Springtime has certainly arrived into the Karoo, even though there are still some cold mornings, the days have warmed up and the Karoo is also full of flowers!
Roost sites have been difficult to monitor during the winter months, as the Blue Cranes did not use their ‘normal’ roost sites (where they have been seen for most winters in the past). The roost sites of Blue Cranes are shallow dams found all over and they share these roost sites with many other birds such as geese and ducks. A possible reason for this could be explained by the good rains that fell in the summer. It can therefore be assumed that Blue Cranes have been roosting in dams closer to the areas that they use for feeding. One example of a roost site is situated between Middelburg and Steynsburg in the Eastern Cape and in winter had no Blue Cranes roosting in it, but it was visited again in September and 164 Blue Cranes were counted there.
Many Blue Crane pairs are back in their territories (earlier than most of the other years that I have been in the Karoo). There is plenty of food in the Karoo and with the rain that was received in summer, it can be explained. There has been no sign of breeding yet and flocks can still be seen, but they are smaller in number and are utilising a variety of habitats.