Skip to Main Content

Latest News

Latest updates and news from the project

Cranes in the News!

Earlier this week, we invited a professional photographer (Richard Austin) down to the project to try and capture some of the incredible sights that Roland Amy and myself have been party to over the last couple of weeks.  Thanks to these stunning images, the cranes have been a hot topic of the week with photographs and short pieces in both the local and national press, and we have been reminded just how much interest and desire there is in the wider community to see these wonderful birds back in the landscape.

Exploring, foraging and roosting

cranes crusing round the pen

An exciting week has seen the young cranes continue to explore their two heactare release enclosure.

It has been wonderful to see them foraging for themselves, picking off craneflies, grass moths, orb spiders and other tasty snacks in the grass, digging for roots and worms in the soft peat, and picking off insects from the surface of the pools.  They are taking short flights around the pen - and when they open their wings and take to the air it takes your breath away - they really are the most incredible and impressive of birds.

Settling in nicely

Since the excitment of moving the cranes down to their new release enclosure things have been a lot calmer. The birds seem to really love their new surroundings and have been spending a lot of their time foraging about, finding new things to eat amongst the wealth of insect fauna that is surrounding them! A lot of holes in the peat have been appearing all over the place as well, as the birds love to hunt around digging up roots. Many of the things they discover also get used as playthings to throw about and dance around before they are finally eaten!

The drive home - Richards Diary part 23

Friday 7th May

The day of the drive back across Germany and Holland arrives, and after a final tidy up, the truck is packed with the remaining incubators and other kit and we’re off. Within an hour we’re back on the autobahn travelling west towards Braunschweig, and Hannover. Early afternoon we pass Osnabruck and arrive in Holland. With a few hours to kill we stop at the Kroller-Muller museum of modern art in De Hoge Veluwe national park, a big area of semi-forested heathland near Arnhem.

The last day - Richards Diary part 22

Thursday 6th May

It’s our last day at the mill and there’s a slight air of sadness. The showery weather doesn’t help but Damon and I are determined to make the most of it. We go searching for presents for home and head for Chorin. There is a serious lack of tourist shops in the area and we settle for some items at to Brodovin organic farm shop. We get excellent views of a pair of cranes feeding in a maize field by the side of a road in Chorin and they approach to within 30m of the truck.

Visiting the old beech forest - Richards Diary part 21

Wednesday 5th May 2010

Eberhard is keen to take us to an area of old beech forest in one of the core areas. It’s a lovely spot to the east of the mill. We walk under 200 year old beech trees and look up in awe at the largest field maple either of us have ever seen. The ground flora is luxurious with the species we’ve seen elsewhere. Sadly there’s no sign of the red-breasted flycatchers which breed here, perhaps it’s still a bit early.

All quiet on the western front

After just over a week in their new home one the Somerset levels, the cranes seemed to have settled in to the swing of things nicely. Any worries that Amy and myself might have had about the move have dissipated and we are now into a quiet period over the next few weeks whilst the cranes adjust to and imprint onto the new area. This quite period before the release proper starts in earnest is very convenient as it not only allows the birds to settle in but also ourselves as we have also moved to Somerset from Slimbridge.