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Brandenburg

Catchers in the Rye

I have just returned from a wonderful week in the Schorfheide-Chorin Biosphere Reserve, Brandenburg, Germany  - helping the team there to catch and ring wild crane chicks. 

     

Eberhard and myself with a young crane            Cornflowers in the Rye crops

...if you think its cold in the UK...

 Cranes in northern Germany March 2013.  Thanks for the photo Jane Muenstermann!

Easter Egg Collection 2011 - Done!

  Amy, Beate and Damon collecting the last egg of the season.

Easter Eggs

easter egg

Easter means one thing for the crane project - CRANE EGGS!  The team have just arrived in Brandenburg Germany, to set up the incubation room in readiness for the next round of egg collection, with the first batch of eggs bound for the UK on April 21st - just before Easter.

Heralds of Spring

Returning cranes, Brandenburg.

  Returning cranes. Heralds of the coming Spring, Brandenburg.

Rolands notes from the second week in Germany

After an amazing first week in Germany seeing a vast array of species and collecting eighteen eggs, all of which were successfully brought back to Slimbridge after an epic fifteen hour drive, courtesy of a certain volcano in Iceland. Now it was time to turn straight back around and go back to Germany (thankfully flying this time), for another week of collecting, this time we would be trialling another method which involves, only taking a single egg from each clutch as hopefully the cranes would still incubate the remaining egg.

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.

Field Notes from Germany - collection continues

Roland and Beate

A busy day collecting. Photos below show Beate Blahy from Vielfalt Biosphere and Pensthorpes' Roland Digby collecting eggs in a feldsoll (field hollow), the mill pool at dawn, RSPB's Richard Archer and the RSPB's film crew in the swamp.  Finally a picture of egg 21 .... Collected and ready for incubation.

Field notes from Germany

Alder swamp

A selection of photos from our latest adventures here in Brandenburg. An alder swamp and view across Biosphere Reserve from a drumlin (A post glacial morain that forms a small hill).

And finally....Beate collecting eggs and a crane in a typical nesting site outside of the forest in a feldsol (a pingo...or wet swampy hollow formed at the end of the ice age as the permafrost melted).