A Birding We Did Go

 

birds of Lodi 4

 

While still waiting for some final parts for our Van,  we decided to take a little bird watching expedition.

We drove over to Lodi, to the Isenberg Crane Reserve, in the central valley of California, in search of our friends the Sandhill Cranes.

 

birds of Lodi 5

 

We had encountered these beautiful birds across the northwest this past summer on our travels, then found them again in New Mexico in the fall as they began migrating south for the winter.

 

Sandhill Cranes

 

Sandhill Cranes are really fun to watch. They have a very happy almost laughing cry that echoes throughout the fields and skies. They are extremely vocal, making them easy to at least hear, if not see. They fly overhead in huge numbers at a time, in graceful flight, as they come and go to bodies of water.

At sunset they all come into a shallow body of water where they  spend the night in large numbers – for safety away from the lands edge and predators.

At sunrise they all take off and scatter, spending their days in grasslands such as these or in farmers fields, while feeding and socializing.

Soon they will start their courtship rituals, which involve dancing, flapping, and jumping around to entice a mate for long lasting relationships.

Although we came for the Sandhills, we also saw many other wading birds, such as these beautiful Snowy Egrets.

 

birds of Lodi 8

 

birds of Lodi 7

 

And their shyer cousin, the Green Heron, caught with his crest raised! These herons are almost always hidden in the tangles they are so perfectly camouflaged for, so seeing him and his raised crest was a great treat!

 

birds of Lodi 9

 

There were diving birds, such as this common American Coot, who I learned is actually more closely related to the Sandhill Crane than it is to a duck.

 

birds of Lodi 10

 

A not too shy Northern Mockingbird with it’s ever cheerful personality spent the afternoon with us, while we ate our lunch.

 

enlarged mockingbird

 

And a few standbys such as this cute shot of an American Robin, always close at hand.

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enlarged robin

 

The thing with watching birds…is that you also  find yourself getting to see some nice sunrises and sunsets too! A nice little bonus!

 

birds of Lodi 6

 

Unfortunately, Lodi, didn’t have much to offer in the camping department.

So back to Santa Cruz we headed, spending a day in Monterey in between. A nice respite, while waiting and waiting for parts.

 

❧ 

 

 

 

 

2 thoughts on “A Birding We Did Go”

  1. Thank you. If you ever get the chance, try to get down to Bosque del Apache in New Mexico. There are around 17,000 Sandhill Cranes that spend their winters there. But do wear a hat during flyover 🙂

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