Thursday, 21 February 2013

This time they really are cranes!

Yesterday we were down near Le Blanc, a town on the river Creuse to the south of us. We were en-route to find a small village called Chalais; about which more another time. The weather, as it has been this week, was glorious. Cold, but sunny thanks to the high pressure system. You can tell spring is slowly on its way as the sun can be quite warming if you stay tucked out of the cold, mainly NE wind.

Driving along a field of stubble corn [maize] we saw over the hedge -- yep you guessed it -- Grues cendrées; cranes!

Definitely cranes!
We managed to turn the car into an access track next to the fileds and get relatively close.  They were busy foraging and intermittently little groups landed and others flew off resettling a bit further on; all the while they were making a heck of a racket! Very much like a bunch of elderly biddies outraged at the price of fish.

This one flew obligingly overhead

Finally we watched this pair who didn't want to get left behind once the majority of the group moved a little further off.

Oh where are the others?

Shall we be off then?



Almost like an airport with planes coming in on different runways
When we came back heading towards home they were still there, still noisily 'chatting' to each other.  We have yet, however, to hear/see any over our house.

Do please click on the photos to enlarge as it does do these lovely birds more justice.

16 comments:

Jane and Lance Hattatt said...

Hello Niall and Antoinette:
The photograph of the Crane in flight against the bluer than blue sky is so attractive. What a sight this must have been and, surely, Spring is just around the corner with so much avian activity.

Niall & Antoinette said...

@Jane & Lance - let's hope so! :-)

Tim said...

Great spot... I have no doubt, looking at these pictures that the Brenne must be quite full of cranes that have come across Limousin... it is where we got good sightings of them last year... and, as you observed, they don't seem to see us as a threat.
There are at least 32 in that first picture... we saw a group of five last year... and then a group of four.. great shots and a lovely series of flight pix there, too!!

GaynorB said...

Great pics and well done!

Niall & Antoinette said...

@Tim - credit to Niall for the spot: "there's some big birds over there"

It was heaving with cranes! [Just south of Le Blanc on the way to Belarbre.] Once we cut the engine they settled back down and 'obliged' :-)

Niall & Antoinette said...

@Gaynor - Just the proverbial luck of being in the right place at the right time :-)

Food, Fun and Life in the Charente said...

They seem to be missing us this year. I heard a few a week back and that was the end of it. Great photos. Diane

Susan said...

I haven't seen a single solitary crane yet -- they are flying around Preuilly, which is often the case. I usually only see them once a year, and their arrival route is slightly different to their departure. Great shots, especially the one overhead, but I like the one of the whole group, with them all doing something different.

MorningAJ said...

Oh how amazing is that! I'm even more jealous now. (In a nice way - I don't begrudge you seeing them. I just wish we had anything remotely like that here.)

the fly in the web said...

These are superb photographs...and the colours are magnificent.

And Chalais to come....

Niall & Antoinette said...

@Diane - they seem not to be flying over Charnizay either [so far].

Niall & Antoinette said...

@Susan - I'm quite pleased with the pair taking off/flight series but the whole group one is my favourite--they look like they're on a bouncy castle :-)

Niall & Antoinette said...

@AJ - I think you have to go to north Norfolk to stand any chance but they're pretty unusual in the UK. Have a look at the RSPB wesite for info.

Niall & Antoinette said...

@Fly - thanks! ah yes Chalais.... thereby will hang a tale.... ;-)

Perpetua said...

What a brilliant sight! They are dramatically large birds and these are super photos. We had 4 chaffinches feeding on the ground just outside the utility room door yesterday, but of course I didn't have my camera with me. Sigh....

Niall & Antoinette said...

@Perpetua - they are large, especially when you get a bit closer to them.

Isn't always the way!?