Eugene McCann and Ralph Jones picked me up in the early hours of yesterday morning, collecting Er Neill and for added petrol ballast, John Mercer, along the way, before pointing Mr McCann's wheels north into the grey dawn and endless tarmac up, up, up to the wrong side of Aberdeen for a squint at the Sandhill Crane.
Superb driving by Mssrs McCann and Jones saw us pulling up in the farmland outside St Combs, to learn that the bird had been showing well up until 5 minutes before, when it had flown off.
Dark mutterings followed as we watched folk traipsing out of the fields where the bird had been....I wonder what could have caused it to take flight? (as if we wouldn't have done the same).
A tense hour followed, scouring the vast rolling stubble fields from hell, until we heard it had turned up again at the RSPB reserve at Loch of Strathbeg.
Naturally we had no map, so it took a while to find the place, but once there we got good scope views of the monster Yankee as it mooched around the lagoon.
Good job it was big, 'cos it was a fair distance away.
Overall impression was of Rod Hull's Emu, wearing a red woolly hat, but it also displayed some of the field characteristics, as Er Neill correctly pointed out, of a large grey vacuum cleaner.
I'm sure it looked superdouper in flight, but as everyone knows, you're not allowed to poke megas with a stick.
However on the deck it was, how can I put it, slightly lacking in the enigmatic stakes....not a UK tick to be sniffed at all the same.
We watched the crane for an hour or so, as squadrons of Pink Feet dropped onto the reserve, along with a few genuine Barnacles.
Waders weren't bad either, with some sharp Spotted Reds and Greenshanks, Ruff, Lapwings and a crisp Pectoral Sandpiper.
Then it was time to take to the road again, passing Hooded Crows to remind us we really were that far up in Scotland, before heading south down, down, down forever through the afternoon and into the night.
Thanks again to Eugene and Ralph for the grand auto-tour and tickety-tick-tick.
Eyes to the skies everyone, eyes to the skies...