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Latest updates and news from the project

Exploring the reserve - Richards Diary part 12

Monday 26th April

Beate and Eberhard have promised to take us into the core reserve areas of the biosphere today and we’re looking forward to it. Our first stop is a viewpoint at Grimnitzee where we spot osprey (‘fishadler’) soaring over the lake. This was a big hunting area during the time of Kaiser Willhelm II and remained so under Herman Goering and then Eric Honneker during GDR times. It was also a big glass making area at one stage because of the plentiful supplies of sand and freshwater.

A day to catch up - Richards Diary part 11

Sunday 25th April

A quiet day at the mill to catch up on the diary, label photos, read and relax. Damon and Roland are on their way out to Angermunde by train and are due in later this evening, so plenty of time. I manage to tune the radio to BBC World Service and listen in to UK election build up.

Visiting Oder Valley - Richards Diary part 10

Saturday 24th April

Just had a call from Nigel at ten to nine here – he is watching egg 2 hatch! I ring Beate who is very excited and she passes on the good news to Peter that he’s become a ‘new dad’. It’s still hard to believe we only collected egg 2 on Tuesday, less than 4 days ago and now have a little ginger chick, alive and kicking. Beate will talk to Peter about the estimated laying date which appears to be about a week out – useful information which we will need when planning egg collection in future years.

Evening count at a crane roost - Richards Diary part 9

Friday 23rd April

We have a challenging 4 am rise to prepare for Nigel and Roland’s car journey to Calais. Most of the journey is on good autobahn roads apart from the first bit from the mill up to Altkunkendorf which is along sandy forest tracks and cobbles. Nigel and Roland went to bed late, having checked over the travelling kit, especially the four batteries that will be needed on the journey to power the portable incubators. All of us are a little bug eyed, but there’s a sense of urgency to get everything ready and to be off as soon as possible.

The second collection day - Richards Diary part 8

Thursday 22nd April

On the second collection day we return to the northern part of the biosphere. We pass through a very intensive dairy area to get there, and Lutz points out huge maize fields, all waiting to be ploughed and planted. The maize is very attractive to cranes, especially in the autumn, but there’s very little other food once the maize has run out.

Collection day one - Richards Diary part 7

Wednesday 21st April

Beate and Eberhard arrive early. We pack carefully, making sure to remember all the important pieces of kit – portable incubator, crocodile clips to connect the incubator to the truck cigarette socket, a backup battery just in case we have problems with the truck’s socket, rubber gloves and sanitation gel for handling the eggs. We all have rubber wellies or longer waders for deeper water nest sites.

Crane Academy

Have been working the last couple of weeks with a great bunch of resilient crane volunteers to finish off the release enclosure / crane academy on the Levels and Moors.   Electric fencing is now all up, two 40 x 40 m top nets are sewn together, and one of the two netted pens is fully fitted out.