Rollins Savanna 4

Last of four parts…

To recap, we left the bird-viewing area and spotted some dickcissels (I think).

I could see from there a parking lot, and my spirits rose (did I mention it was hot?). I thought we were almost done, and happy that I made it.

Arrgh! It was a different parking entrance! We still had more than a mile to do, all in the sun! And we were coming up to a hill. Just great!

I put my head down and made my feet move on.

Over the top of the rise, we saw this pond (feature photo), and as we moved closer, we could see ducks on it. They looked mostly like mallards, but there were a few odd ones. Unfortunately, I still didn’t know how to use my manual focus, and the pictures all came out useless for identification purposes.

However, I didn’t really need pictures to identify what we saw next:

Sandhill Cranes!

Sandhill Cranes!

I was so happy to see them, and they stayed around long enough to get a lot of pictures (even though most were bad).

That's a big caterpillar (or worm) in its beak

That’s a big caterpillar (or worm) in its beak

That sighting was more than enough to get me moving again. Endorphins, maybe? Anyway, the distraction helped. We moved on to our starting point at a good clip. We came around a curve and saw something fly down into the wildflowers next to us. I couldn’t see it on the ground, but then it popped up onto some brush.

There he is, still yelling at us!

There he is, still yelling at us!  $

I didn’t know what a female bobolink looked like, so I assumed that’s what it was, not being as yellow as the others I’d seen. Then, as we were taking its picture, a male buzzed us, squawking to get our attention, flapping around in front of us from branch to branch. I thought maybe it was the male, protecting his female who was gathering food for a brood. Turns out that was mostly incorrect – possibly protecting a chick? or his territory?

Anyway, he made for some good shots, and most of those came out!

So that was the first time we went through Rollins Savanna. Learned some things on that hike!

I can’t wait to go back again after the snow melts!

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