If that’s the answer what is the
question? How long does it take a Common
Crane to fly from Garron Point to Glynn? 72 wonderful minutes.
After taking an excited call from
Ian Dickey saying he was watching a Crane flying about the coast near Glenarm,
I was soon on my way to try and see it.However, a second phone call soon told me it had been lost to view,
flying south.With no stubble fields for
absolute miles, I felt this bird was not going to land anywhere nearby and once
it gained altitude would have two options – head for Lough Neagh or keep going
south towards Larne.
The coast road was traversed in a
timely fashion and I was soon set up on the platform at Glynn Station.I thought if the bird did continue along the
coast this would be an attractive stop off point, as the tide was going out and
there was lots of exposed mud.
I knew this attempt to get Crane
on my patch (and county) list was a long shot and what greeted me just below
the platform seemed to suggest my extended lunch break would end in tears.Grazing away merrily amongst Greylags was the
infamous Larne Lough hybrid goose;
like a heckle from the birding Gods.What the hell, I thought, it’s within digiscoping range so I hunkered
down behind a wall to take a few shots and check through the throng of
Hybrid Goose, Glynn Station
I was reviewing my efforts on the
back of the camera when all of a sudden the whole mass of gulls and geese
lifted – I looked up to be greeted by the sight of a large skinny silhouette
gliding through the swarm.It’s the CRANE!!I pointed my compact camera towards the bird
and fired off a few shots as it tried to come in to land.But the local gulls were having none of it
and the bird soon gained height and headed inland.
Gloroius Grus grus
At this stage I will admit to
doing a few Mourinho style fist pumps along the platform! But as I began to
regain composure, I saw that the bird was doubling back and heading towards me.I managed to get to the car, grab my zoom
lens and take a few better shots as the bird again looked set to land.This time a Buzzard appeared to scare it off
and it quickly moved on south towards Whitehead.
Full Fat Score
So a full 3 points were secured for the patch year list and a new species added to my patch and county lists. All thanks to my best ever birding moment whilst standing on that damned platform at Glynn.
This brings my score to 83 species or 100 points. Since my last update things have been predictably quiet, with Grey Wagtail, Little Gull and Skylark the only other additions.