These cranes resting on a harvested patch in northeastern Germany. In this region, the cranes stay for approximately 4 weeks in fall before heading to the south of France and Spain to spend the winter in those warmer areas.
This year we saw plenty of birds, but only few of them were adolescents. The last two years were hard for them because they need wetlands to find food and also for protecting their nests from predators like foxes. The two last years were very hot compared with the usual summers. The months of summer also lacked rain. And the last winter was also way too dry so that the reservoirs were not properly refilled before the next hot summer started.
This hot summer ended way earlier than the last one, although the temperatures were much higher. We cracked the 40°C mark. While the highest measured temperature in 2018 was 39°C (36°C where I live), we got 43°C this year where I live. In 2018 the fall started in about mid-November, while it started this year by the end of July to get back to our ‘normal’ summerly weather and even fall started early. Up to now, we have several wet weeks again. No hard rain, but much of spray-rain and drizzling. Showers every now and then. I really hope, this will be enough to refill the natural reservoirs.