Thank your joining us for the December 21st outing to celebrate Winter Solstice and view the magic Sandhill Cranes (and swans, geese, ducks, and maybe an owl or two). As an added bonus to our annual trek with Kathie Kinzie and Pam LoPinto, we have reserved a limited number of spots for a special docent-led Sandhill Crane tour to an area that is not open to the public. The tours sell out quickly but we managed to secure slots.
Carpool information: To arrange for carpooling in advance, please share information here:
• What we'll do
Caravan in the Lodi area to look for Sandhill Cranes, swans, geese, ducks, and other fine feathered friends! No birding experience needed; just come and enjoy the group and the scenery. We'll caravan to prime locations including Consumnes River Preserve and Woodbridge Ecological Reserve. One highlight of the day will be the magnificent "fly-in" at dusk, where we will be guided by CA Department of Fish and Wildlife staff to an area not open to the public where the Sandhill Cranes fly in to roost.
• What to bring
Bring lunch and snacks, warm clothes, thermos with hot beverage, binoculars if you have them, chair if you like to sit.
• Important to know and where to be, when.
No dogs. We will not be hiking; this is a drive, get out and look at cool birds, get back in your car, and drive outing. Meet to carpool at Rockridge BART at 11:00 AM or at the fruit stand at the intersection of Highways 12 and 160 at 12:30.
Or if you just want to experience the fly in, meet at the South Site for the docent tour at 3:20. Directions follow below. Please let us know if you are only attending the fly in so we don't wait at the fruit stand!
We must be here at 3:20pm:
You will need a California Land Pass to access the restricted area ($6 per person). The trip leaders have secured the Land Passes.
The Crane Tours sell out. Please do not sign up then fail to show up, you will have deprived someone of a very unique opportunity.
Please see below for information regarding the docent led portion of the Sandhill Crane tour.
Sandhill Crane Wetland Tour at the Woodbridge Ecological Reserve (a.k.a. Isenberg Sandhill Crane Reserve)
CDFW invites you to come out on a tour, in Lodi, during the “Season of the Sandhill Crane." The season begins with the arrival of the sandhill cranes into the Delta and Central Valley in about late September, where they will spend the fall and winter months. Tours consist of viewing sandhill cranes and other unique wintering waterfowl, hearing a presentation on sandhill cranes and their Reserve habitat, and viewing the cranes' impressive, nightly behaviors at a location that is only open to the public during these special tours.
CA Dept of Wildlife Description
Tours meet 90 minutes before sunset at the South Site where docent guides meet attendees and give a presentation. Tours involve very little walking so you may want to bring a camp chair if you would like to sit and view the birds. It is recommended that you dress warmly, especially during the winter months as it can be damp and chilly. It is suggested that you bring binoculars and/or spotting scopes for up-close viewing but, you can easily enjoy the cranes with unaided eyes and ears. You may want to bring a light snack and water for your tour.
Portable toilets are on site. The one at North is ADA compliant.