Posts tagged “north dakota

Sweet Briar Lake, North Dakota

Yes, you can hear the trucks in the background from I-94 but that is the only negative thing about this wonderful place.

Driving across country last summer, my husband and I were always on the lookout for nice, clean, free campgrounds.  We found a handful that we remember with fondness and this one tops the list.

Sweet Briar Lake was, I think, create by a dam, and it appears to be a good fishing spot.  But if you care about birds, this place is a bonanza.  From just our little spot overlooking the lake we watched white pelicans, double-crested cormorants and canada geese swim around and generally busy themselves, and heard red-winged blackbirds make their lovely background music.  Most likely a walk around the lake would have resulted in seeing more species but we were more than thrilled to just stay put and enjoy this peaceful display.

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Reflections on the Sandhill Crane

The Sandhill Crane has a lot of personality.  From their rattling call to their long legs and red banded eyes, you can’t mistake one.  Especially given it’s statuesque 4 foot height… good thing they don’t want to get too close to us because they would probably be quite intimidating!

The one on the left popped up at a pond my husband and I like to visit near our house.  In May, full of mosquitoes, but an unexpected sweet birding spot.  This bird wanted us to remove ourselves quickly.  I presume it was spreading its wings in an attempt to make itself look bigger and more menacing.  It was having a private moment, who are we to interrupt!?  So we snapped a couple shots and skedaddled.  (Although I don’t know that this would be a safe place to make a nest because of neighborhood dogs or other wandering animals like foxes.)

As you can see, they have a lot of color variation, in fact their rust and gray blend is quite striking, having an almost metallic glint to it.

The photos on the right are from Creamer’s Field, an awesome place in Fairbanks to see migrating cranes, geese, and ducks.  (I’ll do a post on it in the future.)  The pair on the right must be a parent and offspring, since the one hasn’t attained adult coloring of gray and red face.  If you want to see a short video of this pair click here, but if you do, keep an eye peeled for the Canada Geese in the background waddling through the grass.

The splendid artwork on the left was found driving through North Dakota or thereabouts, and if I remember right they were celebrating a crane festival.  Apparently, I’m not the only one who finds Sandhill Cranes to be extraordinary creatures!       —————————

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