Saturday, 16 April 2011

Crane cock-up (of sorts)

A most enjoyable morning at Beddington Sewage Farm, with a female Marsh Harrier flying north, a Little Egret and plenty of migrants (including LRP, Yellow Wagtail, Reed Warblers and Lesser Whitethroats). A feature of the morning was the behavior of the gulls that were present. Up to 750 larger gulls frequently took to the air, spiralling up in an excitable frenzy, with much calling, an assortment of mews and cries, at times somewhat un-gull like. Were the gulls restless because they were readying themselves for their breeding grounds?

At about 12.15 I was walking along the far eastern side of the area, mainly recording the plants, when I heard a Common Crane call. Surely not, I thought. It called again. I looked up into a bright sky that was strewn with the gulls that had gone on yet another excitable circuit. There was no crane sized bird with them, or above them. I didn't hear anything else that resembled a Crane, so put it down to wishful thinking and the number of gulls that were making, at times, most un-gull like noises.

Within ten minutes I received a text message from Johnny Allan, who was staking out the northern lake at the sewage farm. He too had heard crane calls, but, like me, had dismissed them - that is until an excitable birder ran up to him asking whether or not he had seen the two Common Cranes circling and then heading north.

How had we both visually missed them? I was pleased that my suspicions had been confirmed but annoyed that I didn't have the conviction to claim the record at the time. Had I been in 'crane country' I wouldn't have hesitated. Strangely unfulfilling.

3 comments:

  1. I can feel your frustration from here! Great that they're down this way though :)

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  2. Today was much better though Tricia!

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  3. Glad to hear that Steve.. sounds promising :)

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