Thursday, 21 February 2013

Can spring be far behind?

At last we have had some weather that permits us to sit outside with a cup of tea in the afternoon, to hang out some washing, to do some tree work in the meadow.

After lunch yesterday* we were doing the first of these when an unmistakable braying was heard.

The moon provided a good backdrop to the last pictures.

A small flight was coming along the ridge opposite our house, between the Aigronne and Claise valleys. Tim "rushed" into the house to get his camera, as fast as he could go while wearing "the wrong trousers" - chainsaw protection - while I kept an eye on the flock, which was heading into the wind and not progressing terribly fast.

A bit blurry... I had the camera on Manual focus and forgot!
Tim fired off as many pictures as he could as the flock swirled around to follow the Aigronne, and I looked at them down the wrong end of Tim's binos (dammit - I'll get used to them one day).
Tim reckons he can count 52 birds in the group - much easier with digital cameras!

Better this shot... but still not the best I've taken! But you can count them...
Now to report the sighting to the LPO Champagne-Ardennes group which is coordinating records of crane migration in Europe and parts south and east.

For another rarely seen, large, migratory bird please follow this link to Niall & Antoinette's "Chez Charnizay" "erm? Non- Grue" post... and they saw grues yesterday, too! And got some smashing pix!!

# Crane (Grus grus) Grue cendrée

* Wednesday 20th


Susan said...

Wooohooo! I still haven't seen any this year -- they are flying just that bit too far north for me to see them I think.

Susan said...

PS Nice one with the moon!

GaynorB said...

Good shot with the moon.

Glad to read that the weather is picking up> We had four days of sunny but cold weather here in the UK but it's reverted to grey and cold again.

We didn't manage to sit outside with coffee - still a bit too cold!

Niall & Antoinette said...

Did some pottering outside and it was pretty pleasant. No sightings over our house.
Lovely photo with the moon.

Tim said...

Lucky shot with the moon, you mean!... managed two, but this one with them all strung out in a line was the nicest.
And it would have been better still if I hadn't had the camera on Manual everything... took so long to adjust things and view what it was showing in the viewfinder... must remember to leave camera on Auto if I've been muckin' about with Manual settings!!... if I remember...