Sunday 6 November 2011

Headin' South

We just heard them and dashed out armed with the camera but were too late. A small group of maybe 20 Grues Cendrées [Common Crane, Grus grus] must have stopped for a quick snack not too far away as the first thing we heard was a cacophany of sound as the birds circled up and then arranged themselves in their V formation and headed off south. They were already below our hedge line when we got back outside armed with camera. Hopefully we will hear/see more. They can fly over during the night which is an even more effective way of foiling our attempts to get a photo of them in their V formation -- however poor. Hence the photo from the excellent website which is run by the Ligue pour la Protection des Oiseaux Champagne Ardenne.

Migration paths of the Grue Cendrée. From LPO website

We are just on the western edge of the migration route. The main 'corridor' proper lies to the east of us but the neighbouring department 36: Indre has regular sightings and we're just about 5km into Indre et Loire [37].  We are lucky, therefore, if we get a sighting. If we do see them it is in smallish groups and wind is from a North/North-Easterly direction which means they veer over towards us slightly when heading south.

Mind you on a day like today--grey, murky with a north wind and misting rain who can blame them?! Right now autumn is doing a great impersonation of winter. Just take a look at the change of view from A's study.
30 October

4 November



Jane and Lance Hattatt said...

Hello Niall and Antoinette:
How wonderful it would be actually to see these splendid birds in flight and we do so hope that you may be lucky over the next few days.

We hear from friends of torrential rain in and around Provence and do hope that, despite the bleak outlook, you are spared the worst of the weather where you are. Here isis cold but dry and sunny.

Perpetua said...

Good afternoon Niall & Antoinette and sorry your autumn has transformed itself into early winter. Here in northern Scotland it's actually dry and stil very mild for the time of year.

I really envy your actually seeing and hearig cranes in flight. The nearest we come to this V-shaped migration formation is with the Canada geese who occasionally fly over us in Mid-Wales and that just doesn't seem as exotic.

ladybird said...

During my recent getaway to the Gaume (Belgian Lorraine) we saw some nice V-formations of geese heading south; very impressive. Although I had my camera at hand, I didn't manage to get a great shot.
As for autumn, it's definitely here now too. Yesterday morning was still sunny and warm. Today is gloomy and rain and wind are expected overnight. Bah!

Niall & Antoinette said...

@Jane & Lance - last year we saw 1 lot [and heard 2 others]. We were so amazed that we didn't even think of the camera!

It has been 'driech' here and a fair bit of rain but thankfully not the torrential downpours they've had further south.

Niall & Antoinette said...

@Perpetua - it isn't cold but it is rainy and gloomy. However, it can change quite quickly here so we'll get some more sun soon I should think.
It was amazingly mild when we were in Edinburgh recently.

We were pretty thrilled when we first encountered the cranes last year!

Niall & Antoinette said...

@ Martine - Canada Geese or Cranes, they all sound a little mournful as they head south I think but the sight is spectacular.
We'll be very lucky if we get a pic of some faint V-like smudges :-)

Inderdaad nogal BAH, niet echt koud hier maar wel grauw. :-(

GaynorB said...

What a difference a week makes ....

Hope the cranes give you another opportunity!

Don't like to say, but the weather in Staffordshire has been beautiful all weekend, although I think we are set for a change early next week.

Niall & Antoinette said...

@Gaynor - doesn't it just. Colours were probably at their best while we were in Edinburgh.
Glad to hear you had good weather! :-) No doubt there'll be enough 'driech' to come.
Fingers crossed for more cranes.