Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Sandhill Cranes and Sycamore Slough

I have to say that today's paddle ranks as one of the best paddles ever! The temperature was 72 degrees when we launched at 1:30 from Tower Park and high tide was predicted for 2:38. We paddled with the current to Westgate landing where we hung out for awhile and watched at least a dozen Night Herons take flight from the trees. One Night Heron was very vocal as a hawk circled close to their tree. We continued on towards Sycamore slough and didn't encounter any other boats along the way.

We arrived at the entrance to Sycamore Slough around 2:30 and paddled approximately 2 miles when we spotted our first Sandhill Crane sitting on the levy by himself. As we watched him, more flocks flew noisily above us and appeared to land nearby which I believed to be Woodbridge Ecological Reserve. We spotted a couple more hawks and a White Heron while we rested in the Tule. We decided to head home around 3:15 and as we paddled west we spotted what had to be thousands of Sandhill Cranes heading toward us. We stopped paddling and gazed at the amazing sight before us. As far as the eye could see, the sky was dotted with cranes flying in. I shot some video from my phone which isn't very good quality but you can hear the cranes as they fly overhead.

An absolutely amazing day with great company! If you get the chance to paddle this area do it now before the Sandhill Cranes leave in January!

All the little black dots are Sandhill Cranes!

Crane drying his wings maybe?
Beautiful end to a wonderful day!

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