Could it have been a Crane in Beds?

Bird Watching (UK) - - Your View -

QWhile out walk­ing yes­ter­day (4 March) on the Bun­yan Trail in Paven­ham, Bed­ford­shire, I be­came aware of a size­able bird fly­ing to­wards me. I thought it most likely to be a Cor­morant, but as it got closer it was ap­par­ent it was too big. As it passed over­head (at some height) we both came to the con­clu­sion it was a Crane. I am aware of the Som­er­set breed­ing pro­gramme, but have never seen one in our part of the world be­fore. I would have ex­pected there to be a flock or at least a pair if they were mov­ing through. Tim Cog­gins

AIf you’re pretty sure that you could rule out the com­moner long-necked birds, then there’s no rea­son why it shouldn’t have been a Crane. There is a small but grow­ing breed­ing pop­u­la­tion in East Anglia, with pairs breed­ing rel­a­tively close to our Peter­bor­ough of­fices, and other small pop­u­la­tions have be­come es­tab­lished as far apart as north east Scot­land and Ox­ford­shire. Small num­bers of these birds, even sin­gles, like yours, do seem to roam around – a few years back a pair kept turn­ing up in Shrop­shire, and were seen on the route be­tween there and East Anglia sev­eral times. The UK Crane pop­u­la­tion isn’t mi­gra­tory in the true sense, as birds win­ter here and don’t fly to south­ern Europe and Africa as most Euro­pean pop­u­la­tions do.

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