MEGA* Sandhill Crane *MEGA. Boyton Marshes,Suffolk. 03 Oct 2011.

A 3:15am start to go and pick up my dad and then head off to Boyton Marshes in Suffolk for first light. On arrival the village hall car park was already getting busy, so with gear ready we headed off to hopefully await the sight of the Sandhill Crane. With plenty of birders scanning the adjacent fields especially the maize field where apparently it had roosted the night before. After a time the shout went up and there flying in from the east, not where we were looking, was the Sandhill Crane still present to everyones delight. It landed in a crop field a few hundred yards away and so viewing was from the scope and not the camera yet.

It continued to actively feed at this distance, always seemingly wary with regular pausing to scan the area. After a while it moved further towards the sea wall and continued feeding there, a few birders started to move along the track leading to the wall and so my dad and I ventured along too. It was then to give closer views and close enough for me to grab some record images of this great rarity, the views through the scope at this time were very good and it continued to show for some time before flying low south out of view. With a few birders still arriving they headed off to relocate it and the happy masses headed back to the cars. A few of us on the way back stopped to look for the Willow Emerald Damselflies, a recently added species to the British Isles. We all got good views of 2 of the WED's and so adding another new tick for the day.