Crowned Crane Christening Party

David Clulow of The Wallows in Boston shares this delightful story:

The big excitement this morning is a horde of visitors in the pan below our bedroom window.  April 1st does seem like a joke, but no, it is real.

The Crowned Crane parents and their chick have been my regular observation for weeks and the youngster, who still has to learn to fly, has grown most speedily to this size last week.  The chick is on the right.

This morning must be the Christening party as I was quite overwhelmed to look out the window and discover a gathering of Grey Crowned Cranes in the pan, definitely partying. Can’t count them for their weaving and bobbing. A number of Spur-winged Geese are present too. Probably gatecrashers!

Baerbel reckons there are over 30 Cranes present. I have reached 22 before getting lost behind all the grass which blocks the view.

Unfortunately all early morning photos are into the rising sun, which detracts from the clarity. Some years they bring their chicks close by the house, but so far this year they have been very wary and the moment they see me with my camera, even from a great distance, they duck (sorry) and run.

Last evening across the road on The Drift at a dam, Crystelle Wilson and I saw a pair with two chicks and we know of another 4 such families with chicks in the area.  So the Grey Crowned Cranes are thankfully doing well in spite of the massive howlngs of Jackals at night, plus Mongoose sightings galore.


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