Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Common Crane

The Common Crane used to be quite abundant in Britain, several hundred years ago they appeared as part of the menu at royal banquets, but a couple of hundred years ago they became extinct as breeding birds. Until 1981 they were a scarce visitor, less than 50 birds per year were recorded, but in that year they bred in the east of England and have continued to do so since. They have been successful in most years since 1990, but some years produce no young, with predation from foxes and Marsh Harriers being blamed. In 2007 several pairs bred in various parts of the country, including Suffolk, Yorkshire and possibly Lincolnshire.

This year a pair have bred in my local area for the third year on the trot. They have raised one young and all three are now regularly appearing at the Nene Washes in various parts of this site. These birds have done this of their own accord, they have not been introduced, they just saw this part of East Anglia as an ideal place to start a family. They are closely monitored at all times.

Taken with Canon Powershot SX40 HS

Digiscoped
The juvenile in the above pictures is the 'all' grey bird, the two adults have black, white and red markings on their head and neck. An extremely tall bird, Britains' tallest, standing at over 4 feet and if seen well cannot be confused with anything else. They have a loud, clanging, trumpeting or 'bugling' call that is given when on the ground and in the air, as the video below shows;


A truly magnificent sight on the flatlands of Peterborough.

16 comments:

  1. Hi John,
    That was most informative and I really enjoyed the video. There noises made my ears raise up.
    Thank you, my human friend.
    Penny the Jack Russell dog :)

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    1. Thanks Penny,
      Glad you enjoyed it! Their calls are even louder in real life, so to speak. A great sound to hear.
      J

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  2. Magnificent birds, enjoyed the video.

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    1. Thanks Gillian, glad you enjoyed it.
      J

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  3. Wonderful John and thanks for the video clip... a rarity up here in Cheshire but not unknown.

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    1. Thanks Andrew, glad you liked the video. As time goes on they may get more and more common, you never know.
      J

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  4. Magnificent indeed John. I did manage to see three some years ago at Welney, but thats about it.

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    1. They are a regular sight on the Washes now Roy, last winter there were up to nine seen together. Our own flock in the heart of fenland! ;)
      J

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  5. Stunning birds John - I still haven't seen any so of course am very envious!

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    1. They are indeed Jerry. I am lucky in the fact that they have chosen to take up residence close to where I live, but you never know, some may do the same at a place near you. :)
      J

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  6. How wonderful to have them in your own area John. What beautiful, graceful birds they are. I do wish we had them here. I remember seeing a programme about how they are being re-introduced somewhere in this country and how humans have to dress up as them in order to teach the little ones how to 'be' Cranes!

    No problems with this video running on the iPad like the previous one.

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    1. Hi Jan,
      It is indeed great to have these birds locally. They are doing that re-introduction scheme at Slimbridge, I remember seeing a programme about it (possibly the same one as you). Glad you got to see the video, I think there were problems with the last one, it seems to have disappeared?
      J

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  7. What wonderful birds! Great video, John!

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    1. Thanks Liz,
      They are great birds to watch, fairly exotic for the flatlands of Peterborough!
      J

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