Saturday, 24 September 2011

SANDHILL CRANE TWITCH - A great day

Left at 9pm last night with Tom from Sheffield. We picked Andrew up in Co Durham and I drove on into the night. We arrived just north of Aberdeen at 5am. We grabbed an hour and a half and arrived at the RSPB Loch of Strathberg reserve at dawn (7am). We were all surprised how few Birders were present...but we were! Two young female staff members informed us that a small group were already viewing the bird from an adjacent building. A quick peep through a kind chaps 'scope relaxed things somewhat!!
We then walked out towards the hide and scanned the marsh from behind as it was a bit cosy inside.


We could see the bird well but distantly and the light still wasn't great by 8am. Around 8.20 the bird took off circled and headed off low North. We refound it some 30 minutes later on the ridge of a field. Again after a short feed it took flight...


It was now around 10.15 and the bird had disappeared again We decided to locate ourselves in the spot it had been seen on previous days. This proved to be a good move as after a short wait Andrew picked it up again in flight heading towards it's favoured field. Sure enough it landed and we walked the first stubble field to view from around 100yds...



A truly fantastic bird, well worth the effort and everything a MEGA should be. I have no hesitation in placing this bird in my top ten RUSH BIRDS/Best of Twitching (see list) at Number 8...



p.s. Andrew informed me that SIBERIAN STONECHAT has now been split. Armchair ticks for Britain and Yorks...result!

2 comments:

Branwell said...

That's quite a trek to see one bird. Glad you wee successful. Was this a first?

Paul said...

Glad you made it up yesterday Alan. It was my mates scope you had a quick 'peep' through when you arrived in the visitor centre. We had arrived just after 6 and somebody picked up the crane in almost complete darkness!! He said he could see the red on it's head and was definitely the bird, all I could see was a silhouette. As it got lighter it obviously turned out to be a good (somewhat brave!) call and the crane was in the bag.

Wonder what this weeks gonna bring? Something nice and close would be appreciated!!

All the best
Paul