Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Craning for a better view....

It wasn't all hard work in the garden over the long weekend. I checked the local bird news thursday night and was rather surprised to see we had a rare visitor on island. When my alarm went at 7:00am on Friday I was in the car and driving the mile down the road to the reserve in question to search for the British Isles tallest bird Grus grus, the common crane. It wasn't visible where expected and just as I was giving up hope it took flight out of the reeds and, circled by a halo of mobbing gulls, performed a brief circuit before dropping down out of sight again. Now I was pleased to see it but this was a) a rubbish view and b) an unphotographable state of affairs. I had to try again later and when I did someone said "you looking for the crane mate? Its over there." So that was easy.

common crane

Much better views on the second look - complete with feral greylags for scale.

common crane4

It was rather windy which added tremendous depth and volume to those fluffy plumes.

common crane3

It even had a bit of a feed. Check out the yellow soles to its feet - reminded me of a snowy egret. Just after this someone else arrived and told me about a weird gull nearby. Whilst we were establishing what this was (by which I mean other people were discussing what it was in depth whilst I looked at it and tried to learn - I don't really do gull id when it gets complicated!), the gulls went up and we had a flyover from a) an escapee black swan (!) and b) the crane honking as it went over at low level. At this point I remembered why you never ever leave the camera in the car, no matter how close you are to it as a perfect photo went begging. Oh well, it was still pretty cool.

1 comment:

Murr Brewster said...

You gotta love the wind-fluffing. Just like a supermodel.

I don't know what your cranes sound like, but here (sandhills) they sound like Heaven with post-nasal drip.