me and the gang on official meetup day). Now, will I pick a date w/o rain... :)

    1 · October 27, 2013

  • Frank K.

    I have seen more Sandhills than I ever have before at another nature area (Crosswinds Marsh). I'm checking on the status of the migration and will post a firm date, rain or shine, in a bit. Frank

    October 27, 2013

    • Frank K.

      According to www.sandhillcranesgather­.com , the last daily count was quite low-- 176 on 10/14, the last count posted on http://www.haehnlesan...­ . Compare that to last year's peak on 11/5: 7483. I'm going to email the first page to see if they have a more current count. I am leaving the date to meet to be 11/2 until I hear back from them. Depending on what I hear, it might be best to push this meetup back one or two weeks. And, like I said before, if you want to go, this is an extremely easy and enjoyable place to see-- don't let me hold you back if you're itching to see this yourself sooner than this meetup event (that said, if you go on your own another day when the rest of us Shutterbugs are not around, please don't "rate" this meetup). Stay tuned!

      October 27, 2013

  • Pam

    Check out the website www.sandhillcranesgather.com

    1 · October 18, 2013

    • Frank K.

      That is the first link that I included in the link above :) And I see Bill's photo graces the main page... great shot.

      1 · October 20, 2013

    • Frank K.

      Pam, did you read the Facebook message that I sent in response to your other Facebook message to me? If not, please take a look at it. I can re-send if it has been lost. Thanks, Frank

      October 27, 2013

  • DianeG

    It would be appreciated if a date and time are fixed so that people can make a decision as to whether they intend to go on this excursion or not. There are a number of people that are wait listed and I somehow don't believe that all 50 people who signed up really intend to go.

    October 21, 2013

    • Frank K.

      I will have to check on the status of the migration, Diane. I'll ask the birds and will get back to you :) In all seriousness, this place is open most days... whether you go with fifty Shutterbugs or one good friend, there will be other people there and it can make for a very enjoyable evening. More soon --Frank

      October 27, 2013

  • Barbara Tomes M.

    I agree...I may have to move my kids that weekend..and would like to know too!..

    October 22, 2013

  • David

    Anyone wanting to get up close and personal with Sandhill cranes can visit the nature center at Kensington Metro Park. I was there on Sunday and the cranes allowed me to get super close (3 feet away). I also have a pair nesting on my property. Right now, the pair is looking at me through my study window. They come to eat an ear of corn several times daily. They will soon be leaving for the winter, though.

    October 21, 2013

  • David

    Since so many of you enjoy cranes, I thought I’d share this link http://www.operationmigration.org/index.html

    1 · October 21, 2013

  • Pam

    hello William always glad to see the Sandhill Cranes Gathering. Will love to be there to watch the action. Let me know the exact date.

    October 18, 2013

  • Susan Vaughn G.

    I would love this. Will continue to look for updates on the exact date. Have had sandhills in my backyard this summer, but would love to catch them flying.

    August 23, 2013

  • Karen N.

    AWESOME photo!! LOVE it! Difficult to see on my ipad...will check it out better on my computer later, but can see the warm lighting showing the birds form...as opposed to just silhouettes. Very nice!

    April 25, 2013

    • Frank K.

      Thanks. Unfortunately, I had to crop it 50%... I made subtle changes, but I may have gone too far on one crane's head. A larger version appears here www.flickr.com/photos/fi­r/[masked]/in/photostrea­m

      April 25, 2013

  • Phyll

    Beautiful photos of cranes. I love the splashes of crimson on their heads, don't you? Can't wait to go there.

    April 24, 2013

  • Lawrence Leverett J.

    Tentative yes... but if this date is exact I'll be changing to a no as it's the same weekend of one of the conventions I shoot. If it changes earlier/later I will be there!

    1 · April 23, 2013

    • Frank K.

      This date is very much up-in-the-air. I'll shoot out a note 2-3 weeks before 11/2 with my thoughts on this date, weather, # of birds sighted, etc. And if you can't make it at the actual date, check it out another time... it is an easy place to find, you won't be alone, it is an interesting experience in nature. I like sending out meetups as ideas anyway-- we have 840 members and I figure that I'd let people know it is going on so they catch it whenever it works best for them.

      April 23, 2013

    • Karen N.

      Please keep me in the loop on this...sounds like a wonderful place to get some good photos!

      April 23, 2013

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