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cranes

Four go exploring.

  Spring Time Cranes in Somerset. (John Crispin)

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.

To infinity....and beyond!

The Somerset eighteen have been enjoying the 'summer' and I watched them thermal up to around 1000 feet above a ploughed field yesterday.  It was incredible to watch and a little wierd too, to see the birds we know so well as tiny dots against the sky.  I just wished I could have been up there with them - the view over the Levels and Moors to Bridgwater Bay would have been amazing! No photo I'm afraid - it would only be of blue sky anyway. 

Discovering new pastures

  Burrow Mump and Southlake Moor

Photo  © English Heritage. NMR.

Friends Reunited

  Sedge feeding in pasture, early March, 2011

Longest flight ever...

The cranes were very unsettled yesterday and were at one point actually up in the air for around twenty minutes - the longest flight we have seen them make since release.  The weather was very warm, the sun was out, insects were buzzing and the sap was rising....perhaps they were checking out their next move, or just full of the joys of Spring.    

Heralds of Spring

Returning cranes, Brandenburg.

  Returning cranes. Heralds of the coming Spring, Brandenburg.

Catching cranes!

The crane project is unlike other reintroductions in the sense that we acted as parents for a long time working closely with individuals, meaning that the birds imprinted onto the heads we used so we could get close to them and teach them various things. We didn’t just rear them and let them go straight away.

The cranes find their voice!

A few days ago Roland and I went out on our daily crane monitoring rounds and there was a thick mist hanging in the air. We could not see the birds and were about to get the radio tracker out to locate them, when we heard a bugling call echoing across the moor. This was the first experience we have had where the whole group of birds were producing the adult call. Before this it had been a strange goose like call and did not have quite the same effect.