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Author Topic: Whooping Cranes, Operation Migration  (Read 14882 times)

shep

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Re: Whooping Cranes, Operation Migration
« Reply #225 on: December 24, 2015, 02:24:00 PM »


Jeff and Colleen followed Brookes instructions for securing the pen trailer


It Was a Dark & Stormy Night
Dec. 24, 2015
  Colleen Chase
On Monday, December 21st the local news stations started forecasting probable tornadic weather for Wednesday the 23rd.  Brooke came back from Florida to be here for the storm.  After hearing about the  risk of golf ball sized hail, we decided that boxing the birds and putting them in a safe secure building was the best thing to do. The airport has a shelter, and we put the birds in the pump house, which was perfect!  A concrete building right next to the RVs!

At 4:30 pm Brooke, Jeff and his wife Mary and I started boxing birds. By 5:30 they were tucked into their safe place.  We spent most of the night under a tornado watch, had a really strong thunderstorm and high winds.  We were lucky.  7 people died last night in Mississippi and Tennessee.

The birds did great after their dark and stormy night. I had sprinkled mealworms in every muddy spot in the pen, put out a watermelon and an eggplant. They foraged and explored with their usual curiosity.
Merry Christmas!
http://operationmigration.org/InTheField/2015/12/24/it-was-a-dark-stormy-night-2


OM photo

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baziunc

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Re: Whooping Cranes, Operation Migration
« Reply #226 on: December 24, 2015, 05:55:37 PM »

Horrible storms.  My prayers to all affected by them.

Glad to hear the cranes and the people who helped them are safe.

G'night, and Peace for Christmas.
"Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift, that is why it is called the present."   ― A.A. Milne

"Hope for the best and accept what comes." ― President Jimmy Carter, on Aug. 20, 2015, during press conference at The Carter Center

shep

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Re: Whooping Cranes, Operation Migration
« Reply #227 on: December 29, 2015, 12:57:18 PM »

December  29, 2015       day    Shepnotes
Double Springs in Winston County, Alabama
The crew has returned from the Christmas break, and let the cranes out for awhile.
Nice photos here
http://operationmigration.org/InTheField/2015/12/29/day-82-standing-down

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shep

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Re: Whooping Cranes, Operation Migration
« Reply #228 on: January 02, 2016, 12:00:39 PM »


OM photo


2016
January 2, 2016    Sataday    shepnotes
Double Springs in Winston County, Alabama
TRIED to head to Walker (Jasper) today, but cranes preferred wading!
7.23     BIRDS UP - but kept doubling back - a rodeo
Somewhere around 8 pilot gave up for today
The cranes preferred the pond to flying!

Took screenshots too

« Last Edit: January 02, 2016, 12:07:12 PM by shep »
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baziunc

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Re: Whooping Cranes, Operation Migration
« Reply #229 on: January 02, 2016, 12:23:26 PM »

shep, thanks for the report and pics.  Glad to know the young whoopers from this year are all safe and healthy.  hope they continue on their migration route soon though.  ;) :D
"Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift, that is why it is called the present."   ― A.A. Milne

"Hope for the best and accept what comes." ― President Jimmy Carter, on Aug. 20, 2015, during press conference at The Carter Center

shep

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Re: Whooping Cranes, Operation Migration
« Reply #230 on: January 03, 2016, 10:43:15 AM »

January 3, 2016    Sonday    shepnotes
They  finally left Double Springs, Alabama, SKIPPED Jasper and landed at Chilton Cty (Clanton), Alabama

7.20     BIRDS UP -  #2 was crated til the other 5 were off
9 am  we got the word they will SKIP the next stop and fly on to the following stop
We dont know if they are driving #2 in the crate or what they did
10.38 am  5 cranes safe on the ground

Usually I wouldnt save a pic this bad - but with almost NO signal for video - this was all I cud get


Lead Pilot report   (edit)
Jan. 3, 2016  Joe Duff, Chilton County, Alabama

Naughty #2 

January 2 was almost a perfect flying morning.  We launched (with birds) in smooth conditions and  flew with the birds for 40 minutes back and forth.  We were not helped by the fact the birds have been in the same location since before Christmas. The lake that developed at the end of our runway during the recent rain storms also distracted them.  They got to play in it once before and they wanted more of that.

And finally there is the ongoing competition for alpha bird between #1 and #2.
When the birds broke and headed back to the pen, I couldnt tell who instigated the mutiny.
When I caught up with them to retake to lead, it was #2 at the head of the pack.
In the end, the winds got too rough, so we called it quits.

Heroin #1

January 3 we a plan.  We crated #2
The colts didn?t appear fixated on the runway lake or the pen, still they turned back several times for a 31 minute rodeo and we were still in sight of the pen field.  Finally they collected on the wing, #1 was leading them. She is my favorite bird because she is the first to follow and the last to leave my wingtip. The other birds were content to follow her and we were finally on our way.

 ;D   YIPPEE SKIPPEE! 

