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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Dancing Sand Cranes

This is a Florida Sandhill Crane. These magnificent birds are often seen strolling through golf courses, in open fields on the sides of the roads, and occasionally in yards. This one was visiting my church one Sunday morning. He and his lady were casually strolling through the open field by the parking area. I have never seen more than 2-4 at a time...usually the parents and colts (babies). That is until...



While driving home from Mt. Dora, I stopped at the ONLY place to get coffee between my sister's home and mine. (Can you imagine? Only 1 Starbucks on this 2 hour trek!!! I really needed COFFEE!) As I left the parking lot, I heard a very loud noise... I looked across the road to see a wetland area filled with Florida Sandhill Cranes. Today, in this pond nestled between a gas station and an apartment complex, I counted 65 cranes! (Rememer, I had never seen more than 4 together at a time.) These beautiful birds were reveling in the mist and obviously loving the change in weather. They gracefully walked through the shallow water, dipping their heads into the muck to find tasty tidbits. Occasionally, the males flapped their wings, as they jumped into the air and called out in their gravely voices (think of a trumpeting sound with a rolling Spanish "r". It's so cool...and LOUD!). Their "dance" was beautiful! I am not sure if it was a mating dance or a warning to "leave my girl alone".
(Click on the photo to enlarge it.) It was an incredible sight!







Not only were the Sandhill Cranes enjoying the pond, there were
25 Ibis (large white birds with deep black edging their feathers) huddled on the far bank, and numerous Mallard Ducks swimming in the deeper areas of the pond. Unfortunately, my camera could not capture what the eye could see...but if you click on the photos, you will get an idea of what was happening before me. It was an amazing sight!





Be sure to visit Barbara Jacksier for Waterside Wednesday and Susan for Outdoor Wednesday. There are always gorgeous photos to transport us away from our desks...


Keep your eyes open! You never know what you will see....
Jane

10 comments:

Maya said...

Such lovely and gracious looking birds!

fiberdoodles said...

So beautiful! We have nothing like that here - I miss the beach. Thank you for sharing.

erin said...

wow...what a wonderful site to behold! and you are absolutely correct..."you never know what you will see".

BaysideLife said...

It pays to never leave home without your camera or your hankering for coffee. What a lucky stop. The cranes are beautiful. I've never seen one here.

Thanks for your kind comments. We have friends that live in Clearwater and love going to visit them. It's such a pretty area. Aren't we lucky to share this beautiful Gulf Coast.

Mary said...

What wonderful photos. Thanks for sharing them with us. I hope you are having a wonderful Outdoor Wednesday.

A Grain of Salt said...

That must have been quite the sight!

Barbara Jacksier said...

Great shots. Wish I was there. I head to Los Angeles and the Ballona Wetlands preserve. I'm staying at The Inn at Playa Del Rey which overlooks the wetlands and stocks binoculars in every room!

Glenda/MidSouth said...

Great pictures - thanks for sharing with us.

jmac said...

Lovely site!! I can close my eyes and hear the sounds of their call...
and sorry about the music hall taking over your living room....just one more testament to the awe of being a good mom!!

Personalized Sketches and Sentiments said...

Oh my! I can imagine seeing all of those at one time! That is quite a number!

(and I have to say that I was laughing as I was reading...I love that you interjected your side comments, such as...(Can you imagine? Only 1 Starbucks on this 2 hour trek!!! I really needed COFFEE!) and...I am not sure if it was a mating dance or a warning to "leave my girl alone".

Blessings & Aloha!
Thank you for stopping by and your sweet comment! And I am especially excited to know that I was able to pass to you your first award (aka blog hug!) I am honored :o)