Our Joliet Red headed woodpeckers have gone.....early, I thought, but today came my reward. I went to the Jasper Pulaski area (where we see the migrating Sandhill Cranes each late fall) on a personal errand. Was I surprised to see about 6 Red headed Woodpeckers, in the visitors' area!!! They were busy, seemingly gathering pieces of acorn nuts(which were abundant) and stuffing them into cracks in dead trees! This was a perfect habitat for them - perfect cover, abundant food, many snags and bare dead trees to peck holes into......! And they were very chatty!!
Another sighting - I saw about 50 Sandhill Cranes out in the marshy plain, in small groups, mostly eating. Some were flying; I didn't really observe the "dancing" they do, only jumping up if another bird landed too close. Was a joyful surprise, as I really did not expect to see ANY cranes now. There were American Goldfinches, Common Crows, and blue jays also present.