If you treat this early start as a bit of an adventure it's not so bad. Thankfully there is only one like that. So there I was at 4am sitting in a nice warm bus - the tripods had been carefully set up on the bridge, as close as possible to each other; legs intersecting without touching and not touching the bridge so that the movement of many feet will not vibrate through them. I had a hot chocolate and listened to good music on my ipod. The bus was dark & 1 or 2 were dozing. Unfortunately 2 things compromised the images; 1. my lens at 400mm just wasn't long enough to provide anything other than a landscape with birds in it 2. it was not cold enough so the steam (from the warm spots in the river) did not create the hoar frost that we were looking for. Nevertheless there was no wind & the temperature was zero so pretty tropical really. It wasn't as busy as it has been in past years when the photographers were 3 deep but still busy enough.
The minute we got the snow storm the temperature rose and has stayed at zero or in the low + range ever since.
Back to the hotel for breakfast & then out again. This was to another crane 'feeding station' but it was better than yesterday afternoon as there were less cranes so it was possible to isolate them occasionally.
And then it was out again in the afternoon until sunset. The last session wasn't great for me but I'm happy with some of the images from the middle shoot today.
I should also mention that these cranes are an endangered species there is only approx. 2,000 and most are in Hokkaido.