Last weekend we went to see the winter feeding grounds of the Sandhill Crane. The Cranes gather in huge numbers at Whitewater Draw, about two hours southeast of Tucson. For much of the winter there are 20000 to 30000 Cranes in residence. They spend the night in the shallow lakes and mud flats and leave each morning at sunrise to feed on the grasslands to the north. Every morning about 1030 AM they return. From 1030 to about 1230 they arrive in waves and congregate in huge groups. Occasionally a large group will take off en masse, with many thousands of birds taking to the air simultaneously. For anyone in Arizona in the winter, it's a trip worth taking. It's a natural display of grandeur that is rare to see in today's world. I have been on a sort of high for the past 24 hours, in a weird, neolithic sense.
I was taking photos of the birds but soon realized that video was going to work best for capturing some of the feel of the birds arriving after their morning feeding. I shot the all the video handheld, and was so flabbergasted by what I was seeing that I lost quite a few good shots and had to put the camera down. Still, it came out OK. It would have been difficult not to get some good footage.