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Damon Bridge's blog

Catching Cranes in Germany

  A radio tagged and ringed crane at the moment of release!

Cohorts of Cranes

a picture of cranes feeding together

Here are a couple of photos of the older birds at crane school taken on Tuesday this week.    These are all around five and a half weeks old and already nearly three feet tall, with wings growing rapidly.

Cranes on the Radio

Just finished interviewing for Radio 4's 'Saving Species' programme due to be aired tomorrow -

Tuesday 8th June - at 10am

The crew were almost as excited about the project as I am....and it really brought home to me how soon the imminent move to Somerset will be.   I'm off up to Slimbridge tomorrow to help out and am very excited to see how big these chicks have grown over the halfterm week -  More pictures of big cranes to follow!

 

Cranes Grace the Skies....

Weathervane photo with cranes

To celebrate the hatching of the first chicks as part of the project, Rod Fender of Black Forge Art has  donated this fabulous weathervane to The Pensthorpe Trust.  This now sits proudly on top of the visitor centre at Pensthorpe, where almost as soon as it was put up, a ‘fly past’ of two wild cranes took place!  Tim Nevard, said: “Although

Happy One Month Birthday!

picture of crane number two at one month old

Two real highlights this week.  The first was seeing the oldest chicks at the crane school on Tuesdays – they are enormous!   The oldest hatched on April 24th so are now over one month old, over a kilogramme in weight and they come up to your knees.  In only around eight weeks these will be gleaning insects off the long grass and poking around in the wet, muddy edges of a pool created within the Somerset release enclosu

Bird Bling!

A busy week coming to a close.

Much debate this week over the intricacies of monitoring of the cranes following their release - and we are getting close to reaching a decision based on what is best for the welfare of the birds and what is neccessary for the long term success of the project. 

A Leap into the unknown

A busy week catching up after the excitement and travel of the last fortnight.  It really feels that there has been a quantum leap forward in the project now from what was a very long and sometime arduous and circuitous planning phase into new territory,,,,an unstoppable straightline phase with only one outcome.  The birds are growing at a phenomenal rate and the regular updates from Nigel and the team are incredible....hearing mid week that the largest chick was now over 500 grammes...or a pound (half a bag of sugar) in weight....was really unbelievable.

in

Egg collection phase now complete

One week old  crane chick 8/5/10

Arrived back in the UK (Hull P+O ferry port) early Saturday morning having driven with Richard all the way from Angermunde to Rotterdam over Friday.  Friday’s journey was painless and pretty uneventful  -  approx 10hrs drive on easy roads in dull, overcast and occasionally rainy weather with little traffic.

Over our last few days in Germany we re-visited some of the sites where we had removed eggs a couple of weeks ago – and were really relieved to find that at least two pairs so far have re-layed, or at least, a pair of cranes has used the same nest site.

in

The journey with the eggs back to the UK

Back in the UK now - at Slimbridge and have been feeding the chicks....They're feisty little blighters with a real strength and determination - and are (although I may be biased) incredibly cute little birds. There is something of the reptile about them at this age - the oldest is just over a week and is about nine to ten inches tall with big sturdy legs and it really grabs the feeding spoon with some force! All that have hatched (now fourteen) are feeding well and there four more that are 'pipped' - ie they have made a hole in the egg and are fighting their way out.

Reflections on the last week before travelling back

An incredibly intense last two days have now come to an end and we are sitting around a camp-fire at the Glambekker Mill finally trying to relax - but knowing that we need to be up at five tomorrow morning to start the long journey back. All collection has gone incredibly well and we have now taken 25 eggs in total for transport to the UK, with seven travelling back in this current batch.