About 10:30 this morning, I was up at Lover’s Lane counting some geese when I saw 3 SANDHILL CRANES land in the pasture in front of me! I had just had the thought, “I could stay here all day and watch birds coming and going! It’s so much fun!” I looked up to see three large gray birds with long necks, and thought, “What the hell?” The cranes landed behind some cattle.
There are only two other records of Sandhill Crane for San Benito County. The first record is from Panoche Valley, January 3, 1981, seven Sandhill Cranes spotted by the late Steve Allison and the late Carolyn Fredericksen. The second record is from San Felipe Lake of a single individual, spotted by R. J. Adams, March 6, 2004. That individual stayed around until April 12, 2004.
Lover’s Lane can be reached from Shore Road or from Highway 152/Pacheco Pass. It is much safer to approach from Shore Road. The best place to view the cranes is just north of the entrance to the Dara Farms where there is a dirt pullout on the right side. You definitely need a scope. It was very hard to see the cranes amongst the cattle once they landed.
At this very same location, there are two CATTLE EGRETS found a while ago by Steve Rottenborn; and today- flock of CACKLING GEESE and a few GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GEESE. A group of Turkey Vultures were feeding on a dead calf in the nearer pasture.
Please park well off the road to be safe.
Good luck and Happy Trails,
Shearwater Journeys, Inc.
PO Box 190
Hollister, CA 95024
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