We were ten miles from our next stop and at last the birds were soaring and looked strong enough to carry on so we made the decision to skip that site.

? Where was #2 ?

#2 was still back at the starting point. Brooke was to turn back once we were underway and then lead her south alone. But by the time I got the birds organized we were too far along for him to head back,  so she made the trip in a crate.
Click link for Joe's whole report in detail
http://operationmigration.org/InTheField/2016/01/03/day-87-lead-pilot-report

« Last Edit: January 04, 2016, 09:01:06 AM by shep »
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shep

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Re: Whooping Cranes, Operation Migration
« Reply #231 on: January 11, 2016, 08:06:33 AM »


Departing Chilton County, Alabama (Huw Lloyd photo)


January 11, 2016    Monday    shepnotes
Leaving Chilton Cty (Clanton), Alabama at last!
7.30 am  trike heads to pen
7.32  birds loosed
There is so MUCH water below, the birds want to go down to it.
Pilot Brooke had trouble getting them to follow him.
As we watched them in flight, I could see what Joe Duff has written in his articles taking place before my eyes.
See my January 3 post
Heroin #1  -  sticks to trike when others wander, then they return to trike
It aint easy bein a pilot!
Bird with the green band in lead - both #1 and #10 now have a green band
#1 is the Princess - the absolute LEADER
Birds landed at nest stop -  Hayneville in Lowndes Cty 
Pilots report will be here later
http://operationmigration.org/InTheField

Crane #11 dropped out at some point during the flight and was crated the remaining distance. Joe stayed with this young male bird until Richard van Heuvelen could get there to gather him up.
http://operationmigration.org/InTheField/2016/01/11/day-94-quick-update

Keith has a short youtube of the take off this morning:
http://youtu.be/x82u_rlHhB8?list=TL-e2HutorIYMxMTAxMjAxNg


:(  Sad note
:(  Marsha, Whooping crane #10 crosses Rainbow Bridge
January 1, 2016
   St Marks discovered the remains of Marsha, female Whooping crane #10-14 near the winter pen.
Called Marsha for her propensity to wander off into the marsh, she continued to occasionally wander away from the other cranes.  Her remains will be sent to the Lab in Madison, WI for necropsy.
http://operationmigration.org/InTheField/2016/01/04/sad-news-from-st-marks
« Last Edit: January 12, 2016, 03:59:32 AM by shep »
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baziunc

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Re: Whooping Cranes, Operation Migration
« Reply #232 on: January 11, 2016, 02:43:44 PM »

Sad to hear the news of the Whooper, 10-14, Marsha.  As bad as it is to lose any of these cranes for any reason, I hope they won't find any kind of contagious cause of death.  It is more of a worry when the birds spend time in larger flocks or groups of birds at their popular migratory grounds.

Glad to hear of the continuation of this year's Whoopers' first migration journey, and that they are all healthy.

Thanks for the updates and pics and links, Shep.
"Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift, that is why it is called the present."   ― A.A. Milne

"Hope for the best and accept what comes." ― President Jimmy Carter, on Aug. 20, 2015, during press conference at The Carter Center

shep

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Re: Whooping Cranes, Operation Migration
« Reply #233 on: January 12, 2016, 08:34:03 AM »

January 12, 2016    Toozday    shepnotes
Hayneville in Lowndes Cty, Alabama  temp 26
Joe took off with the colts - but no go - wind, and his radio didnt work

As Joe was removing the tarps from wings - to keep frost off,
the trike ran away from him - LOL!
Then he had trouble with his radio
As you see in pic below - the shadow of the cross on Joe's tarp

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baziunc

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Re: Whooping Cranes, Operation Migration
« Reply #234 on: January 12, 2016, 04:33:29 PM »

Yikes!  Glad the trike didn't run away or get damaged.  Small planes can become airborne easily without a pilot in the right wind conditions.  ;)
"Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift, that is why it is called the present."   ― A.A. Milne

"Hope for the best and accept what comes." ― President Jimmy Carter, on Aug. 20, 2015, during press conference at The Carter Center

shep

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Re: Whooping Cranes, Operation Migration
« Reply #235 on: January 13, 2016, 09:33:54 AM »

ALMOST HOME
January 13, 2016    Wenzday
   shepnotes
Hayneville in Lowndes Cty, Alabama  temp 26
Joe took off with the colts - but #2 was a problem so they crated her again,
and the other 5 birds flew to Troy in Pike county.
9.15 am  birds landed
Only 4 more stops to St Marks - and one might be skipt.

http://operationmigration.org/InTheField


Lead Pilot Report
Jan. 13, 2016  Joe Duff
This morning the surface air was dead calm and the birds followed like troopers for a while, but then #2-15 started her tricks.

#1 was soaring along and setting a fine example when #2 dropped on her and an aerial dog-fight ensued.
#2 took the others and peeled off and left me, #1 stayed with me.
That rodeo continued for 27 minutes. Then Brooke suggested landing back at the site to put #2 in the pen.

