On my third trip to Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge, I finally was able to see a rare Whooping Crane. We actually got to see three. One was at the observation building at the refuge (Alabama Birding site #16) and put on a show splashing around and and flying from one side of the slough to the other.
During the last count there was over 30,000 sandhills, a little over twenty whooping cranes. In addition to a lot of sandhills, we also saw a lot of American Wigeon, Mallards, a few Ring Neck and Northern Shover ducks and some geese. A harrier hawk hovered around the building so close I had trouble focusing on it with my 400mm lens with a 1.4 extender.
On the way home, we stopped at Mallard Fox WMA (Alabama Birding site #1) and saw a couple of Whooping cranes and a few Great Blue herons.
Please check out my GRIT magazine blog post: