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The largest resident flock of cranes in the UK

Well, after a slow start it has finally happened.


Not quite all 48... we're working on getting a photo of the whole lot... but it keeps on raining! Photo credit: Nick Upton.

All of this year's 19 cranes have been seen in the presence of the 29 cranes currently out and about on the Levels and Moors, making a flock of 48  - and the largest resident flock of cranes in the UK for well over 400 years!

With the heavy rains of last week producing ideal shallow flooded, open roosting conditions in many parts of the Levels and Moors, the young cranes have begun to roost outside the release pen in the company of the older birds.  

They have also been seen feeding amongst the older birds on Aller Moor, where the project has been working in partnership with the local farm to leave areas of unharvested barley and maize for the cranes to feed on through their first winter. 

Cranes, Barley 

Mixed age flock feeding in Barley stubble. Photo credit: Nick Upton

In addition, supplementary maize and wheat will also be put down to help these young birds as they begin to find their feet, and help them through the winter when they are more prone to picking up illnesses from the older birds.    These feeding points, also provide good places for the two groups to cranes to mingle and establish the new  social heirarchy which is so important to cranes.

 Sorting out the pecking order!  Cranes at decoy feeding point. Photo Credit: Nick Upton.

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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.