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Scarce migrant birds roost at RSPB Loch of Kinnordy nature reserve

The sight of a common crane over RSPB Loch of Kinnordy nature reserve, near Kirremuir, north of Dundee in spring has become an annual event but staff have been left stunned by the arrival of four of these beautiful birds, almost a month earlier than expected.

The quartet roosted overnight on the reserve close to the loch, before feeding on the neighbouring agricultural fields from first light. Despite taking flight a few times during the morning they remained close to the wetland site, allowing many visitors to see them.

Hannah Morton, reserve warden at RSPB Scotland’s Loch of Kinnordy nature reserve said: ”I have come to expect to see one of these birds flying over the reserve, or possibly landing for a few minutes, in the first week of May. I was astounded to receive news just before dusk last night that four common cranes had arrived and landed close to the reserve. Their arrival has certainly caused a stir, with visitors flocking to the reserve to catch a glimpse of these majestic birds. ”

Once common in Britain, the common crane became extinct here in the 17th century. Larger then the Grey Heron and with a loud trumpeting call, a small breeding population has now returned in England. Cranes are seen in the East of Scotland on a yearly basis where they stop while traveling back to their breeding spots in Northern Europe.

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