Tower Park about 45 minutes prior to high tide. The temperature was 62 and a light breeze was blowing from the northwest. You can view a previous post and get more info about Tower Park here. Our goal was to paddle 3 miles north on the south fork of the Mokelumne River to Sycamore Slough and see what we could find.
Not long after we launched, we reached Westgate Landing and paddled slowly past the tule and incredible amounts of water hyacinth. We spotted a Great Blue Heron resting on the levy and shortly after that we heard the unmistakable sound of a flock of Sandhill Cranes. We looked to the sky and there were at least 200 cranes flying overhead! We continued to paddle when I noticed something moving just below the land side of the levy. I saw a couple of heads that from a distance reminded me of Ostriches. Soon another head popped up and another and another. It turns out that there were about 8 Sandhill Cranes checking Amanda and I out. We paddled on and another two flocks of cranes noisily passed overhead.
The river was quiet today as we only encountered two fishing boats the entire time we were on the water. We paddled almost 4 miles back to Tower Park with the current in 45 minutes. It was wonderful to see so many Sandhill Cranes back in the Delta. Make sure and paddle the Delta while they are here! They usually leave sometime in January. Delta Kayak Adventures offers many tours that will give you an opportunity to view these magnificent birds in their habitat.