Still plowin' through my crane photos. Click 'em to make 'em much bigger in a new window. Here goes!
Josh setting up in the blind. That monstrosity of a lens to his left is what I rented.
The sun sets on the Platte River as cranes fly overhead.
Here they come!
The MOMENT the disc of the sun was completely gone, a bajillion birds started funneling down to the river. It was uncanny how accurate they were with the sunset.
This is just a very small fraction of them. The whole sky was filled with these guys.
I like how the guy on the right looks like he's lookin' up. :) In actuality, he's just gulping down some water.
Another from the sunset.
This is from the next morning, as the cranes fly under the somewhat stormy skies.
We spent most of the next day driving around the fields looking for dancing and flying cranes. Here, it looks like he's coming in for landing, but he's actually dancing. :)
The cranes here in the fields were doing this weird thing where they'd pick pieces of stalk off the ground and toss them into the air. I had no idea what they were up to, though Josh had a hunch that maybe it was part of their dance. Sure enough, when we asked one of the conservatory employees, it turned out that it was part of their socializing, and that we were very, very lucky to have seen it.
Here's a parting shot of Puffy Pufferton, the coolest Eastern Meadowlark ever. "Hi, I'm Puffy Pufferton, and when people are looking, I like to say "tweedle-dee-deet!"
I'm still digging through stuff, so I should have some more photos to post tomorrow. :)