[birding] Regarding Sandhill Cranes over west side of Willamette Valley ...

Joel Geier joel.geier at peak.org
Thu Oct 15 11:51:54 PDT 2015

Noticed the ongoing discussion on OBOL today. 

I've heard/seen Sandhill Cranes just once over our yard, now going on 20
fall seasons of residence in the Willamette Valley.

That was in our old yard which was just 100 yards or so north of the
Polk/Benton County line, on the east side of E.E. Wilson Wildlife Area. 

Here are my notes from that one sighting, a little over 15 years ago on
September 29, 2000:

        Lucky sighting while sitting on front steps of house, very
        overcast with a heavy clouds moving in.
        2 Sandhill Crane: pair flew over our yard under threatening
        skies at 4:50 PM, continued SSE into Benton County.
It was thrilling to see them fly in from the north over Soap Creek,
calling as they came. Also thrilling to watch them continue south,
despite that they went from being a "Class 5 county rarity" to just
"Class 3" as they passed into Benton County airspace. ;-)

Since then there have been a smattering of reports of single cranes in
the area where Berry Creek and Soap Creek converge, in southern Polk
County west of Hwy 99W, about one per five years. So I still entertain
hopes of seeing a crane or two over our current yard. 

Happy craning,

P.S. One tip mentioned for would-be crane-watchers at the Salem Audubon
Birders' Night on Tuesday (from Judy Brunkal if I remember right) was
that polarizing sunglasses can make it easier to spot them against the

Joel Geier
Camp Adair area north of Corvallis

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