Cranes Number One and Two

This 15 Cranes project has just about died in the arse. With nearly two thirds of Australia in lockdown and swathes of the globe ravaged by the pandemic, it would be quixotic indeed to want to “see” all fifteen Crane species, having as yet seen only one. The new IPCC science report, dropped a week ago, reinforces general project gloom: shouldn’t we all be reassessing flying at all, in order to cut emissions?

Nonetheless, more as an act of faith in the power of obsessions than for any cogent reason, we leave Darwin today and drive east to “find” Brolga and Sarus Crane, Australis’s two Cranes. We expect to see them in family groups or small flocks across the Gulf of Carpentaria, and, a fortnight later, in larger flocks in the Atherton Tablelands. I’m thrilled and worried. Will three weeks of immersion in this project enhance it or diminish it?