Photograph of the day: Two Sandhill Cranes in Dawn Flight. California Central Valley. December 26, 2016. © Copyright 2016 G Dan Mitchell – all rights reserved.
A pair of lesser sandhill cranes flies toward the rising sun
The first birds that attracted my attention when I began to seriously photograph them in California’s Central Valley were not sandhill cranes, but rather geese. A series of coincidences led me to (finally!) “discover” the great winter bird migration, something I should have known about much earlier, having lived in this state for nearly my entire life. I recall one winter drive up the Valley perhaps 15 years ago when I first saw and was amazed by flocks of geese in dusk light above the Sacramento Valley.
Once I started photographing these birds I soon discovered that there’s a lot more going on than those astonishing huge flocks of geese — many other birds, all of them with different behavior patterns and attractions. It did not take long to discover sandhill cranes...