Holy Cow, The Birds!

Trip Start Dec 24, 2010
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35
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Trip End Jun 01, 2011


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Flag of United States  , Arizona
Sunday, January 30, 2011

Not knowing exactly where to find the Sandhill Cranes, we set out with wanton abandon... as usual.  Just north of town, near the golf course, are two ponds which are the result of waste treatment.  There were a few waterfowl there, but the highlight was a Black-Crownde Night-Heron.  He was resting on a rock not far from shore.  We were carefully observing him, with Lynn outside the car and standing a bit on the road.  I did get a chance to get two photos of him, when an individual, to be named later, drove speedily by and scared him off.  I restrained my tongue, mostly, and let it go.  Would have been great to get a shot of him, the bird, flying away.  Alas, it was not to be.  The doves were also caught in that area.

In search of the cranes, we drove farther north to a highway leading to Kansas Settlement, an old time area about 10 miles from Hwy 191.  I noticed a pull-off where we found a trail set up by the Arizona State Parks where we took off.  The trail was an in and out one, about two miles, round trip.  After about fifteen minutes, we started hearing a random cry of the herons.  We continued on and the cries got louder and more frequent.  Finally the flocks started flying over us and landing at a lake about a half mile farther along.  When we got to the end of the road, man, I couldn't believe it.  There must have been thousands of sandhill cranes landing and taking off from the shore of this small lake.  Only the photos can show how numerous they were.  I also took a thirty second video which shows them and lets you hear how they sound.  It was one of the highlights of our trip.  We spent about twenty minutes there, in awe of the beauty of these magnificient birds... 
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