I was at Reifel this morning helping out at the Sandhill Crane nesting area. The lone colt hatched a week ago today. It was overcast with a light drizzle and only one other photographer in addition to myself and another volunteer.
Initially they were keeping their distance,
… but when I came back later they were closer to the benches and a few other people were now present.
We were treated to some good opportunities for close up shots …
… of the colt interacting with and being fed by the adult Sandhill Cranes.
The colt also provided chances for solo portraits while ambling through the grass. So far, it appears healthy and to be doing well.
Another nice spring afternoon to be out volunteering at Reifel, just a lower number of visitors than I had expected. On the birding front it was fairly quiet according to those that did the morning walk. There was a Hermit Thrush just east of the parking lot, a pair of Hairy Woodpeckers and Yellow-rumped Warblers along the east dyke. I started off by heading down the east dyke trail. While I could see and hear them, none of the Yellow-rumped Warblers were cooperating for photos. I did not relocate the woodpeckers, but while at the northeast corner,
… watching some of the regulars this House Finch did pose nicely for me. I spoke to one young visitor who was eager to share the fact he had seen a Bittern by the tower so that was my next stop. While this area is a good spot to see them, I did not find it. I then made my way back towards the inner display ponds. When approaching them,
… I found the resident male Sandhill Crane napping adjacent to the trail. Of greater interest though,
… was the female arranging sticks on the nesting island in the pond. While they have been hanging around the area of late, today was the first time to see them active and preparing the nesting area they have used the last few years. In past years the chick(s) have usually hatched around the May long weekend, give or take a day or two. One more regular while spending time at the inner ponds,