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Sandhill Cranes in Central CA

  
 
dclark
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Sandhill Cranes in Central CA


Any advice on the best places to photograph Sandhill Cranes in Central California?

Comments on comparison with Bosque del Apache and Bernardo in NM?




Feb 12, 2024 at 12:58 AM
gdanmitchell
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Sandhill Cranes in Central CA


The obvious place is the popular Woodbridge Road reserve off of I5 between Sacramento and Stockton. The region around that is worth exploring.


Feb 12, 2024 at 12:30 PM
Fred Amico
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Sandhill Cranes in Central CA


Another location might be the Merced National Wildlife Refuge, but I would call first as the number arriving there has declined the past few years. If you decide to visit there then also check out San Luis NWR (its sister site), where you can find Tule elk, deer, coyotes, etc., as well as many different types of water birds.


Feb 12, 2024 at 03:42 PM
dclark
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Sandhill Cranes in Central CA


Thanks @gdanmitchell and @Fred Amico. There are lots of sites that show up on a Google search and there are several good web sites describing them. Having read several I was not clear about where are people's "favorites". Some of the sites seem to have some restrictions on entry and I did not find any that specifically mention photography, although some mention bird watching.

The Merced and San Luis sites are a shorter drive for me, but Woodbridge is not a lot further. I also notice the Los Banos Waterfowl Management Area too. I may need to try them all. I am not sure my schedule is going to permit that before the cranes all migrate away.

I am also interested in any comparison with Bosque and Bernardo in NM. I was there a few weeks ago and got lots of good shots, but that is a long drive, so no chance I will do that again this year.

I did not mention it in my post, but if anyone has suggestions for a well located RV park that would be helpful.

Dave



Feb 12, 2024 at 04:31 PM
BidinTime
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Sandhill Cranes in Central CA


I think you're too late this year.

The latest bird reports I've seen are that numbers are decreasing. And that's from people who don't have the requirements of photography - they just need to spot a bird, not get a decent picture.



Feb 12, 2024 at 04:49 PM
 


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dclark
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Sandhill Cranes in Central CA


Thanks @BidinTime . I was afraid that may be the case. Need to make plans for next year.

Dave



Feb 12, 2024 at 05:07 PM
gdanmitchell
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Sandhill Cranes in Central CA


Fred Amico wrote:
Another location might be the Merced National Wildlife Refuge, but I would call first as the number arriving there has declined the past few years. If you decide to visit there then also check out San Luis NWR (its sister site), where you can find Tule elk, deer, coyotes, etc., as well as many different types of water birds.


Was there today, and a few weeks back. Almost no cranes at all, and none within photography range. (I saw a few groups fly over, but that was it.) Not many geese either.

The theory is that due to recent rains the geese are not restricted to the refuges, so they are hanging out in more distant locations. I've seen evidence of that this season.

Nice foggy landscapes though...

Dan








Feb 12, 2024 at 09:11 PM
vbnut
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Sandhill Cranes in Central CA


BidinTime wrote:
I think you're too late this year.

The latest bird reports I've seen are that numbers are decreasing. And that's from people who don't have the requirements of photography - they just need to spot a bird, not get a decent picture.


What bird reports do you use for info on the Los Banos area? I would love to be able to check them before my next trip there from the coast, to avoid wasting a trip.



Feb 12, 2024 at 10:21 PM
BidinTime
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Sandhill Cranes in Central CA


I'm on some private listserves but check Audubon which incorporates eBird data.

The best way to become a good photographer is to research your subject first.



vbnut wrote:
What bird reports do you use for info on the Los Banos area? I would love to be able to check them before my next trip there from the coast, to avoid wasting a trip.




Feb 16, 2024 at 07:35 PM







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