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A Bird's eye view

Thought it timely for an update!

 

Adult crane walking back to it's nest on 5th June.  (if you look closely you can see 2 eggs!)

We had a quick check of a nesting location earlier this week that has been impossible to view into on account of the flat landscape and tall vegetation using a drone.   You can see the crane walking back to the nest following a change-over with its partner - so breeding was confirmed.    We were incredibly careful to keep a good distance up so as to cause no kind of disturbance to the birds.   Used appropriately and under licence,  drones are proving incredibly useful tools for conservation monitoring.

So a quick update of this season so far...

In total 18 crane project pairs have made breeding attempts this year (cf 10 in 2017 and 15 in 2016) with 11 going on to hatch (cf 7 in 2017 and 5 in 2016), and 5 more are still incubating.

9 of these 11 pairs are currently chick-rearing - some of these are experienced pairs, others are first time mums and dads! 

11 of the 18 pairs are on the Somerset Levels and Moors; 5 in Gloucestershire centred around WWT Slimbridge; one pair are in Oxfordshire, and one in Gwent.  A further three pairs have held territories but have not made breeding attempts this year (as far as we know so far...)

These figures will be verified and made official a little later in the year as there are still a couple of question marks... and of course lots of fledging to happen first.   Crane chicks take from 8-10wks to fledge to there's quite a long way to go still until we will know if there has been any increase on last year's total of 4 fledged.

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Damon’s role is to act as the hub of the project - making sure everyone involved knows what is going on and that it is all running smoothly. He is also responsible for project community awareness work in Somerset, construction of the release enclosure, and running the post release monitoring work in Somerset.  Damon works alongside the RSPB reserve teams in Somerset.