Yesterday, I posted that I remembered that I hadn't formatted my memory card in probably a year and that when I did, I lost some photos of a blue heron. I was pretty upset about doing something so stupid.
But, late yesterday afternoon, we heard the sandhill cranes coming in. We hadn't heard them or seen them recently so I didn't know if they were going to stick around or not.
We kept hearing them and I got the bino's out to look to the backside of the campground (which is about a mile back). I could see a few birds back there so I convinced Dan we should try to sneak up on them. We would drive part way and then walk the rest of the way...if it looked like it would be worth the effort.
I think it was worth the effort...
There had to have been AT LEAST 1000 sandhill cranes if not more. I couldn't get all of the birds in one photo, so you'll have to take my word for it.
When we got back to where I could start taking photos, they were mostly on the ground, at the end of the lake where Clark Creek comes into the reservoir. It was plenty noisy with them on the ground. Small flocks kept arriving and others would move aside to make more room.
I'd finally gotten all the photos I felt I needed and we started to quietly make our way back out. All of a sudden there was a huge clatter of sandhill cranes squaking and wings beating, it startled us. They pretty much all took off at the same time. We hoped it hadn't been us that scared them off; we'd been very quiet (although I had a hard time not squeeling with excitement).
We watched for at least 5 minutes while these birds took flight. How they kept from flying into each other, I do not know. And more important, how WE managed to not get sandhill crane poop on us is amazing too. We have never seen such a sight in our lives and you just cannot imagine the noise! I could hardly hear anything Dan was saying and visa versa.
When I came back and loaded the shots to my computer, I saw a man, a woman and a dog on the other shore a lot closer to the cranes than we were. So that must have been what spooked the birds.
It was a sight and an experience we won't forget.
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