Last Sunday morning I woke up at the crack of dawn to go see the sandhill cranes at Cosumnes River Preserve with a bunch of friends and bird watchers.
consulting the guide books
The area of the preserve that we visited is rented to farmers for corn in the summer, then flooded for the birds in the winter.
Jill works at the preserve, so we had access to most of it. But it wasn't hard to find the cranes, they make really loud noises, and they have a bright red mark on their head. We got to see some of them dancing, which was really cool.
Birds are cool, but there are just so many I can look at before I lose interest. But there were some hard-core birders there with their fancy binoculars and guide books, and it was good bird- and people-watching.
The cranes are stopping at the preserve on their migration, and there were "a million billion" of them there (to quote Jill). There were also many many many other types of birds there, and I asked one of the birders present to tell me what I was seeing at one point. He pointed at several birds, had me squint my eyes to follow his finger, and said "duck . . . duck . . . goose." I'm still laughing.