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Archive for January 13th, 2011

The drive from Mill Valley to the Cosumnes Preserve had some interesting photo ops. I took a somewhat circuitous route and stumbled upon this interesting juxtaposition.

Old and new.

While I was setting up this shot, I noticed at least a dozen red-tailed hawks  flying overhead, and in the trees.

See the hawk in the tree?

Moments later.

 

 

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The Cosumnes River Preserve, located off I-5 between Sacramento and Stockton, comprises 46,000 acres along the Cosumnes River.  According to the Preserve web site, “It is the only remaining unregulated river on the western slope of the Sierra Nevada. In its lower reaches, it flows through one of the biologically richest regions in California’s Central Valley, before merging with the Mokelumne River to flow into the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and eventually the Pacific Ocean.”

So why did I plan to go the the Preserve in the middle of January?  Migratory birds – specifically the majestic Sand Hill Cranes.  Although much of the park was flooded, and walking trails closed, there were still many cranes to be found in the neighboring rice fields.  I arrived late in the afternoon when the birds fly back to the fields for the night. However the first bird I stopped for was hovering over the rice fields – and then it landed on a road-side tree.

White-tailed kite.

 

Once I arrived at the rice field, I was treated to quite a show!

 

A courting dance or territorial dispute?

Coming home to roost.

Into the sunset.

The following morning I once again rose early with plans to get back to the field to photograph the cranes as they were flying out for the day. However, the Tule fog once again interfered with my plans.

Tule fog strikes again...

...not so good for birds, but there were some ethereal landscapes.

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