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Duck Decoy becomes Crane Breeding Zone

The Great Crane Project has been working with a farming family near Cossington, on Somerset Levels and Moors to convert an 18th century duck decoy and Scheduled Ancient Monument, into a potential crane breeding zone.  

   Starting to fill up through the sluice.

Crane monitoring

In the last couple of weeks the team have been closely monitoring the chicks as they integrate with the older birds. There have been some wonderful interactions taking place and now most of the chicks seem to have been accepted as part of the group. It is wonderful to see them looking so at home on the levels and moors. Here are a few images from the monitoring sessions.

Through the doorway to eternity

 Yellow Red Yellow enjoying its first taste of freedom.

In the week that saw the Voyager spacecraft leave the Solar system and become the first ever man-made object to enter inter-stellar space  -  a similar epic moment has occured here on the Levels and Moors.

Creating New Wetlands

 Mr Mitchell with work just starting on the new wetland zone.

Work has started this week on the creation of a brandnew 12.5ha block of wetland on private land at the heart of the Levels and Moors.

All settled in...

 Blue Red Yellow "VIRIDOR" checking out her new surroundings.

Moving on...

 The transport crates all ready....

The cranes have now all been ringed,  we have the all-clear from the blood tests, the Somerset pen is all up and ready, and the birds are good to be transported down to Somerset first thing tomorrow morning.  

Exciting times!   

Legs that go on forever....

  Some legs! Bird Green White Yellow - or D1

Spent a marvellous morning with the cranes and team at Slimbridge this week, taking the next batch of photos for the website.

  Blue White Yellow - B4

in

Born to Fly....Eventually!

The 2013 batch of Crane chicks are now starting to spend most of their time in the outdoor enclosure, and are just learning how to use their wings - great practice before they move down to Somerset!

55 days and counting!

 The baby of the bunch - Black Green Yellow

I visited the team up at Slimbridge rearing the cranes on Friday.  The chicks are all doing really well - and looked in fine fettle.

  One of the noisiest ... begging away!

Othery school gets creative