Sandhill Cranes

For the past month I've been reading reports by birders in the area that there have been 6 Sandhill Cranes at Squaw Creek NWR.  I've looked for them at each visit in the past month, but I have been unsuccessful....until today!  We made a quick run through the route and happened to spot the small group lingering near the edge of a pool in the Mallard Marsh area of the refuge.  I was so excited (and a little relieved!)  I was beginning to doubt I would ever see these birds.  I took a few pictures of the Cranes just to prove that I saw them (and to remember the moment!).  Hopefully someday I will be close enough to take a picture hat shows more than a fuzzy Crane shape. :)

Another bird that had been reported at SCNWR was a Tundra swan.  Lucky for me I also saw this bird today!  There were three huddled together amongst several Trumpeter swans.  It was wonderful to see the yellow spot in front of the eye and see the size differences between the two swans.  At first I scanned the pool and thought all the swans were Trumpeter swans.  On a second look I realized the three swans were smaller than the others.  A closer inspection revealed the yellow spot near the eye above the bill.  Woo Hoo!  A Lifer! 

While looking at all the Trumpeter Swans we noticed one of them was banded.  It was a little tough to read the numbers on the red band, but I think it is 3K(?)6.  I'm sure it has been reported many times before, but I will go ahead and report it again.  I'm interested in finding out where it is from and where it has been. 

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