Wednesday, 31 December 2014

The Last Cranes?

Yesterday (28th) gave us a clear blue sky all day and, prompted by a friend's report that he had seen two skeins of cranes pass over Fontenille on the 28th, I dutifully set off on my bike in the hope that some might have rested for the night in the Tardoire valley. I came across none that had but I was rewarded withe the sight of about 350 of them in five skeins during the course of a couple of hours. They were mainly at height and heading deteminedly south except for the smallest group of twenty or so which were circling low over the trees and may in fact have eventually settled somewhere in the valley.
This is of course remarkably late for cranes to be still migrating and is possibly the result of continued climate change as much as a response to the recent cold snap.
I saw my first redwings of this winter in the poplars in the Son-Sonette valley today. There is also a cold weather influx of song thrushes but no sign yet of fieldfares or bramblings.

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