Sandhill Crane sightings are extremely rare on the Mendonoma Coast

Mendocino Coast Audubon Society held their annual bird count on Saturday. A Sandhill Crane was spotted near Lighthouse Road, which is north of the tiny city of Point Arena. It was a great bird to add to their list as it is an extremely rare sighting here.

Two years ago a pair of these beautiful cranes appeared outside my house in Anchor Bay and they danced in the air as if just for me. No one else saw them that day and, as I'm not the most experienced birder, I don't think I would have been believed if I hadn't gotten these photos.

In the days to come birders confirmed my sighting as this pair stayed near the Garcia River flats for some weeks. You can see in my photos that the cranes were calling, though I don't remember hearing them. I think I was too excited with my sighting of a bird I had never seen before.

To hear their call, here's the link to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology: http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Sandhill_Crane/sounds

And so we start the first day of the new year, 2013. It will be fun and exciting to see what unfolds here on the beautiful Mendonoma Coast.

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