Tuesday 4 October 2011

A high crane from a low point

In 2009 a sandhill crane turned up in the Orkney Isles. It was only the third time one had shown up in Britain. I didn't go to see it. It did come down to the Highlands of Scotland but that was still too far.

This year another one turned up in the North of England. Still too far! When it came down to Suffolk it was time to go!

After parking, I had to walk about a kilometre with my camera, tripod, etc. Only 10Kg! Ah, well!  After 100m a car stopped and the occupants asked me about the bird. They were going to the end of the road, about 100m from where the group was. They gave me a lift. Thank you, whoever you were.

The bird was a long way off and heat haze was a real problem. I started walking round to the sea wall to get a better view. On the way I bumped into a group of farm officials who also wanted to know about the bird. I set up my scope so they could see it. The fields were large with deep ditches. I asked if I could go to where a tractor was working up and down. I'm grateful to Richard Parry of A. W. Mortier Farms for allowing me to get closer.

After a few hundred metres I descended into the ditch so as not to be seen by the crane. It was quite hard to make progress along the steep-sided ditch and I kept slipping towards the water at the bottom. Eventually I got to a point where I could lie in the ditch with my camera on top of the bank. The crane was still a long way off. Over the next two hours it came closer. I resisted the temptation to change position when the bird was nearer. Afterwards I made my way back leaving the bird to carry on feeding. Here are the pictures:
Sandhill crane
Sandhill crane showing half of its 2 metre wingspan

Adult sandhill crane
Sandhill crane - detail of head

1 comment:

  1. Youw perseverance has had the results,,,well done!
    Saludos camperos.


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