I must be setting my expectations a little too high when it comes to the Sand Hill Crane. After not being able to photograph them very well at the Woodbridge Ecological Reserve, yesterday I went to the Consumes River Preserve hoping to capture some images of the gray creatures.
When I read that there was a Visitor’s Center at Consumes, I was excited. I go there and be guided as to where the best viewing spot was. The Visitor’s Center consisted of two small billboard type signs and a pit toilet! Fortunately, there were bird watchers who helped guide me to where I could see the cranes.
Also, when I left home, the sun had come out and all was calm. I expected to have a great morning, relaxing and capturing the cranes with my camera. By the time I drove 30 minutes to the Preserve, the wind had picked up and was wreaking havoc in the marshes. Small birds were having a difficult time feeding, and even the large hawks were having trouble flying. The wind was harsh and cold. No one was hanging around, sitting and watching the wildlife.
So much for my expectations! It was windy, cold and the wildlife and my camera were struggling. It was difficult to focus as the camera kept correcting for the constantly moving marshland. I was able to capture images of the birds in flight, and have some of those shots to show you.
As you could guess, I didn’t stay very long. But, I did get some images of the cranes in flight and experienced the wetlands in not so friendly conditions. The ducks were huddled against little islands in the water, geese were staying on top of the islands and only large turkey vultures, geese and Sandhills were taking to flight.
Did I set my expectations too high? I guess I’ve learned that you can’t assume what nature will deliver. I might try again before the Sandhill Cranes leave the area.