We went to Grand Island to attend the horse races. My mother, who works for AYUSA with Mikael, sponsored a day at the races for the exchange students and their host families. After the races were over, we ate down the street at TOMMY’S 24 hour cafe. They told us the place to see the cranes at sunset was Wood River (or the Wood River exit?). We drove out to Wood River, getting further from the Platte River with each mile. We drove south to the interstate and found the Nature Conservancy house, and thought that was a good sign.
Two miles down the road, we finally saw some grazing cranes. I took pictures of them in the golden light, but we should have brought Tyrone’s good camera. Mikael snapped a few pictures with his disposable camera, and I’m sure they turned out less grainy.
Closer to sunset, we drove by the Platte River bridge again. There are very many no parking and no trespassing signs around the river (understandably). We found a place in the tall grasses next to the bridge and listened and watched all of the birds fly over, hoping they’d land in a massive avian tornado. Sometimes two great flying-v formations of birds would mix. Sometimes they would separate out, but one time, they converged and continued to fly down river.
When it was almost too dark, a great wall of birds flew up, sounding like a distant soccer stadium. With the light fading, I only saw about 30 birds land in the middle of the river. If you are ever in Nebraska in March, you must go see the cranes!