Here's a bit of a close-up of a couple of other early birds. I was amazed at how perfectly graceful they are when they fly - look at how their feet are just perfectly pointed and together - figure skaters should try to imitate cranes when they work on keeping their toes pointed while skating! These two flew very close by the observation deck we were on.
As the sun got closer to setting, more cranes began arriving. This image appealed to me because I think of the cranes landing as doing a bit of a dance, and the entire scene made me think of them putting on a dancing performance. I also loved how still the evening was, so that all of their movements were captured in the reflection of the water.
This shot was one of the last that I was able to capture, and I really love this one. The cranes are silhouetted against the sunset sky, just as the last rays of the sun lit the sky. I couldn't have asked for a more perfect pose of the cranes, except, of course, they weren't posing. They were just coming home for the night, in the most graceful way possible.