Monday, 3 October 2011

Sandhill Crane

Early start today-left at 0415 and got to Colin's about half hour later. Arrived at Boyton about 0600 and it was still dark, though the sky was starting to brighten. Birders already pouring out of the Church Hall car park.
Walked down the track, accompanied by calling Tawny and Barn Owls and reached the fields where the crane was supposed to have last  been seen. Kept an eye on what we were told was the maize where it had flown off to roost, until a sudden rush took us round the corner overlooking another patch of maize where we were told it roosted-well it couldn't be both. Two Spoonbills flew south which was a nice diversion.
After about 45 minutes a shout and we saw it flying low from the north over Orford lighthouse-nowhere near the supposed roost spots. It pitched down in a distant field and we watched it for about an hour while it fed. It then flew low along the sea wall and landed near the end of the track so we moved a bit closer, and so did it. I realised it was now pretty close to us and it gave us superb views feeding around 200 yards away. After nearly another hour it suddenly took off, flew close to us and was lost over the sea wall to the south.
It could not have gone better, and in a way I am glad we did not go yesterday as the views in the extreme heat would never have been as good as what we got in the cool of the morning.

 Most of us then returned to the creek where we searched for the Willow Emerald damselflies. Did not take long for me to find one, and having got the scope on it, I was able to show it to the crowd. At least one or maybe two others were later seen.

 We did not have any more targets in the area so returned home. We called in at Marks Hall where the arboretum promised nice autumnal landscapes, but it was shut, so we ended up at Hatfield Forest for an hour or so.

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