Free Sandhill Crane Viewing Tours a Success in 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 through January. This is such a popular event we will continue it again beginning this Fall, but with a few changes. The main change is that all tours will start at either Staten Island or Woodbridge Ecological Reserve. After a brief talk about crane biology, behavior and conservation status we will observe water fowl, ducks, guess, raptors, and what other wildlife is visible until sunset when, if we are lucky, the cranes should arrive to roost for the night. 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 other events require it, we will change the meeting place or time. Check back here to confirm there is no change.
FREE CRANE VIEWING TOURS: September 2019 through January 2020
Our crane season begins in September and typically runs through January. Check back here as we get closer for specific dates and times. 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.
The first two trips, Sept 28th and 29th, are tentative. The location and even if we do go will be determined about a week before and depend on what we find in the days before the 28th. Check with Mike, as above via email, to get the latest information. The cranes have started to arrive, but the numbers are low so we need to scout out the areas before we determine if and where the trips will be.
The 2019/2020 tour schedule is as follows. Select a date below to reserve your spot as tour spaces are limited.
(Detailed directions are listed below.)
- Saturday, September 28th, (location to be determined) 6:00PM
- Sunday, September 29th, (location to be determined) 6:00PM
- Saturday, October 26, Woodbridge, 5:00PM
- Sunday, October 27, Woodbridge, 5:00PM
- Saturday, November 23, Woodbridge, 3:45PM
- Sunday, November 24, Woodbridge, 3:45PM
- Saturday, December 28, Staten Island, 4:00PM
- Sunday, December 29, Staten Island, 4:00PM
- Saturday, January 25, Staten Island, 4:20PM
- Sunday, January 26, Staten Island, 4:20PM
Directions to the Woodbridge Ecological Reserve
The following directions apply only if we meet at Woodbridge.
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 (south) side of Woodbridge road. 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 here. (This “lands pass” requirement 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 (south) side of Woodbridge Road.
Directions to Staten Island
The following directions apply only if we meet at Staten.
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.
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.