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Common Cranes - largest UK count (2 Viewers)

GWB77

Grafham Water Birder
This evening myself and Matthew Lonsdale watched 78 Cranes arrive at the Nene Washes, Cambs to roost (72+3+3). This is new county record (beating the 68 from the day before!), but is it also a UK record count?

I'm told a large flock flew over Dungeness in October 1985. Does anyone have any details on this sighting, or any other large counts from within the UK?
 

Nutcracker

Stop Brexit!
Used to be more than that in the shipyards in Wallsend 3:)


BWP also cites 500 migrating over SE England in October 1963 (citing Brit. Birds 57: 502-608, 1964) :t:
 

Bismarck Honeyeater

Barely known member
This evening myself and Matthew Lonsdale watched 78 Cranes arrive at the Nene Washes, Cambs to roost (72+3+3). This is new county record (beating the 68 from the day before!), but is it also a UK record count?

I'm told a large flock flew over Dungeness in October 1985. Does anyone have any details on this sighting, or any other large counts from within the UK?

The biggest influx was c.500 birds in 1963. What the largest flock consisted of I’m not sure and I can’t get any sense from the totally useless British Birds App or their website!
 

Nutcracker

Stop Brexit!

Bismarck Honeyeater

Barely known member
Looks like ~100 in Sussex Oct 1963 is the largest group (unless 1985 Dunge beats that) as part of the 500+ that autumn, mostly in Kent/Sussex.
 

Farnboro John

Well-known member
Of more contemporary interest, does anyone know if these high counts indicate any of the following:

- success just of the East Anglian population

- immigration

- birds from the Great Crane Nonsense voting with their wings to spend time where native Cranes have identified they should be rather than where humans decreed?

Must get up there. Big Crane flocks are fab.

John
 

Bismarck Honeyeater

Barely known member
Of more contemporary interest, does anyone know if these high counts indicate any of the following:

- success just of the East Anglian population

- immigration

- birds from the Great Crane Nonsense voting with their wings to spend time where native Cranes have identified they should be rather than where humans decreed?

Must get up there. Big Crane flocks are fab.

John

It would be interesting to get a total U.K. count around now. And get a feel for where the populations are. Certainly there are some still in the Broads (do they stay all year?)
The Fens (do they all gather together from the greater area in the winter?)
Somerset plastic birds (no one seems to mention them much, are they still present, do they move much?)
Scattered birds as far a York’s. Scotland etc.

When I saw some (45) near Welney the other week I looked specifically for rings and didn’t see them, though I do know that some Cranes have absolutrly tiny rings that can’t be seen under normal field conditions (why I don’t know)
 

GWB77

Grafham Water Birder
Of more contemporary interest, does anyone know if these high counts indicate any of the following:

- success just of the East Anglian population

- immigration

- birds from the Great Crane Nonsense voting with their wings to spend time where native Cranes have identified they should be rather than where humans decreed?

The Cambs breeding population had a good year this year, with a number of young from a number of different nests and sites (per comments from site wardens; I don't know the full details, so I'll reframe from incorrectly summarising).

The wintering population around Nene/Ouse Washes (which moves between these sites regularly, but generally roost on the Nene and feeds either near the Nene or near Manea) consists of the local breeding birds, birds from other nesting sites in Cambs, and birds from other fenland/East Anglian sites. It is not thought that the birds from the Norfolk Broads move into Cambs in the winter, and are generally considered to be resident in the Norfolk Broads (that's not to say they don't occasionally wander into the fenland region).

At least one of the Cambs breeding birds is from the Somerset introduction (she is colour-ringed from that project), and has been present for a number of years now. It might be that other Somerset birds are boosting the Cambs numbers too. Other birders are studying the East Anglian population quite closely, and perhaps they will publish something on this in the future.

Thanks for all the comments on flock sizes.
 

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