Monday, March 12, 2012

Sandhill Crane at Middle Creek WMA

I have read reports of as many as five Sandhill Cranes being seen at Middle Creek WMA this year, but most sources only mention one bird. We sighted one on our first trip of  2012  on March 7th, but it walked out of sight over a hilltop before I could get the camera and tripod set up.

This changed yesterday when my daughter Amy and I went to Middle Creek early Sunday morning and found a Sandhill Crane feeding along the border between a corn field that had been plowed since last Wednesday morning and a grass field.

Sandhill Crane at Middle Creek
The conditions made it impossible to get the quality of photographs that I was hoping for as the distance was too far and the sun was not at the best angle.  As a result both of the photos shown today are cropped quite a bit and as a result there is not the fine detail that I would like. The photos were taken with the Canon 7D at ISO 200 and the Canon 500mm F4 lens.  I also took a few clips of video with the Canon T3i and the 100-400mm lens, which I hope to post in time.

Sandhill Crane: Photo Severely Cropped

This is not the first year that Sandhill Cranes have been seen at Middle Creek, but it is the first I had heard about it or seen them.  This experience causes me to ponder if this will continue to be a rare event or will the numbers increase each year until eventually there is a significant population of these birds in Pennsylvania.

Originally posted at Pennsylvania Wildlife Photographer by Willard Hill.


PaWingers said...

Still a great picture! Sometimes I think my wife gets tired of hearing my excuses, too far away, too dark, sun in the wrong place, wrong setting on camera, critter won't look the right way and the list goes on and on. Critters just aren't as cooperative as we sometimes wish but that adds to the fun. People look at perfect photos and think they should get a camera so they can take fantastic pictures, They don't realize the time and effort required to get the perfect pictures. It sure doesn't happen everytime we press the shutter. It sounds like you're really enjoying the migration. We sure are! Thanks for showing us this awesome bird.

V.L. Locey said...

What awesome shots, Willard!