Grues migration

There have been literally a thousand “grus grus” or common cranes, flying overhead today, on their annual migration from Scandinavia and Germany to wherever they go in Africa for the cold months. They remind me of the Canada geese migrations in the states, and their trumpet sounds while flying are kind of similar too. There have been flocks of many dozens at a time, flying overhead over the past week or so, but today seemed like a red-letter day as we saw so many, mostly in long v-formations, but sometimes when they encountered a thermal it seemed they all took a break to swirl around in the air current like a giant bird circus floating in a spiral before coming out of the thermal and continuing on.

Has anyone else perhaps seen these birds’ migrations these days?


Hi Mary,
Yes, we have seen them here (23) all weekend and as you say, today there seemed to be the most. They truly are a spectacular sight and sound, today I heard them before they emerged through the clouds. I always look up to the sky and wish them a safe journey.


been stuck indoors today, so not seen anything.

around here we know that … if you think you hear dogs barking/yapping… but there are no dogs about…look skywards.

Wonderful sight seeing them migrating. People will stop their cars, just to watch them fly by. I’ve done that myself.

One year, they were flying by night… and spent 2 or 3 hours hours circling around our church steeple…

Too dark to see anything, but the noise was incredible… “nessum dorma” on that occasion… :upside_down_face:


We saw them yesterday for the first time (1st year since moving here) - I had been looking forward to it, and it didn’t disappoint.

I have taken it as a sign that it is the end of the summer so today I have worn long trousers for the first time since arriving full time in May.


I heard some yesterday here in south 40, but none today, they seem very late this year

Saw the first about 2 and a half weeks ago, I have seen /heard flights most days since.

Lots of them passing here (24) My husband saw three this morning, maybe playing catch up? :grinning:

Have never seen grues here in NW France, but looking at migration maps it seems they they take a diagonal and central route from north-eastern France, through the central regions to the South West, and a similar trajet through Spain.

Apparently they do most of their flying at night as it takes less energy. Interesting birds, pity we don’t get a fly-over in Normandy, as they seem to shun the Atlantic coastal areas, and the Mediterranean.

You see them in the centre of France often resting up for the day and eating/drinking, at least I have seen them there from the motorway, the only times I think I have seen them on the ground, beautiful creatures. I love seeing the storks as well.

We used to see similar migrating birds in central southern Africa, they were pure white with long bills and very trusting, would settle for a while in the garden like guests at a garden party, then fly off in a flock together. Don’t know where they came from or whither they went, but they were seasonal too.

They seem to like sunny days in the SW although I have heard them at night. They fly surprisingly low and the noise they make is amazing.


This is the first year I haven’t seen them (yet) :crossed_fingers:t3:
But a couple of nights ago boy, did I hear them… what a racket!

One of nature’s wonders…

I live at the top of a hill and they are very close when they go over my house, and so loud - I love the sound of cranes chatting as they fly :heart:

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I’d love to know what they chat about.

“Are we nearly there?”

“I don’t remember ever coming this way before.”

“I think I left an egg in the corner of the nest, we’ll have to go back”.

“I bet those bloody Frisian grues will have pinched all the best nesting places”

“I’m going to have to dodge beyond that hill to pee, will you keep an eye open for peeping grues ?”


Brilliant photo!
I’ve heard them this year, at night, but haven’t seen any in south 87

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Not seen any cranes but have seen others over the past week.
Have you seen the migration in the U.S.? Where?
Where is home now?

Same here Ann (24) :disappointed:

They have been flying overhead all weekend. Large v-formations, circling overhead as well to allow smaller groups to c’catch up’ . Total racket as they seem to chatter to each other about the route to take, wait for me cries or ‘come on’ lets go signalling.

Very tempted to get the deck chair out and just stare at the sky.

So interesting! I hope to see them again in the spring as a sign that winter is over?


I saw large formations onSunday and Monday afternoons above Le Maine, Chasseneuil sur Bonnieure

I was amazed when I first saw storks (in Germany) and the huge nests they build on top of chimneys :smile:

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