Previously "Diary of a Birding Medic"

Previously "Rugby Birder"

Friday, 7 October 2011

Sandhill Crane - Boyton, Suffolk

Boyton Village Sign

Sandhill Crane

Making a last minute decision, I texted Bob Hazell with a view to travelling to Boyton, Suffolk in the hope of seeing the mega Sandhill Crane (Life tick). Leaving Rugby at 0500 we arrived at Boyton at 0800, to find at least thirty cars in the car park. Making haste to the sea wall, the Sandhill Crane was located amongst the Geese at some distance from the sea wall. Viewing was good through a scope but the strong westerly blow caused a great deal of distortion and camera shake (my excuse!). The Crane seemed to be feeding well, completing a circuit of its chosen field and was stretching and calling regularly. The Carrion Crows seemed to take exception to its presence and a great deal of mobbing occured. Reasonable views were had for about two and a half hours. Suddenly the Crane took to flight. Expecting nothing more than a circuit of the field, we were surprised as it flew south and gained great height, eventually disappearing from sight. The Crane has not (yet) been re-located. So pleased we made an early start!

I have a confession to make. I rarely twitch birds at distant locations, only doing this twice - once for the Marmoras Warbler in Gwent and today for the Sandhill Crane. On both occasions, after I observed the birds, they were not seen again. Am I the grim reaper of twitching? Perhaps you should check with me to see if i'm going to the next one!

Overall, a super day and thanks to Bob for doing the driving. Below is a selection of Sandhill Crane images. I did my best!

The Distance Shot!

The Departure!


John said...

Well done Kevin! A truly stunning bird that I was privileged to see the other day in the gloom of dusk! A friend of mine was there today and got there just as it was flying away, not to be seen again!
Glad you managed to get some shots, it was too dark when I was there for my digiscoping efforts, still, I have got photos in my head!

Kevin Groocock said...

Cheers, John - it was a great day. I felt for the birders arriving after it had flown especially as some had travelled long distances. Lets hope the Crane is located again to give those that have not seen it a chance.

Max Silverman said...

Great shots of the Crane Kevin.I think they are the best shots I've seen of it.

Kevin Groocock said...

Cheers, Max. I think there are many better ones about! Penny Clarke got some crackers! Very distant so i'm pleased with what I got!

Max Silverman said...

Just seen a few on Birdguides that are very good.These guys must have got much closer???

Kevin Groocock said...

Not sure how close they got, but apparently the Crane was a lot closer in the early days of its visit. Also, some very big lenses about. Can't help but wonder where the Crane is now?

Anonymous said...

Hi Kevin,
glad to hear you had a productive day in Suffolk! We were up in North Norfolk on migration watch - saw my first brambling of the season. I hope you are "on the mend". I enjoy your blog on the basis that if I can't be out birding it's nice to know that someone else is!
Best wishes
Paul & Anna from Suffolk

Kevin Groocock said...

Hi Paul & Anna. Thanks for taking the time to read my blog - it is appreciated. It was fantastic to see the Crane but very lucky due to its departure. I'm much better thanks and have returned to work, so birding will be reduced! Not yet seen Brambling this year!