Close Encounter of the Flying Kind

One thing you have to know about my friend Nigel is that he loves to take photos of birds. He always wants to get out and photograph them. There is a little obsession about getting “that shot” of the Sandhill Crane. Problem is the buggers are always out of lens range and usually hanging out on private property so we can never get close enough. Today that was about to change. After driving to the secret spot (I can’t remember where we went) we parked and scoured the area for the elusive bird. After giving up and deciding to check out another area a crane decided to fly straight for us and land in the field not 10 feet from the car.

OMG! I couldn’t believe this was happening. 

Snack Time

Snack Time

After letting him/her get used to the car I slowly got out and proceeded to set up my tripod and take lots of photos before it decided to leave. Surprisingly it didn’t care that we were there at all and we had no issues getting a little trigger happy. 

Sandhill Crane

Sandhill Crane

It was amazing luck to have this bird grace us with its presence. In the dozens of times we’ve tried to photograph the Sandhill Crane this was the crowning moment. This may not happen again, or it might, but I’m so glad to have had the chance to be so close to it.

 

Birds of a Feather…

Nigel and I headed out today in search of Sandhill Cranes. We¬†stopped at a roadside marsh were previously sandhill cranes were spotted nesting. As we wandered the area in search of them we came across a Killdeer. This little bird tried hard to distract us by playing wounded – something it’s known to do when a nest is nearby.

Killdeer

Killdeer

We didn’t want to stress it out so we hopped back in the car and drove to Luther Marsh where both of us had encountered the sandhill cranes before. And lo and behold we found two pair wandering the fields just outside the park.

Sandhill Crane

Sandhill Crane

Of course they were both too far away to get a great shot and they can blend so well into the landscape making them hard to find through the viewfinder. It didn’t look like either pair was going to get any closer so we packed it up for the day.