Sunday trumpets

I finally attended one of the state Department of Fish and Wildlife’s sandhill crane tours at the Isenberg Crane Reserve west of Lodi.

Wave after wave of birds flew in at dusk. It was a spectacular sight, of course, but it’s the noise I’ll remember most.

Just a reminder, the free tours are offered on Saturday and Sunday the first three weekends of each month, through February. It’s not too late to sign up this year, but hurry — reservations are accepted up to six weeks in advance and the tours fill up quickly. All the details are here.

You can always show up the day of the tour and hope that there’s a no-show. Several folks who were on a wait list yesterday were able to participate.

Tours start at the reserve’s south property, but then you carpool to the north wetland which is not normally open to the public. There’s a little visitor center and a viewing area with benches and a covered roof, just in case it ever rains again in California.

And if you’re not a serious birder with high-tech gear, don’t worry. Organizers provided a couple of scopes giving folks a great view of the cranes after they splashed down in the wetlands several hundred yards away.

Check it out. You won’t be sorry.

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  • Blog Author

    Alex Breitler

    A native of Benicia, he lives in Stockton with his wife, Ann, who forces him to go backpacking in the Sierra Nevada or Trinity Alps at every opportunity. He has been writing mostly about natural resources since 2003, first in Redding and now in ... Read Full
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