Sunday, 27 November 2011

Common Crane migration over Le Macherie

The annual migration of Common Cranes from their breeding grounds in Northern Europe and Russia is a spectactular and symbolic event in these parts whether you're into birds or not. For me, newly installed in France, this has been the first time I've witnessed this mass movement and have to say it's been wonderful to see these mythical birds flying over in huge flocks as they head South to Spain, Portugal & Northern Africa.
The breeding population of Common Cranes is roughly 250,000 with around 100,000 of these in Scandinavia and the Baltic region - these are the birds that migrate through here and by my rough reckoning I've seen about 6000 over La Macherie between the 4th & 19th of November ... not bad going eh?!
Cranes are one of nature's mythical creatures and have been revered for centuries with their annual passing often seen as symbols of  'regeneration'. In Greek mythology they were seen as messengers from 'the world beyond the north wind' and the classic V formation of travelling flocks, with the practice of individual birds taking it turns to head the group seen as a symbol of democracy - all this will be common knowledge to followers of Hyperborean worship (of which there are said to be about 17 worldwide) ....but that apart I rather think the Greeks have rather more to contemplate these days, which is a shame.

Anyway, why not catch yourself some 21st century Hyperborean crane worship next time your anywhere near SW France in November. Just look up! Here's some I prepared earlier .... (shot 14th Nov just outside La Macherie)

And of course there were plenty of photo opportunities, here's a small selection I've manged to edit from the many I have on disk from this year's migration.

All passed through now (da da da der ah de da ..... arrived on yet another CraneAir flight delivered on time, beating all other european 'fly pasts' !!) .......been back in the UK for a week and since my return not a crane to be seen. No doubt I'll be recording their flight back come next March!

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