Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Sandhill Crane, Orkney.

An out of county twitch to Orkney, I usually wouldn't bother leaving the islands in September, but being as the forecast keeps saying 'more westerlies' and the best bird at Scatness at the moment seems to be a Lesser Whitethroat, I decided to go for the Sandhill Crane on South Ronaldsay (plus there is a day-return flight to Kirkwall). Arriving in Kirkwall around 08:30, we (Myself, Jason & Dougie) picked up a car, lent to us by the Crane's finder, Paul Higson, and then headed south. On getting to the site, the bird was immediately on show, fairly distantly, a couple of fields away, feeding in a stubble field with Curlews, Lapwings, Gulls and a few farmyard Geese. After a couple of hours, and getting marginally better views, we headed off to Kirkwall for some fuel and a celebratory fry up ! Then a quick stop off at Deerness for the American Golden Plover, which, no matter where we parked, was always on the other side of the field. It was just after this that things started to go a bit wrong, as we set off for another go at the Crane, it was a struggle to get the car in first gear, but Jason persisted and we made it back to South Ron, then the car wouldn't go in any gear at all unless it was put in reverse to begin with and finally, whilst we were watching the Crane again, the car got stuck in first gear and finally died, it was left, abandoned, in a layby at the south end of South Ron. Not all was lost though, as Jon arrived in his hire car, with 3 spare seats. The day ended with some fairly descent views of the Crane roosting with Gulls in a field just inland from the beach and some rather dodgy chips from Kirkwall.











Sandhill Crane.
American Golden Plover.
When the Crane wasn't on show, visiting birders scanned through the herds of cattle, in the hope of finding a rare bullock.

1 comment:

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