This morning breakfast was at 6am (a sleep in!) and then we left for one of the crane feeding stations. It was very early as the birds don't get fed until 9am but we wanted to be the first there and to get the pick of the vantage spots. The birds gradually flew in, back lit against a watery rising sun.
I must admit, despite a good sleep I'm bone weary now & my back is saying it's had enough.
I think being able to have a good soak in the onsen has helped immensely.
Anyway, back to the birds, as there were fewer it was possible (if they cooperated) to find clear space around them and we couldn't believe it when they began to dance. 'Amazing' just doesn't cut it; they dip, spin & jump and generally show off their dancing skills because it's coming up to mating season. In fact we did see a bit of bird sex, but unless the others had told me I wouldn't have recognised the behaviour. It was just a mass of feathers; he jumped on her back and in a spit second (yes really) jumped off again. Then someone with a very big lens and a motor drive said it was just a practice - no contact made. Okaaay.
The afternoon session is going to be in the same place and they are staying from 1-6pm and it will be all standing in the cold. Enough, I bailed on that.
This is our last full day on tour, we fly back to Tokyo tomorrow.