Illuminated - Glasgow Barren County 2016 - Page 15

dleton’s farm near Munfordville. “Our place is on the river up there, so we see the cranes coming back and forth,” he said. Middleton brought his family to hear Tamminga speak about the birds this year during the state parks’ Nature Watch Weekend. “I wanted them to come down here and see the cranes and kind of get introduced to them,” he said. “They’ve seen them but they didn’t know what they were. They thought they were geese.” Rajiv and Anita Menon, and their 13-year-old son, Ashwin, also came to hear Tamminga speak. “We wanted to learn more about the sandhill cranes,” Anita Menon of Independence said. “We had never seen anything where a migration is happening, so we actually wanted to be a part of that.” Ashwin Menon is home-schooled and is studying the natural sciences. “One of the things he is studying is the different kinds of birds,” Anita Menon said. “We thought here is an opportunity to actually see something.” Hearing Tamminga speak about the birds is just one aspect of the state park’s Nature Watch Weekends. Those who choose to participate in the weekends, also get to take a tour of the area around Barren River Lake, looking for possible sightings of the Greater Sandhill Cranes. Logan Clark, recreation program supervisor for Barren River Lake State Resort Park, reported having 1,076 participants during the state park’s Nature Watch Weekends. “I know the first weekend we saw about 3,000 birds,” Clark said. Most of the birds spotted by those on the tours were seen along Tobacco Road and at the Beaver Creek Campground. Landowners invited the tour groups to come on their farms to get a closer look at the birds, he said. Linda Craiger of Glasgow has been assisting with the Nature Watch Weekends at Barren River Lake State Park for several years, and is an avid birdwatcher. “I have been bird watching for over 30 years, and it’s just an opportunity to get outside and interact with nature,” she said. She has taken a couple of excursions to the lake to purposefully look for Greater Sandhill Cranes. “I think they are an incredible bird when you think about them going in their migration all the way north to Michigan and coming back every year virtually to the same place,” she said. “I think we are extremely blessed to have them in Barren County, because we haven’t had them always.” It is legal to hunt Greater Sandhill Cranes. Hunting season starts around the second week of December and runs for about 30 days. The birds have been dubbed the “ribeye of the sky,” because they are so lean, Tamminga said. The hunting season for Greater Sandhill Cranes opened only five years ago, after the Greater Sandhill Crane population had been protected for many decades. “Before we had hunting season I could drive down the road and get out of my car and it didn’t bother them,” Craiger said. Two places she goes to view the birds in their natural habitat are the Narrows Boat Ramp on Barren River Lake and in the community of Merry Oaks near the Barren/Warren County line. “When they are coming off the roost, Beaver Creek Boat Ramp is the best place to find them for me because that is a public place,” Craiger said. The Greater Sandhill Cranes typically begin flying back north by March 1, Tamminga said. F GOLF Glasgow Golf and Country Club The Glasgow Golf and Country Club features an 18-hole golf course featuring signature greens, tree-lined fairwa