Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Oct 4: Sandhill Crane second helpings!

Well it'll probably be the rarest bird I see this autumn, and given the astonishing fact that it's still there, and not migrated, I decided to go back to Boyton Marshes for a second look!  Cranes are always superb and few birds match their grace and elegance.  Their calls are superb too - often you hear them long before you see them.
So today I was up at 05.00, went back, studied and watched the crane from my arrival at 07.50 until it finally flew off to roost on Orfordness, a shadowy shape in the half-light at 18.45.  On Sunday I was feeling that I hadn't really got to grips with the bird, so it was really satisfying to have the chance to come back and spend all day in the field just grilling it.  Although it was always wary, and never particularly close, views were generally quite adequate with my telescope (Kowa, 30x wide angle).
Why, you might ask, bother posting pictures of apparent scribble as in the first two images, above?  Well, I believe that these 'scribbles' are an essential part of the learning process in getting to grips with the shape, and that it's not possible to produce pictures of greater depth without this preliminary work.  The first two spreads were done within an hour of seeing the bird, and then the first one below shortly after.

I think I finally got the head pattern in the last painting.

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