Saturday, October 9, 2010

Sandhill Crane

 I had no intention of going birding today. It is time to clean up my house. Yesterday, I scoured the kitchen and today was to be the bathrooms. Well, it didn't work out that way. I checked the local bird listings and there was a Sandhill Crane in town. That's it! No cleaning!  I put together a "to do" list and headed out to run errands and of course, to dart by and see the crane.

 Never mind that the Sandhill Crane was way out of my usual route. I checked the spot where the bird was last seen and it wasn't there. That meant that I had to go in search of this very large bird. I checked one possible location and came upon a Hudsonian Godwit. I had to stay and photograph that. Then I checked the most likely spot and what should I see but a raptor snag a European Starling, right out of the air. I had to follow the raptor to try to get pictures, and I did. I have sent them to someone to confirm identification and I will post it soon.
Finally, things calmed down a bit and I went to the spot and waited. Right on cue, the Sandhill Crane walked up over the horizon. I had a good look with my binoculars and then started taking pictures. It was quite a distance, likely a 100 yards.  I had decided to sit in my car and wait for it to move closer to me. Things were going well, when out of the blue, a couple with their cameras appeared on the other side of the field. They moved closer and closer to the crane and as expected, it started to run.

It took several strides before it could finally lift off. As soon as it was off the ground, I was out of my car taking pictures. One thing is certain, this crane looks better standing than flying. It is so big and lumbering. It doesn't have the grace of the Great Egret that I posted this week.

Well, I have to give this up know and start the cleaning that I intended to do before I got so distracted.

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