Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Last week we took an afternoon and evening to visit the Sacramento-San Joaquin delta town of Lodi to see sandhill cranes. These huge birds fly into central California from points north as far away as British Columbia to winter in cleared alfalfa fields and among the marshes.
The species is threatened by habitat loss. The California Department of Fish and Game manages a reserve of undisturbed wetland where they can be seen. More information here.
There are thought to be some 7000 of the birds in California in winter, most of them clustered in a few locations in the Delta.
Flights of cranes land for an evening in the marsh amid a cacophony of cries.
My camera isn't quite up to capturing distant wildlife at dusk, but these images convey the impression of their flight.
The marsh itself was quite dramatic in the fading light, despite being sandwiched between I-5 and Hwy. 99.