Could it have been a Crane in Beds?
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.