An aerial census of the Aransas NWR and surrounding areas made
     10/29/98 revealed the presence of 7 adult and 0 young = 7 whooping
     cranes.  The flight was made in charter aircraft with Tom Stehn as
     observer.
    
     Recap of cranes observed: (7)
       Refuge   Lamar   San Jose   Matagorda  Welder  Other      Total
          5                2                                       7
    
     Remarks:  The first whooping cranes (2) were sighted October 28 by USFWS
     Biologist Jim Bredy.  This first arrival was nearly 2 weeks later than
     average. 
    
     The October 28th first sighting date is the third latest since records
     began in the 1950's, and the latest in the last 35 years. In the fall of
     1951, with only 31 total birds in the flock, the first cranes were
     documented present November 3.  No aerial counts were done in October that
     fall, but no cranes were seen on a ground count on October 27.  The first
     arrival in 1963 occurred October 29.  
   
     On today's flight. 7 were located, believed to be one adult pair
     (nest 11/98) and 5 subadults.  The whoopers may have arrived
     earlier in the week when northeast winds (Oct. 22-25) were present. 
    
     Tides, although still high, were much lower than the flooded
     conditions of last week.