It is getting towards the end of the rugby season and more time is spent on the side of the pitch rather than with binoculars in hand. Last Sunday was a good example. Alnwick U14's were playing a plate semi-final cup match against Berwick. We were travelling north towards Doddington and there were at least 1500 Pink-footed geese in fields to the north of the road. We did not have time to look for vagrant geese.
This was a good start but it was just about to get better. We had just passed the turn off towards Wrangham and I noticed two large birds flying parallel to the road. At first glance (I was driving), I thought they were geese but these two birds were much larger. They were the wrong shape and colour for swans. Herons - again they were the wrong shape and their necks were extended. Common cranes! Their long necks, slim bodies and extended legs were visible as they got closer and their languid wing beats with occasional soaring were a further identification feature. The call went up to stop and admire the birds and there was a further cry of 'why do you not carry a pair of binoculars in your car'. Yes, I need to address this. My point shoot camera could not do the scene justice as the birds passed in front of the wind turbines north of Red House Farm.
The rest of the journey produce a good number of Kestrels, Yellowhammers and Alnwick U14's did beat Berwick to reach the plate final.