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Latest News

Latest updates and news from the project

Egg collection phase now complete

One week old  crane chick 8/5/10

Arrived back in the UK (Hull P+O ferry port) early Saturday morning having driven with Richard all the way from Angermunde to Rotterdam over Friday.  Friday’s journey was painless and pretty uneventful  -  approx 10hrs drive on easy roads in dull, overcast and occasionally rainy weather with little traffic.

Over our last few days in Germany we re-visited some of the sites where we had removed eggs a couple of weeks ago – and were really relieved to find that at least two pairs so far have re-layed, or at least, a pair of cranes has used the same nest site.

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The chicks are growing

The following week Roland has returned with the remaining eggs, which are all close to hatching. A lot has changed since he has been away, even though it has only been 7 days, and the place is full of the ‘cheeping’ and ‘purring’ sounds of hungry and feeding chicks!

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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.

Amy shares the egg hatching process

Since the exciting arrival of the crane eggs, I have been extremely busy. As Roland and Damon headed back to Germany to pick up the last few eggs, Nigel and I stayed back to so we could incubate, hatch and care for the chicks. It has been really exciting to watch the eggs moving, pipping and then finally seeing the chicks break out of the shell!

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.

Watch the first tiny crane steps

Today we managed to catch some video footage of this crane chick's first steps after it had hatched.

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