Once 2-15 was in the pen, I launched again, but the birds did not go. They stood there watching me.  Finally they launched on their own and Brooke picked them up and they followed in a perfect line. The absence of one bird made all the difference.
Brooke climbed to 1500 feet and picked up a slight tailwind.

Including the rodeo, the flight took 2 hours. The next site was an hour and 20 minutes away.
We will also box #2 next flight.
(I cut out a LOT!  Click link for details.  Joe musta been taking writing lessons from Brooke.)
http://operationmigration.org/InTheField/2016/01/13/day-96-lead-pilot-report
http://operationmigration.org/InTheField


I am so FWUSTWITTERPATED by this forum!!!   >:(
I couldnt get in - AGAIN!  9.30 am central time

I took 3 pics in Haynevile, there was a rodeo before they crated #2.
The monster blows an air horn to scare birds away from pen so they'll follow trike
Whooping crane colt #2-15 disrupting the flight formation. OM photo
« Last Edit: January 14, 2016, 04:27:08 AM by shep »
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baziunc

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Re: Whooping Cranes, Operation Migration
« Reply #236 on: January 13, 2016, 12:50:54 PM »

shep, glad the whoopers were able to fly another migration leg today, even though that wascally wascal #2 had to get their by crate.  :D

I am also having the same Forum issues today as so many reported having yesterday and that I also had yesterday... yes, very frustrating... Not making the communication connection with Forum before timeouts, or extremely s-l-o-o-o-w response, when trying to post or navigate between pages or threads or boards in Forum.  Oooh-la-la... no fun!   ::) ::) ::)
"Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift, that is why it is called the present."   ― A.A. Milne

"Hope for the best and accept what comes." ― President Jimmy Carter, on Aug. 20, 2015, during press conference at The Carter Center

shep

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Re: Whooping Cranes, Operation Migration
« Reply #237 on: January 14, 2016, 09:27:13 AM »

ALMOST HOME
January 14, 2016    Thurzday
   shepnotes
5 birds flew from Troy, Alabama  to Decatur Georgia in Clay County
7.20  birds up
9.23 am central time  (10.23 eastern)  On the ground in Clay County!

They crated #2

Next stop Leon, FLORIDA
That is the LAST STOP before St Marks
Will they be home Sonday?
Stay tuned - to  ...  as the cranes fly .....


Lead Pilot Report Jan. 14, 2016  Joe Duff
Location: Clay County, GEORGIA

To avoid the aerial warfare, we decided to crate #2-15 again this morning.

If things went smoothly, Brooke planned to turn around and attempt to launch with her alone, but that did not happen. By the time the birds settled in and we were sure they would follow, we were too far along and still not confident. Ten miles from the starting point we were still at 200 feet.

Luckily the surface air was calm so I could slow the aircraft to 33 mph, but the birds still fell behind a time or two. That does not include the four trips around the pen getting them on their way.

There are a number of helicopter related businesses in the Troy, Alabama area from a Sikorsky Service Center to University Aviation Training courses. Low flying rotorcraft are everywhere.

Five miles into the flight, a military Kiowa circled us to have a look and that was the only real time the birds broke and headed back. One wide sweeping turn and they joined my wingtip again.

When we took off, we were covering ground at 25 mph. But as we climbed, we gained back some of the speed we were losing to the headwind. We cruised along at 38 indicated (speed read from the airspeed indicator) and were making 31 (ground speed read from the GPS)

We eventually made it up to 1800 feet. But then we found a slight burble causing the wing to bounce and the birds to work harder following it. So we dropped back down to 1500 and smoother air.

Our flight was so slow that Jo arrived with number 2-15 in the box, even before the pen was assembled.
It took one hour and 47 minutes to cover 59 miles.
http://operationmigration.org/InTheField/2016/01/14/day-97-lead-pilot-report


January 15  Friday - no fly - rain

« Last Edit: January 15, 2016, 06:03:48 AM by shep »
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shep

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Re: Whooping Cranes, Operation Migration
« Reply #238 on: January 16, 2016, 02:26:48 PM »

Jawja
January 16, 2016    Sataday    shepnotes
Too foggy too fly
Cranes became flappy - I didnt get snips of the flapping




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shep

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Re: Whooping Cranes, Operation Migration
« Reply #239 on: January 19, 2016, 06:59:26 AM »

DELAY
January 19, 2016    Toozday
Decatur Georgia in Clay County
No flight til Sonday, pilot Joe Duff
   
Crew concerned about upcoming WCEP meetings.  Joe Duff, Heather, Jo-Anne, and Jeff and I attend these pivotal meetings.  So we won?t be flying until we are back Saturday. We?ll be ready to go again Sunday, January 24th.  The team felt that because we have worked so closely for so many years, we needed to be together at the end of what may very well be the last aircraft-led migration.
http://operationmigration.org/InTheField/2016/01/19/standing-down-till-sunday

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