The last few days (11/20-29) has witnessed an amazing spectacle: a migratory flock of 24+ Sandhill Cranes (Grus canadensis) observed in multiple states by multiple observers. This is one of the largest flocks of that species ever recorded in New England and the Mid-Atlantic. I was fortunate to have witnessed the flock as they passed through Philadelphia, PA, on November 29, after which I posted the following to the DVOC facebook page:
This morning at 10:15, a flock of ~24 SANDHILL CRANES (!!!!) flew over East Park reservoir and turned west, flying west along the Schuylkill. I was at Sedgely Woods, near the old Cliffs estate. The flock flew directly over my head in a chevron shape, calling loudly as they passed. I had some friends who were on the other side of the forest who also saw the cranes, and celebrated with me when we met back up. The birds were about 10-15m above our heads when they passed over, and then slowly gained altitude as they flew upriver.
Steve Mirick from Bradford, MA, has been compiling the various observations and has produced a map. Thanks Steve! More to come on this spectacle as (hopefully) more observations come in.