Hooded Mergansers were displaying in the overgrown sloughs.
Among the dabblers was a Mallard X Northern Pintail hybrid, possibly (probably?) the same bird as seen last year.
We went around a bend along one of the inner trails, and met a trio of Sandhill Cranes. Sandhills are often there, at Reifel, but I usually see them out on the dyke trail.
"What do they eat?" my son asked. He was carrying one of the little paper bags of grain that are sold at the entrance.
"Um, fish, frogs, insects..." I said, backing up, trying to keep the lead one in focus.
"So they're carnivores."
"Um, I think they eat plant material too. Get back, they're getting too close."
"So they're omnivores." He's into categorizing. And then one leaned forward and jabbed the little paper bag. Grain spilled out and the sandhills moved in, scattering the mallards.
"They eat seeds, too!" said son.
"Back up," I said.
And still they came, their orange eyes aflame. "You better dump the grain," I said.
Son poured out the remaining grain, which the cranes rapidly attacked. We bade them farewell.