Can't remember what time Eddie and I left Holme now exactly. Left my car in King's Lynn and Eddie drove - doesn't trust Penelope Pipstop! We decided to aim for Felixstowe to get ahead of the crane in case it moved south, so took the A134 Thetford road, A14 Ipswich, A12 to Woodbridge and then east to Boyton. We arrived at Boyton around 4.45pm. Parked the car in a designated field (the village carpark now being full). I didn't even think too much about what I needed from the car, grabbed bins, camera bag and tripod and tried to hurry over a lumpy field, down the track, along the road, turned up the hill along the tarmac road. Birders were walking towards us in a relaxed manner having seen the bird.... words of "its ok, its quite relaxed, its not going anywhere......' yeah right, I've heard that before' I was thinking, as I frantically attempted to speed walk up hill! These words in fact spurred me to run, ok I attempted to run every so often, my bag with every lens in it, felt like I was running with a bag full of house bricks!!! It was a good half mile to walk, which seems am awful long time when you want to see a mega bird!!! Arrived at the field very hot and knackered, but massively relieved to see the stunning SANDHILL CRANE in a huge ploughed field at 5.02pm. WOW!!!!! This was one special bird - it really was stunning - could not believe I was watching this!!! Eddie's friend Simon pointed out a Willow Emerald Damselfly sitting on a willow by the river as well!!!!! What a stonking day!!!! Great to see friends there too including Connor, James and friend, who were all beaming away, Stuart White, Steve and Sue and others. The evening light was beautiful but the crane was quite a distance off for my 300mm lens and even with the 1.4 converter on I found it very difficult to get any sharp shots - the light was hazy and the crane blended in too nicely with the field! But later on as the light started to fade the crane walked closer and closer towards us, approximately only 40 yards away! This enabled me to get the above flight shots as it took off to roost. Sadly though I had the camera on the tripod which is very rare for me. Most photographers always seem to use a tripod, I rarely do, as I feel I have more control if I need to move quickly and what happened next proved this. I had a second to realise that this bird was about to fly and as it started to take off, I took too long getting the camera off the tripod and changing it from AV to TV and the stabilizer mode setting '2' for moving objects - BUT as I clicked away and the crane flew off into the sunset, I then realised I had forgotten to put the camera back onto stabilizer mode (had it switched off when on tripod as you are supposed to). Was cursing myself massively about this. Probably the last time I put the camera on the tripod!!! Felt so sorry for a few birders who then turned up and dipped - hope they were able to see it the next day!
Arrived back home at around 9.30pm and seriously shattered. Wow what a day!!!
Sandhill Crane flying off west to roost at 6.35pm.