Sandhill Cranes, Rusty Blackbirds, Jan. 31, 2014

As January draws to a close, there was a bit of relief this afternoon from the frigid winter of 2014 as the temperature climbed above freezing, reaching the high 30s Fahrenheit. The current forecast for Sunday has 50 degrees as the daytime high temperature.

3 of the Sandhill Cranes of Franklin Township were viewed late this afternoon. This writer saw them at 3:30 p.m. and Julie Buechner observed them an hour later at the same location. That location is in the Raritan River. Take Randolph Road north to its terminus and turn right onto Weston Canal Road. At approximately half way between Randolph Road and Apgar Drive, the 3 cranes were on ice or some frozen earth at the edge of the river across from the canal. Trying to stop and look is impossible as Weston Canal Road is a very busy county road. The best you can do is drive slowly and look quickly unless you want to pull off at a nearby street and walk along Weston Canal Road (not recommended).

5 Rusty Blackbirds were joined by a flock of 30 Red-winged Blackbirds this afternoon at the end of Woodland Road, Great Swamp NWR.

The final results of Dave Harrison’s Southwest Morris Winter Bird count will be posted soon.

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2 Responses to Sandhill Cranes, Rusty Blackbirds, Jan. 31, 2014

  1. Theodore Chase says:

    Some ways west of Randolph Rd along Weston Canal Rd there is a small footbridge across the canal. If one could park safely along Weston Canal Rd – perhaps in front of a small cemetery a little further east – and get to this footbridge, one could walk along the towpath until opposite the cranes. One could perhaps park at the lockkeeper’s house a little further west and walk along the towpath – but I am told one will get a ticket if the park police find your car there. Ted Chase Franklin Twp

  2. Tina Pirro says:

    I was out that way on Jan 28th and saw them by the River. Then on Feb 8th I was out that way again and spotted a Bald Eagle on the ground by the river eating something. He was there a few hours later on my return trip

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