Saturday, 5 May 2012

Cranes! - Almost on Patch

5th May - I had been spending the day with the family, so had not been birding.  However, I’d noticed that 3 Cranes had been seen over Moor Green Lakes in S. Berks in the morning and then what were presumably the same birds further south over Fleet Pond, so thought they had flown away from us

In the afternoon, my wife had taken my son shopping and my daughter was finishing off some homework and by chance, I noticed that the 3 Cranes were being reported again in Berks, but this time around Reading and on a path that seemed to be taking them closer to Marlow - the last report was of them heading NE somewhere near Wargarve.  I said to my daughter, “Put your shoes on, we’re going to look for some Cranes!”.  We drove probably less than a mile from the house to the Wycombe Hill running downhill into Marlow, as this is a high point and gives a good view of the Thames valley. The first stop at a layby, gave a slightly restricted view, so I drove further down and pulled off just north of Pump Lane near the Three Horseshoes.  The view here was fairly unrestricted looking westwards.  I put my bins up and unbelievably almost immediately was looking at 3 Cranes flying distantly towards me just above the skyline.  I said to my daughter, “I’ve got them!” and jumped out of the car, set up the scope and watched the birds as they flapped steadily and majestically towards me.  The time was about 2:50pm.  In hindsight, my next move was a mistake, because it looked as though they were heading slightly to the south of me and I assumed that they were following the river, which would have taken them directly over Little Marlow GP.  Having since looked at the map, I can see that they were actually flying a fair bit north of the river and were somewhere on the west side of Marlow.  As it was I drove to Little Marlow GP, expecting to see them fly over my head, but I never saw them again, because they had actually veered more north easterly and gone over Handy Cross roundabout – if I had stayed where I was, they would have flown pretty close to me – a disappointing error, but I’m still glad to have connected on a rather fortuitous afternoon.

I also suspect that they would have been viewable from the garden for a short time!

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