November 6, 2015: Finally after a long long long wait, the Black-necked Cranes arrived in Gangteng-Phobji valley in Wangduephodrang, its largest non-breeding habitat in Bhutan.
A total of thirteen Black-necked Cranes flew in today. Three cranes (including a juvenile) were spotted flying into the valley at 1.23 PM. At 1.40 PM another seven cranes flew in. The last group for the day arrived at 2.30 PM including a juvenile.
The weather is reported to be partly cloudy (40 %) with sunshine and usual afternoon winds. Compared to recent past winters, this year the cranes are late. In 2011-12 winter as well, the first group of crane arrived during the same time (i.e on 7 November).
The arrival dates are quite usual, though it creates mixed feelings for the locals as well as the crane lovers. In 2014-15 winter, first group of five cranes arrived on 31st October and in 2013-14 winter first group of two cranes arrived on 22nd October.
It is very appropriate that the Cranes have finally come and the 17th Black-necked Crane Festival scheduled for 11th November 2015 will indeed celebrate the arrival of the heavenly bird.