Readers’ wildlife photos

May 30, 2022 • 8:00 am

Today we have a short contribution from reader Joe Dickinson. Joe’s notes and IDs are indented, and you can enlarge his photos by clicking on them.

Don’t forget to send me wildlife photos. The tank is getting perilously low. The guidelines for sending photos can be found here.

Here are some photos from couple of recent short trips, one to the Cosumnes River Wildlife Preserve in the California Central Valley between Stockton and Sacramento (cranes and blackbirds) and the other from Sanctuary Beach, between Santa Cruz and Monterey (shore birds).

I’ll let a red-winged blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus) introduce the set since he is conveniently perched on a sign identifying the location.

The main attraction at the reserve is a population of Sandhill Cranes (Antigone canadensis).  Many bird lovers gather in the evening to watch the “fly-in” of cranes from where they have been feeding to where they roost for the night.  On the evening we were there, the fly-in was on the far side of the reserve (no roads), so we had to settle for some close up views of small groups.  Still nice.

The main players in the sandy beach community are the Long-Billed Curlew (Numenius americanis, largest, with long down curved beak); Whimbrel, Numenius phaeopus, smaller, down curved beak); Marbled Godwit (Limosa fedora, slightly upturned beak); and the Sanderling (Calidris ferruginea, in the words of my Sibley Guide, these are the “windup toys” seen chasing waves on sandy beaches.

8 thoughts on “Readers’ wildlife photos

  1. Greater White -fronted geese hanging out with the Sandhills. Lovely photos, thank you.
    Four years ago we drove to the Platt River in Nebraska and spent a week watching the sunrise and sunset goings and comings of Sandhill Cranes. During the day we watched them feeding in the turned up corn etc. fields. As many as 600,000 of these magnificent creatures pass through that part of the Central flyway on their way to their breedings grounds in Canada. Nothing in the world, even the Wildebeest migration, is as thrilling.
    Earlier this year we visited the Cosumnes area and there the Cranes had the company of thousands of Snow Geese,White-fronted geese, migrating Canada Geese and many other ducks and a hand full of White-faced Ibis. Again, wondrous.

    1. JC answered correctly above – White-Fronted Geese. I believe the name refers to the forehead, not the body.

  2. There are times when I think RW blackbirds are the most beautiful of all birds. Your photographs reminded me of that. And following such thoughts I take a look at another bird and decide no, that one is until I decide my goodness, birds! what lovely creatures, all of them.

    Thanks for the photographs.

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