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Latest updates and news from the project

Roland prepares the incubator room - Richards Diary part 4

Monday 19th April continued...Back at the mill Roland starts to prepare the incubator room (IR) downstairs. It’s critical the IR is as clean as possible to ensure the crane eggs are kept free from contamination. We start by laying down a large polythene sheet on the floor and duck taping it to the wall. This keeps dust from the floor away from the incubators. We set up a couple of tables – one for the three backup yellow incubators and one to be the preparation table for when the eggs arrive back from the field.

The lake and forest around Glambecker Mill - Richards Diary part 3

Monday 19th April

Roland and I are up early to sample the delights of the lake and forest around Glambecker Mill. There is something special about the first day at a new place and the birders’ instincts to get out early are impossible to resist. We wander expectantly around Glambecker Lake. A deep croak reminds me of the ravens which pass over our house at home. We spot a pair of goldeneye on the lake and later on the old carp ponds. Goldeneye breed at the mill, giving it a Scandinavian feel.

The journey to the Mill - Richards Diary part 2

Sunday 18th April

We’re up at 6am thanks to the ship’s alarm call. After a quick shower, I join people waiting to go down to the car deck. Roland is up earlier than me and is rewarded with good views of a North Sea porpoise.

Living ‘La Deutsche Vita’ with the Great Crane Project in Germany - part 1

Richard Archer in Germany

This is the diary of Richard Archer, RSPB Conservation Officer for Somerset. In mid April, Richard spent three weeks as part of the RSPB/WWT/Pensthorpe crane team collecting crane eggs in Eastern Germany. These are his personal reflections on the successful German visit.

Growing fast and forming groups

Over the last couple of weeks things, things are changing at an incredible rate, it never fails to amaze me how much the birds have grown after a couple of days off. We now have the birds exercising in two cohorts, this is so much better as we can now devote the necessary time to the birds, with the added advantage than in their cohorts they'll be imprinting on each other and not the bizarre grey shapes that have been taking them for walks and feeding them.

Update on progress and Clarence has a bath

As the others have mentioned, the birds have been developing quickly and have reached the stage where they can form larger groups. It is hard to describe the feelings of excitement I feel every time we reach a new stage of development with the birds. Having 10 individuals foraging around me without fighting (well mostly!) and following me around the exercise area is indescribable. I also find the clumsy attempts at practise take-offs a source of constant amusement, as they do not have flight feathers yet so just hop about looking excited, especially in blustery weather!

Video - The chick rearing process

A short video with Nigel sharing the rearing process of the young cranes at WWT's Crane School with fantastic footage of crane chicks.