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A journey of 1,000 miles begins with a single step....

Sadly - it would appear that so far -  this year's crane nesting attempts on the Somerset Levels and Moors have not produced any chicks.

  Timmy & Michaela's empty nest

One pair - Timmy, a 2011 4 yr old male & Michaela, a 2010 5yr old female, made the mistake of nesting within another crane pair's territory, and abandoned their clutch after a few days incubation.  They did nest again, and then a small disturbance and couple of minutes off the nest allowed time for a crow to fly in to the nest and damage one of the eggs.  The cranes returned, removed the broken egg, and continued to incubate their remaining egg.  However - after a few more days of diligent sitting - they abandoned the egg again.  Perhaps it had been damaged and it wasn't going to hatch - or pehaps something happened to it over night that we did could not observe.    

 Legend & Elle's empty nest

The second pair - Legend and Elle - both 2011, 4 year old  birds sat tight in a very well-hidden nest site for 15 days - and then were both off their nest at dawn one morning - so something happened to the eggs at night - or in the remaining hour or so of daylight the  previous day.  The nest site was well hidden, in a very wet field, with high-water levels throughout and a predator-proof mesh and electric fencing on the only gateway entrance.  What ever happened to this pair's eggs we shall never know, but whatever the cause - we hope that the cranes will have learnt from the process and that they will be more successful in future.

Both of these attempts - although failures for this year - are small steps towards a future success.  There are  many years of breeding attempts ahead of them - and we wish them well! 

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Damon’s role is to act as the hub of the project - making sure everyone involved knows what is going on and that it is all running smoothly. He is also responsible for project community awareness work in Somerset, construction of the release enclosure, and running the post release monitoring work in Somerset.  Damon works alongside the RSPB reserve teams in Somerset.