Free Sandhill Crane Viewing Tours 2018-19
Once again we had a good season of free Sandhill Crane viewing tours last Fall and Winter. (Our tours are always free, but we appreciate donations.) We had over 200 guests this past season. It was a very successful tour season from September 2017 to January 2018. This is such a popular event we will continue it again beginning this Fall, but with a few changes. The main change is that we will start all tours on the outside deck of the Visitor Center of the Cosumnes River Preserve (13501 Franklin Blvd. Galt, CA 95632). After a brief talk about crane biology, behavior and conservation status we will drive to either the Woodbridge Ecological Reserve or Staten Island or do a short hike at the CRP. It will depend on where the cranes are. We scout the areas ahead of time to determine the best place to go for each tour. However, if the next Fall/Winter rains flood the Visitor Center parking lot or other events require it, we will change the meeting place. Check back here to confirm there is no change.
Our new crane season will begin Oct 27 and 28. See below for complete schedule. Dress for changeable weather; bring binoculars and scopes if you have them. Our tours usually end a few minutes after sunset. Once you arrive at the chosen viewing site no driving or hiking will be required. Sandhill Cranes will be the focus of our trips, but you may see other wintering birds as well. Ducks, swans and geese, as well as shorebirds, feed in the flooded fields and marshy areas of the Delta, and hawks patrol overhead. We begin with a brief presentation about Sandhill Crane behavior, biology and conservation status.
For directions either contact Mike at yogoombah[at]yahoo[dot]com or use the following directions.
Directions to the Woodbridge Ecological Reserve: The following directions apply only if we meet at Woodbridge. If we meet at the Visitor Center we will car caravan to Woodbridge via local roads and avoid the freeway. The Woodbridge GPS address is 38°09’44.2″N 121°24’52.1″W. For you Google mappers the street address is 11154 W. Woodbridge Rd. Lodi, CA 95242 From Sacramento / North, take Interstate 5 south to Peltier Road. At the bottom of the exit, turn left to Thornton Road where you will go right. Continue on Thornton until the stop sign at the corner of Woodbridge road. At this point Woodbridge Road goes under the I-5 freeway. Make a right hand turn and travel west for approximately 2 miles to the turnout and lookout point of the reserve on the left hand side of Woodbridge road. (Starting November 15, 2017 all visitors to DFW lands who do not have a fishing or hunting license will need to buy a Lands Pass. Information can be found at https://www.wildlife.ca.gov/licensing/lands-pass. This will only apply to our trips to the Woodbridge Ecological Reserve, not to Staten Island.)
From Stockton / South, take Interstate 5 north to Turner Road. At the bottom of the exit, turn right to Thornton Road where you will turn left. Continue on Thornton until the stop sign at the corner of Woodbridge Road. Make a left hand turn and travel west for approximately 2 miles to the turn out and lookout point of the reserve on the left hand side of Woodbridge Road.
Directions to Staten Island: The following directions apply only if we meet at Staten instead of the Visitor Center. If we meet at the Visitor Center, we will car caravan to Staten via local roads not the freeway. Take I-5 to the Thornton/Walnut Grove exit and proceed west towards Walnut Grove. Go about 3 1/2 miles where you will turn left (south) towards the big silo. The turn is just past a green sign that says, “Staten Island.” We will meet at the base of the silo.
The tour schedule is as follows:
October 27 and 28, 4:30 PM
November 24 & 25, 3:15 PM
December 22 & 23, 3:15 PM
January 26 & 27, 4:00 PM
Private and custom tours can be arranged with SOS Cranes for small groups of 10 or more people, or school classes. Contact us for more information. We can also provide crane tours for Spanish speakers or French speakers. For those of you who have read this far and can not wait to see the cranes again, we will have a special preview tour if you call Mike at 916-446-1392. This tour will occur on Sept 30 at 5:20PM, probably at Woodbridge. Since it is a bit early there is a chance we may not see many cranes.