March 6th, 2014: Well it did not happen!!! The wet conditions at the Prairie -and perhaps the change in flow from the added water diverted to the Southeast part of the wet prairie contributed.
Cranes were found in the Lake Orange area, West of McIntosh and South of the area.
The birders have found "Sparrow Alley" to be fruitful grounds for the normal and less normal visitors. I hope that the area isn't closed to "protect" the construction site.
The unfortunate part of the "season" was the total lack of Whooping Cranes. We have always had "some" - but this is my first year with none. Keep hope dear heart -we have seen the rare birds during March - May. There is still a chance!
Nov 1st 2013: The conditions look like 2008 when we witnessed over 8000 Sandhill Cranes and 15 Whooping Cranes on the LaChua Trial.
The water levels are lower so the areas to the West are wadable and the lake is full.
Dec 6th 2010: Now is the time to visit the LaChua Trail and experience the arrival of the flocks of Sandhill Cranes which presently number 1300+ birds.
I watched them decend on the prairie in groups of 10-23 on this past Sunday. The single swan has been spotted over the Alachua Lake ( binoculars or scope required!) This is the first swan seen in 21 years.
Ther bird expects are working with loooong distants to identify which swan it is! The diffrences between a Tundra Swan and the Trumper swam are more than a challenge at 500 yards.
If anyone gets a "close detail of the bill or feet please let me know.