Having finished my morning sojourn around Prestwick Carr I was contemplating what to do with the rest of the day when Birdguides announced Common Crane at Whittle Dene. Straight downstairs into the car and back to the place I had left just 18 hours ago. I joined Liverbirder and two enthusiastic young birders with parents in tow in the hide and was pointed in the direction of said bird who, unusually for this species, was in the corner of a field and hidden from view. We waited, the kids dragged a reluctant Dad back to his car and eventually the bird wandered out into the open to feed. Just like all my previous views, a distant white dash in a big field. The head colouration showed in the scope and three Canada Geese made their way down the field to gawp at the leggy visitor.
We got some views, took some shots and were packing to go when I noticed the bird was in flight and heading our way. Struggling with the windows to the hide which we had just closed, I got off one shot as it passed overhead.
There was a two person stampede for the hide door (Liverbirder was most courteous in opening the door for this ageing old git to get some pics) and there was the bird circling in and out of the sun over the Military Road where a number of other birders including Dusted off Bins had arrived in at the perfect moment.
The bird circled and climbed, eventually disappearing from view over the Tyne valley.